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hawaiiansteel
05-16-2010, 01:30 AM
On the Steelers: Lamarr Woodley -- The high cost of not doing business

A byproduct of the coming capless season might make it impossible for the team to sign their Pro Bowl linebacker to a long-term deal.


Sunday, May 16, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201005/woodley0516_160.jpg

The uncertain NFL labor future may cost the Steelers Lamarr Woodley, who will likely deserve more in a contract than the team will be allowed to offer.
The Steelers and the agent for LaMarr Woodley face what appear to be insurmountable obstacles to negotiate a long-term deal for the young Pro Bowl linebacker. Unless there is a new collective bargaining agreement soon, it would be near impossible for them to do a multi-year contract.

Written into the current CBA is what is called the 30 percent rule, which went into effect this year. Any new contract cannot contain salaries more than 30 percent above a player's 2009 salary each year.

Woodley earned $460,000 in 2009 as part of the four-year contract he signed in 2007 and will expire after the 2010 season. For the Steelers to negotiate a new long-term contract, his 2010 salary could increase only 30 percent, or $138,000, to $598,000. For each year of Woodley's new deal, he could not earn in salary more than $138,000 over the previous year. In 2011, his salary could only go to $736,000, in 2012 to $874,000 and, in 2013, he would finally hit seven figures at $1,012,000.

Those are woefully low for a player of the status of Woodley, who led the team with 13.5 sacks last season after his 11.5 (plus six more in the postseason) in 2008.

Woodley could expect a five-year contract for at least $40 million, probably more. The Steelers signed linebacker James Harrison to a six-year, $51.75 million contract last year.

With the 30 percent rule, the Steelers could only give Woodley $4.37 million of that in salaries over a five-year contract. The rest would have to come in a signing bonus of more than $35 million. That's not going to happen. Under the 30 percent rule, roster bonuses count as salary, so they could not get around it by using roster bonuses spread out over the five-year contract.

There is no way around it. Unless there is a new CBA by March, the Steelers will have to wait and either make Woodley their franchise player or he could become restricted if this year's non-cap rules carry over to 2011. Both of those would be somewhat of a gamble, particularly if the NFL negotiates a new CBA on, say, March 5 that does not include franchise tags. Woodley could become an instant unrestricted free agent.

The 49ers did negotiate a contract extension for their outstanding linebacker, Patrick Willis. He was taken by them 11th overall in the same draft as Woodley, 2007. But Willis received much higher salaries in his new deal because they were based on his 2009 salary of $2,540,000. That's a lot easier to work with than Woodley's salary of $460,000, which was based on him being a second-round pick, the 46th overall player taken.

Jeff Reed finds himself in a good spot for the Steelers being able to negotiate a contract with him. The kicker does not fall into the 30 percent rule because his contract expired after the 2009 season and they then made him their franchise player. They can start at any base salary with Reed they want.

That also is the case with tackle Willie Colon, who is a restricted free agent for the second year. So far, however, the team has chosen not to negotiate a multi-year contract with Colon.


Good choice, wrong Hall

Art Rooney Jr. was inducted a few weeks ago into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He headed some of the best drafts in NFL history with the Steelers, including the best of them all, 1974, which produced four Hall of Famers (Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster) among other stars.

Men like Rooney, who is Dan Rooney's brother, and longtime Steelers scout Bill Nunn should be considered more seriously for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both have been nominated multiple times. At least, there should be a special wing honoring the contributions of scouts and personnel men in pro football and on-field officials.

The Hall also should consider recognizing some of the black pioneers of the game. Not enough attention has been paid to the league's unofficial banning of black players from 1934 until 1946, when re-integration resumed sporadically and at a slow pace. The Steelers had one of only two black players in the NFL in 1933 on their roster, Ray Kemp. He supposedly quit after that season to go into coaching, but by 1934 there were no blacks in the league and none for the next dozen years.

Baseball, which had banned blacks for a much longer period, at least found a way to try to make amends and induct many into its Hall of Fame.


The Brian Cushing case: A morality tale gone amok?

The Associated Press' unprecedented revote for NFL defensive rookie of the year and the moralizing that followed was interesting. Brian Cushing, pictured at left, won it the first time in a landslide and won it the second time in a much closer vote.

These are the same people who chose Bill Belichick as the 2007 AP Coach of the Year, the same year the coach and the Patriots were fined heavily and docked a first-round draft pick for cheating. That award was an abomination and only the New York Giants saved the NFL from delivering another tainted Lombardi Trophy to New England.

Why should players be held to higher standards than coaches? If those at the AP felt this way, they should have just rescinded Cushing's award and given it to the runner-up.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10136...#ixzz0o4Cb3zTs

papillon
05-16-2010, 07:23 AM
It seems to me that Woodley's contract will have to be handled via signing bonus. Unless, there is a limit on how signing bonuses are handed out, which I don't believe there is. Woodley is probably going to have to want to stay a Steeler to get this done as well.

It sucks that you could lose a player of his caliber without ever actually being able to bid for his services. Of course, the NFL being a socialist run cartel this is exactly what they want. The NFL does not want teams to keep more than a handful of their core group of players, wealth redistribution at its finest.

Pappy

BURGH86STEEL
05-16-2010, 08:46 AM
I hope they don's lose Woodley but they can't afford to keep every player. At least the Steelers attempted to prepare for his loss by drafting a couple of OLB's.

Flasteel
05-16-2010, 09:34 AM
Please. 100% guarantee that Woodley isn't going anywhere. You can do a combination of bonuses or franchise him until the 30% rule no longer is applicable.

RuthlessBurgher
05-16-2010, 09:47 AM
The other issue is that once a new CBA is ratified, there is no guarantee that franchise or transition tags will be a part of the new agreement. I agree that it will eventually get done (just not likely in this offseason).

frankthetank1
05-16-2010, 10:19 AM
woodley is the only FA after this season that imo would be devastating to lose. he is still a very young player and one of my favorites. since he would be a RFA wouldnt we have a chance to match any offer? im not all that worried though, the steelers know what they are doing more so than most teams in the nfl. no way would they let him get away.

Flasteel
05-16-2010, 10:42 AM
The other issue is that once a new CBA is ratified, there is no guarantee that franchise or transition tags will be a part of the new agreement. I agree that it will eventually get done (just not likely in this offseason).

Any new CBA would also likely see the elimination of the 30% rule. Keeping it, especially combined with a loss of the tags, would completely limit the ability of teams to keep their own talent. They're almost mutually exclusive scenarios and in either case there is an easy way to keep the Wood.

It's almost like Bouchette is fear mongering. I don't see too much of an issue, unless of course Woodley wanted to go somewhere else and play for top dollar. I doubt it. Something tells me both sides want to see him wearing the Back-n-Gold for a long time.

Mister Pittsburgh
05-16-2010, 10:43 AM
seems like roster bonuses and incentive bonuses are the easy answer.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-16-2010, 10:54 AM
It seems to me that Woodley's contract will have to be handled via signing bonus. Unless, there is a limit on how signing bonuses are handed out, which I don't believe there is. Woodley is probably going to have to want to stay a Steeler to get this done as well.

It sucks that you could lose a player of his caliber without ever actually being able to bid for his services. Of course, the NFL being a socialist run cartel this is exactly what they want. The NFL does not want teams to keep more than a handful of their core group of players, wealth redistribution at its finest.

Pappy

Pap - But isn't it the socialist aspect of the NFL - redistributing wealth from larger market teams to smaller - that keeps teams like the Bills, Green Bay, Detroit, Cleveland, and (??) the Steelers with at least a chance of being competitive? I don't know much about it, but I've read that without some of that redistribution, the Jerry Joneses, Giants' Maras, Jets' Johnsons of the world would out spend the other teams into permanent mediocrity, or worse.

I know I don't know the details of all that though, so to the degree I'm wrong - sorry!

Shawn
05-16-2010, 12:20 PM
Please. 100% guarantee that Woodley isn't going anywhere. You can do a combination of bonuses or franchise him until the 30% rule no longer is applicable.

Agreed...they would franchise him before signing him long term and giving him mad money up front.

Slapstick
05-16-2010, 04:34 PM
It sucks that you could lose a player of his caliber without ever actually being able to bid for his services. Of course, the NFL being a socialist run cartel this is exactly what they want. The NFL does not want teams to keep more than a handful of their core group of players, wealth redistribution at its finest.

Pappy

You have an odd idea of what socialism is...

hawaiiansteel
05-16-2010, 05:53 PM
Please. 100% guarantee that Woodley isn't going anywhere. You can do a combination of bonuses or franchise him until the 30% rule no longer is applicable.

Agreed...they would franchise him before signing him long term and giving him mad money up front.



the franchise tag for linebackers in 2010 is $9.680 million, not exactly pocket change...but we may have no choice.

Northern_Blitz
05-16-2010, 10:42 PM
I think it's rediculous that the 30% rule only seems to apply to resigning players. It sucks that other teams can offer whatever they want. Does that mean that we should be able to pick up other teams good young players who are getting screwed?

RuthlessBurgher
05-17-2010, 10:04 AM
seems like roster bonuses and incentive bonuses are the easy answer.

It says in the article above:


Under the 30 percent rule, roster bonuses count as salary, so they could not get around it by using roster bonuses spread out over the five-year contract.

hawaiiansteel
05-19-2010, 06:58 PM
Steelers OLB Woodley not planning holdout

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

http://i45.tinypic.com/34zcadt.jpg


Pro Bowl linebacker LaMarr Woodley said his contract situation won't cause him to skip any offseason practices or hold out when training camp starts at the end of July.

"Things that you can't control you don't worry about," Woodley said Tuesday following practice.

Woodley, whose 13 1/2 sacks last season were tied for third in the NFL, is heading into the final year of his contract. The Steelers traditionally sign key players such as Woodley to long-term extensions before they get to the final year of their contract — and they still have time because their policy is to negotiate until the start of the regular season.

The uncertain labor situation, however, could complicate contract negotiations for the Steelers and other NFL teams.

The collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of this season, and the owners could lock out the players if a new deal isn't forged before next March. Under the current rules, Woodley would not become an unrestricted free agent for two more years.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he is not worried about Woodley's contract situation becoming a distraction.

"One of the attractive things about LaMarr Woodley is he is a football-first guy," Tomlin said. "He's committed to working for 2010, and that's our mentality. Like a lot of things, those (contract) questions will be answered in time."

» Troy Polamalu was notable by his absence from the Steelers' South Side practice facility Tuesday, but it should not have come as a surprise. The strong safety has missed most of the Steelers' voluntary offseason practices in prior years as he has opted to train in California.

Polamalu, who played in parts of just five games last season because of separate injuries to his left knee, did participate in minicamp practices a little less than three weeks ago. They are the only offseason practices that players are required to attend.

"I tend to focus on the guys who are here, and that's probably a good approach to have with voluntary offseason conditioning and work and so forth," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said when asked about Polamalu. "As a coach, you can be a miserable person worrying about the ones who aren't (here). You can have a productive day if you focus on the ones that are (here), and I tend to do that."

» Hines Ward did some light running yesterday as the veteran wide receiver is still recovering from a strained hamstring he sustained at the end of April.

"Hines is progressing well with the hamstring injury," Tomlin said. "He's running a little bit; he's getting treatment. We expect him to continue to get better and join us at some point."

»Outside linebacker Thaddeus Gibson is expected to miss most of the remainder of the Steelers' offseason practices because of a league rule that prohibits undergraduates from taking part in voluntary drills while still in class. Gibson, a fourth-round draft pick, is working toward his degree at Ohio State and is expected to graduate next month. Rookie defensive end Doug Worthington, who is also an Ohio State product, already has graduated and practiced yesterday.

Digits

1 — Career starts made by Dennis Dixon

49 — Career starts made by Byron Leftwich

50 — Career starts made by Charlie Batch

Quotable

"He's a rookie and we're in shorts." — Coach Mike Tomlin, when asked how running back Jonathan Dwyer has looked during offseason practices.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_681857.html

msp26505
05-19-2010, 09:46 PM
Of course, the NFL being a socialist run cartel this is exactly what they want. The NFL does not want teams to keep more than a handful of their core group of players, wealth redistribution at its finest.

Pappy

You want capitalism? Go follow MLB. What a great league that is.

Sports don't work the same way that government does.

hawaiiansteel
05-23-2010, 09:32 PM
Focused on one thing

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com
5-23-2010


Linebacker LaMarr Woodley plans on being a regular at OTAs this spring, something he sees as an important step in preparing for the 2010 season.

“It’s great to be back here with the guys after the mini-camp and get a chance to see some of the rookies again and work toward a championship this year,” said Woodley. “It’s just back to football. I have been waiting to get back to this ever since the last game in Miami when I found out we weren’t in the playoffs. I have been itching to get back here. I still have a chip on my shoulder from not getting to the playoffs, losing those five games, losing the games we shouldn’t have. That still bothers me.”

One thing that Woodley isn’t let bother him is the fact that he is in the last year of his contract and the current uncertainty in the NFL labor situation could make things complicated

“You control the things you can control,” said Woodley. “Things that you can’t control - don’t worry about it. I am just worried about coming out here and playing with my team this year. I am not going to be skipping OTAs or anything like that. That sets me back, sets me back from helping the team get better or helping me out individually.”

Woodley would like nothing more than to have a contract in place before the season starts, but it isn’t something that is consuming his thoughts.

“It would be nice, but it’s not something on my mind every day that I am worried about,” said Woodley. “My thing is to come out here and get better, come out here and help my team win, get back to the playoffs and hopefully the Super Bowl.”

One thing Woodley has noticed early on in the offseason is the work that his teammates did to improve and to make sure they don’t finish the 2010 season with the same disappointment they did the year before finding themselves missing the playoffs.

“Guys did what they had to do individually as far as getting better, working out during the offseason,” said Woodley. “Now we come here as a team you can see guys really did a lot of work during the offseason getting better to help this team out.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article...b-1b131c65eee0

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