View Full Version : Steelers won't discuss any contract extension this year

08-03-2010, 01:32 AM
Steelers won't discuss any contract extension this year
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers have slammed the door shut on any new contract extensions for players this year, at least one month early.

"As an organization we decided we're going to focus on 2010," Kevin Colbert said Monday.

Colbert, the team's director of football operations, had a long talk with linebacker LaMarr Woodley over lunch and said the team also informed tackle Willie Colon, cornerback Ike Taylor and kicker Jeff Reed, all starters working on the final year of their contract.

Woodley and Reed had been outspoken about the lack of negotiations with the team to try to reach contract extensions. The only contract extensions the Steelers have signed recently were those of five years for Colbert and two years and an option for coach Mike Tomlin.

The players will have to wait, at least until after the 2010 season.

"We're at the point now where we always go where we can go, then we decide we have to move on with the season and we've reached that decision," Tomlin said.

The question becomes if that decision affects the players involved and if they let it infect the locker room.

"I'm playing football," declared Woodley, the team sack leader last season who is set to make a $550,000 salary in the fourth year of his rookie contract. "I'm not going to have no contract on my mind out there while I'm playing football. If I have contract on my mind, I'm going to get knocked upside my head and I can't go out and help this team win.

"When I'm out on the field, I'm not thinking, 'Oh, man, contract this and that; I don't want to get hurt.' If you're out there thinking about those things, that's when you get hurt, that's when you go out there and you don't perform as well and don't help your team out. I can't be one of those guys."

Hines Ward, an offensive captain, believes the players involved just happened to have their contracts break at the wrong time with the NFL's collective bargaining agreement set to end in 2011 and no new one in sight.

"It's uncertainty," Ward said. "We don't know what next year holds. It's just unfortunate when you got drafted. There's nothing you can do about it. Some guys are going to be mad. But how can you sign somebody if there's going to be a lockout next year? How do you determine a long-term contract?"

Ward also does not think it will hurt the team's chances this season.

"Nobody on this team or in the organization knows what's going to happen next year. Let's just enjoy what we got while we're playing and deal with that in theoffseason. In the offseason, you can be mad or do whatever you want, but, if there's no football, there's nothing you can do about it. It's unfortunate, where there is uncertainty and we don't know if we'll play next year or not.

"Trust me, guys aren't even talking about that. We're just trying to win it this year."
Pouncey "pays" for lateness

Some people around the Steelers were still shaking their heads over how Maurkice Pouncey injured his hamstring Sunday morning, but Pouncey was not among them.

"I was late," Pouncey explained.

Tomlin scheduled the team's first-round draft pick to be on the field at 6 a.m. Saturday to go through his run test, even though he did not arrive on campus until five hours earlier after signing his contract.

Pouncey completed the test -- "with flying colors," he said -- and then had a nice first two practices at training camp . One thing bothered Tomlin, however; Pouncey did not show for his test until 6:15 a.m. So he made him go through another run Sunday, which is when he developed a hamstring problem that has kept him out the past two days.

"Pouncey is pretty close with his [injury] based on testing results we got, so there's encouragement there," Tomlin said.
More about being Big Ben

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hopes kids will continue to wear his No. 7 jersey, despite his troubles.

"I've always had a soft spot in my heart for kids. It's always been one of my weaknesses. A lot of the times kids don't know any better. Kids usually support and appreciate me. It's usually the parent that doesn't. And that's fine, I am not saying that's wrong. I don't know what this year is going to entail. I don't know if anyone will wear my jersey, but this is not going to be an overnight process. This is something that is going to take time."

He says while he got too caught up in being "Big Ben," he does not want to shelve his nickname.

"On the field, I love it. I like when a little kid comes up and tries to say my last name but he can't do it, and says, "Big Ben." Or if I am walking I hear someone say it, to me it's a neat thing because that's about me on the football field. The Big Ben thing is about how I play the game. For a kid or a young adult to say that it means that they look up to me in a way, and so I like it. But, off the field, they can call me that. But that's not who I am going to be, I will keep that for the football field."

Rashard Mendenhall joins the growing injury list. Training camp notebook, Page D-4.

For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at http://www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com.

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08-03-2010, 01:38 AM
Steelers: No more new contracts this season
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 93148.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_693148.html)

If LaMarr Woodley and Ike Taylor are looking for new contracts, it's not going to happen anytime soon ... or anytime this year.

Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said Monday that there will be no new contracts negotiated for the rest of the season.

"As an organization, we decided we're going to focus on 2010," Colbert said. "It's a Steelers decision."

Woodley and Taylor, along with Willie Colon and Jeff Reed, are in the final year of their deals and will be free agents next year.

Colbert had a lengthy conversation with Woodley during lunch yesterday.

"You make sure everyone is communicated to," Colbert said.

Woodley is in the final year of his rookie deal and will make $550,000 this season. Woodley faces the dilemma of the 30 percent rule because of the uncapped season even if the organization was willing to sign him long term.

By rule, Woodley could only make a maximum salary of $715,000 in 2010. Each successive year of the contract, if signed now, could only increase 30 percent each year.

The Steelers aren't willing to put a lump sum into a signing bonus to circumvent that rule, especially with a lockout looming in the spring.

Taylor said yesterday that a new contract doesn't concern him right now, but Reed is still upset with the way he was treated by the organization.

The disgruntled kicker said he was more upset with a person within the organization lying to him about getting a long-term deal this past offseason than not getting the deal done.

Instead, the Steelers put the franchise tag on him, which will pay him $2.814 million for this year.

"It was kind of the dishonesty that got to me," Reed said. "I am not going to say who (said it), I have already said my piece, so it doesn't matter at this point. I am going to move on."

The Steelers had limited options when it came to Reed. Once they put the franchise tag on him, teams had until July 15 to sign him to a long-term deal. If the Steelers would've signed Reed to a long-term deal after July 15, the organization would've lost the use of a franchise tag for the duration of the new contract.

Reed said team president Art Rooney II sought him out after the squad reported to St. Vincent College over the weekend.

"We had man-to-man talk ... we didn't butt heads; we just moved on," Reed said.

Reed also ensured Rooney at the time that the team didn't have to worry about him shanking kicks on purpose during the season.

"If you do that, then no team is going to want you," Reed said.