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phillyesq
02-14-2012, 09:53 AM
Ed: Steelers OK With Current Backs? Tuesday, 14 February 2012 08:26 Written by Ed Bouchette Good morning,

Do the Steelers need a running back?

Kevin Colbert says they are no more in the market for a running back than any other position on the team. This, after he told a few of us yesterday that he's not counting on Rashard Mendenhall for the 2012 season.

Recovery time from ACL surgeries are all over the board. It used to be given that it would take a year. Doctors generally say now that it takes 6-9 months. There are exceptions all over the place -- Daniel Sepulveda had ACL surgery in the spring of his last year at Baylor and played in the opener that fall. Wes Welker tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in the last game of the 2009 season and started in the 2010 opener.

So, Mendenhall might play in 2012. But it also might not be at the start of the season and he might not have the same ability after his knee injury. Plus, he's in the last year of his contract.

Colbert seemed OK with the backs left -- Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, and two '11 rookies -- John Clay and Baron Batch. Batch himself had ACL surgery after a training camp injury.

Would you feel comfortable with that group if Mendenhall cannot play, or should the Steelers find another running back? And, at what price -- first-round pick? Second? Third?

Onto some stuff:

-- Jerricho Cotchery wants to stay with the Steelers and hopes to get a 4-5 year contract. He's a UFA and Colbert pretty much said they won't be signing any of those until after March 13. Cotchery looked like a younger Hines Ward in his 2011 role with the Steelers. However, it's tough to believe he would sign a long-term contract with a team that, as long as the young receivers stay healthy, he can be no more than No. 4. Isn't that why he left the Jets in the first place?

Click here: Former Jets player Jerricho Cotchery hopes Pittsburgh Steelers offer him a multiyear contract | NJ.com

-- Here is an interview in the National Catholic Register with former Steelers tight end Mark Bruener, now one of their scouts: Click here: NFL Player-Turned-Scout Finds Strength in Christ | Daily News | NCRegister.com

-- Here's another look in the Tomlin/Rooney/Roethlisberger/Haley saga. Keep in mind, however, that Dan Rooney did force some coaching changes on Chuck Noll after the 1988 season, as I've often reminded you, and he was set to do so again after the 1991 season except Noll retired. Click here: Rooney II's meddling with Tomlin's staff is very un-Steelers-like - NFL - CBSSports.com News, Rumors, Scores, Stat

-- YOU: I saw where the 49ers did not allow their DBs coach to interview for the DC job in Tampa Bay. I thought that at one time there was a rule in place in the NFL that would not let teams bar their coaches from interviewing for positions if those positions were promotions. In other words, a DBs coach couldn't be stopped from interviewing for a Defensive Coordinator position, but could be prohibited from interviewing for a lateral position with another team.
Was there ever a rule like that in place or am I just tripping?

ME: The NFL used to have a rule that, if an assistant coach was under contract, he could take another job if it was for a promotion, e.g. to coordinator. However, that broke down when teams figured out loopholes by, say, hiring a line coach as their line coach and adding "assistant head coach" to his title, therefore a "promotion." The NFL tried to difuse that by allowing each team to designate one position on offense and on defense as the designated spots for promotions in which they could sign another team's assistant under contract. Well, that turned into chaos too. Teams with staffs, especially coordinators, in place and had one opening could designate that as their "promotion" and hire someone else under contract at more money for in essence a parallel move. Seveal years ago, the NFL ruled that no coach under contract could leave without his team's position unless it was for one spot with another team -- head coach. So the Steelers, in essence, could deny linebackers coach Keith Butler from, for example, becoming defensive coordinator somewere if they want. Generally, the Steelers will grant permission for a coach to interview if it is a true promotion with another team. And those whose contracts have expired and haven't signed a new one are free to go anywhere.

-- YOU: Lotta rumors this morning on NFL Network and WTAE about the Steelers parting ways with Hines Ward. But as far as I'm concerned, until the PG says it, it isn't so. So... Any truth to those rumblings or are they just looking for drama to report in the offseason?

ME: They very well could be true. The NFL did not report a rumor but said it will happen, and until the Steelers and Ward come out and say it won't, it's certainly possible. However, I've been told by many who are the decision-makers that no decision has yet been made and I believe them. Again, that doesn't mean they won't release Ward when, you know, they decide how they want to go there. The WTAE-TV report, by the way, merely quoted the NFL report. The latest lead on a story from WTAE yesterday began like this: "The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't ready to part ways with Hines Ward just yet.''

-- YOU: Do you think the Steelers are looking at any trade possibilities as they work to get under the cap? While they benched Kemoeatu, I heard he was still a Pro Bowl alternate. I am thinking some out there still see value in him and there are several teams with OL needs (KC, Jacksonville, Tennessee, etc). What if they packaged a Kemoeatu, Foote and/or Ward? Do you see any potential trades? And, if so, what might they be able to receive in a trade?
ME: I haven't heard any trade rumors yet but they surely will investigate some. Rarely do they come off and I would be shocked if they traded Ward.

-- YOU: I read in today’s editition that the Rams are showing interest in Omar Khan for GM. I was under the impression that Kahn was more of a business/financier type, while a GM is more tuned to the player personnel. Obviously, the Rams would not show interest in him if they didn’t think he could do it; but how closely related are the Business & Admin folks to the GM/Football Ops types?

ME: Obviously I am getting to your question a little late because Khan took himself out of the running for that job. Many NFL teams have turned more toward administrators as their GMs and letting their football coaches make personnel decisions. It's just a different approach.

Will be interesting to see what Cotchery is looking for and how much he ends up getting. I think the Steelers need at least one veteran with the young guys, and if they can afford it, I'd be fine with seeing a WR group next year of Wallace, Sanders, Brown, Cotchery and Ward.

Oviedo
02-14-2012, 10:08 AM
I think it would be very prudent to resign Cotchery. Sanders is still an unknown and is establishing a history of being injury prone. It is unclear that we can retain Wallace. Cotchery would be a great keep and IMO better than Keeping Hines who I think the world of.

A perfect scenario would be that someone signs Wallace and we get a #1 in return and that opens an opportunity for Cotchery and he stays as the #2/#3 plus we have the draft ammo to also get a Top 5 WR.

Shawn
02-14-2012, 11:07 AM
I would love to sign him. Cotch would make the loss of Wallace (if that were to happen) much more palatable.

williar
02-14-2012, 11:28 AM
I would love to sign him. Cotch would make the loss of Wallace (if that were to happen) much more palatable.

I'd love to sign him too, however to replace Hines if necessary and not Wallace. If we loss Wallace to sign Cotchery that would be a major drop off in talent and skill set.

Shawn
02-14-2012, 11:52 AM
I would love to sign him. Cotch would make the loss of Wallace (if that were to happen) much more palatable.

I'd love to sign him too, however to replace Hines if necessary and not Wallace. If we loss Wallace to sign Cotchery that would be a major drop off in talent and skill set.

It's certainly not ideal. But, play this out with me.

Brown, Cotch, Sanders and two first round picks.
Wallace, Brown, Sanders and one first round pick.

With two first round picks you could solidify the OL for a decade...and the WR core would still be a very good group. I'm not saying I want that but I wouldn't lose sleep.

hawaiiansteel
02-14-2012, 12:23 PM
re-signing Cotchery would be good insurance...


Steelers will face receiver dilemma again in 2013

Posted by Mike Florio on February 14, 2012


Rosenthal pointed out earlier this morning a significant dilemma the Steelers currently face. With receiver Mike Wallace’s three-year rookie contract expiring and the maximum tender for restricted free agents reduced from first-round and third-round compensation to first-round only under the new CBA, the Steelers may have to use the franchise tag in order to ensure that he doesn’t get swiped by a team that would be happy to give up its first-round pick to get him.

If the Steelers had insisted on a four-year contract for Wallace instead of a three-year deal, it wouldn’t have been an issue.

Moving forward, it’s not an issue. The new labor deal mandates four-year deals for all draft picks.

Of course, that won’t help the Steelers next February, when they’ll face the same problem with receiver Antonio Brown (the team’s MVP in 2011) and receiver Emmanuel Sanders, both of whom signed three-year contracts in 2010. (Maybe that’s why Art Rooney II wants to run the ball more in 2012.)

After 2013, this new RFA issue should apply only to undrafted players who have made it through three years of NFL service. That won’t give the Steelers much solace as they try to figure out how to keep Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... n-in-2013/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/14/steelers-will-face-receiver-dilemma-again-in-2013/)

fezziwig
02-14-2012, 12:25 PM
It's for sure we won't get to keep all these receivers. I see them signing Wallace and they'll not be able to offer Cotchery anything to his taste. The Steelers are already thinking about how to sign Brown when the time comes so, they're already future thinking.

Saunders, great guy to have but, is he another Yancey Thigpen or Duce Staley ? I guess you could compare him to our field goal kicker Spelvuldava or even Pouncey. Seems like those two also have nothing but a history of injuries. Woodley to me is soon becoming one of those bench warmers. Probably Aaron Smith and Colon are our two worse offenders to the team.

If push really came to shove and if all scenarios were looked at, ironed out or just came to be I, would make sure no matter what over anyone on offense Antonio Brown should be the guy to sign. And if that requires the loss of Wallace then, so be it.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-14-2012, 12:46 PM
I think Cotchery is a luxury the Steelers can't afford. I'm just reading into the bodies the Steelers brought in and the current cap situation & injuries. I don't see Cotchery being asked back unless he will be ok in the 1.5 range over 3. Wallace mayl get the only new contract at WR because two more contracts are on the horizon. They may address a bigger WR mid to late draft. All the WR street bodies brought in should tell us something.

I think the same goes for the QB. I think Troy Smith will end up backing up BB. If the kid from A & M Johnson could show his arm has fully recovered he may end up being #3. The vet min for Lefty & Batch will be too much.

The Steelers are in cap trouble with aged vets. House cleaning is coming along with the youth movement. Next year will be very interesting. I think the Steelers will be depending very heavily on the 1st two to three picks if they hit the position of need. There will be alot of youth that needs to step up early or the Steelers could struggle out of the gates.

Here is a list. Not my heart talking...Just my head. This has been coming for a long time.

Won't be back:
Lefty
Batch
Moore
Kemo
Starks (Option for them late in the season if needed after he recovers.)
Essex (If J Scott is released sign for min)
J Scott (Restructure or cut)
Ward
Cothchery
Sepulveda
Hampton (Restructure & PUP /Injury settlement & cut)
A Smith
Farrior/Foote (One will be retained)
W Allen
Madison

Also think Suisham & Warren replacments will be looked at hard.


Not all of the above are under contract. However, the ones that are with a release free up 17-19 mil. Calculated in that savings is 7-8 mil of dead money on 2012 so if done after June 1st the number savings would get larger for 2012. Remember, they need cap space for Wallace if they franchise him..9-10 mil. Their tenders & their draft choices. Guys...Ugly is yet to come.

The more & more I look at it...The more I think the Steelers will be looking to add draft choices. This may be the year many get their wish of trading down in the 1st if their guy is gone targeting a need. Meaning...DeCastro will be gone. I think it is very unlikely he gets out of the Top 15. Glenn could be another guy who goes off the board before #24. So if they like Poe, Hightower, Burfict, Thompson, Worthy, Barron, or whomever you want to plug in there...They may be looking to move back. Unlike previous years as of late....There will be many roster spots opening up because of the current cap situation. And given the last couple of years and young players getting the confidence from the staff to get them on the field...I think the Steelers plan is focused on the scouting department to fill the holes this year more than any.

Steeler Nation...Paying the Piper has Cometh! It was Inevitable. We will get a blast of reality and then see the Steeler Oraganization at its best in their scouting department through the draft & into the UDFA. We will see Rooney, Colbert, & Tomlin on draft days get as much quality & quantity they possibly can during the draft. Then we will see what the coaching staff is paid to do...Coach and put the product on the field that is expected. The "Standard is the Standard" starts when their name is called on draft day. Regardless of whom the Steelers part ways with...There still will be enough in place for leadership & guidence on & off the field.

Keep the faith Nation...Believe.

Oviedo
02-14-2012, 12:57 PM
As I have said before, we are about to experience a "Generational Change" on this football team that is necessary to fix the cap situation. The stalwarts of the last decade will be pushed out. It is essential to rebuild the salary structure going forward and keep the young contributing members of the team.

This is not uncommon. It happened in the early to mid 80's under Noll and then again in the late 90's under Cowher. The key is to manage the change effectively and stay at or near the top. That is very hard to do. The first change under Noll did not work out too well while the second under Cowher was a slightly better job, but in both cases we saw a slip in our performance for awhile until we found those right players.

This could get painful in an AFC North where the Bumgals are on the rise and the Ravens remain strong (although they have to go through this soon too). Hopefully, Art II, Colbert and Tomlin have learned from the past and manage this change properly.

steelblood
02-14-2012, 01:04 PM
None of this is that big of a deal.

Wallace is an awesome talent, but losing wallace and gaining a first round pick will be decent compensation and give us more room under the cap this year and in the future. I really feel that Wallace's game is entirely based on speed and that his scrawny frame is one injury away from going from elite talent to #4 receiver. Signing him long term will be risky. I'm for doing it, but we must get him to play this season under the RFA tender. Then we can franchise him next season if he is still playing well.

Brown will also be worth a first round tender in 2013 and a first round pick will be great compensation for him if someone else signs him.

Sanders so far deserves nothing more than the 2nd round tender unless he proves to be more durable and productive.

These RFA tenders are great things and give the Steelers some protection with these receivers.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-14-2012, 01:27 PM
I hope someone takes Wallace and we get a first rounder. I don't think he is all that. Personally I think he is a one trick pony. If it isn't in his bread basket he ain't catching it. He would never go up against a defender and fight for the ball even if he could just bat it down so the guy doesn't pick it off.

I would take the first round pick and draft an OL. I wouldn't franchise the dude costing 9 or 10 million either. That is ridiculous.

RuthlessBurgher
02-14-2012, 01:37 PM
The Jets getting rid of Cotchery to sign Plaxico last year was stupid.

The Steelers adding Cotchery for veteran depth last year was smart.

Plaxico choosing to sign with a team in which he is counting on Mark Sanchez to get him the ball was stupid.

Cotchery wanting to come back to the Steelers for several more years to catch passes from Ben in an underneath zone that is opened up by Wallace and Brown is smart.

Hopefully the numbers work out to make this happen. I prefer Jerricho to Plaxico and Randy (those guys don't deserve their own threads on here any more).

fezziwig
02-14-2012, 03:40 PM
The Jets getting rid of Cotchery to sign Plaxico last year was stupid.

The Steelers adding Cotchery for veteran depth last year was smart.

Plaxico choosing to sign with a team in which he is counting on Mark Sanchez to get him the ball was stupid.

Cotchery wanting to come back to the Steelers for several more years to catch passes from Ben in an underneath zone that is opened up by Wallace and Brown is smart.

Hopefully the numbers work out to make this happen. I prefer Jerricho to Plaxico and Randy (those guys don't deserve their own threads on here any more).



:Bow

Slapstick
02-14-2012, 04:03 PM
JPN and Ruthless are both (somehow) absolutely right...

On defense, the emphasis will be on playing sound defensive football...just like this year, when the Steelers ranked #1 despite a dearth of forced turnovers...that was not a mirage, but the result of good coaching and a sound defensive scheme...

On offense, the emphasis will be upon veteran leadership to guide the offense under the new OC...

On the roster, the Steelers already have a number of younger less expensive players...some of them are unproven, some of them are not board favorites, but all have been on the roster and have experience with the current coaching staff and within the current systems...

Get ready to see a lot more of guys like Steve McClendon, Al Woods, Ramon Foster and Doug Legursky...

Sugar
02-14-2012, 04:37 PM
Though my heart would rather keep Hines after all he's done here, my head says that Cotch is a better player with better ROI at this point. If we can't keep both, even with both saying that they want to remain, it's a hard call. How high a value do we place on Hines leadership as opposed to Cotch's production?

RuthlessBurgher
02-14-2012, 05:01 PM
Though my heart would rather keep Hines after all he's done here, my head says that Cotch is a better player with better ROI at this point. If we can't keep both, even with both saying that they want to remain, it's a hard call. How high a value do we place on Hines leadership as opposed to Cotch's production?

Cotch's production > Hines' leadership (and I love Hines)

Chadman
02-14-2012, 07:31 PM
While there is no doubt that the Steelers will feel the Salary Cap squeeze this season, Chadman believes we are on the precipice of Chicken Littledom here.

After Woodley, Timmons & Ike restructured, and McFadden & Battle were released- the report was the Steelers are about $9 million over the estimated cap.

Now, guys like Starks are pretty much guarenteed to be gone- the Steelers won't be able to bring him back at starters money. Gay might go too if there is a halfway decent offer out there for him.

But for the cuts- let's not get carried away. Kimo is almost a given- why? Overpriced Back-up. That saves about $2 million. Will Allen- same thing, overpriced Back-up. $1 million saved. Ward- hate to say it, but overpriced back-up. If he takes a paycut, he might stick. But if cut- $4 million saved. That's $7 million right there. Jonathon Scott- overpriced back-up- $2 million.

We haven't even touched the 2 ILB's in Farrior & Foote or Casey Hampton & Aaron Smith yet.

Here's betting the STARTERS get restructured deals- Farrior or Foote & Hampton. Smith & Ward are either outright cut or they take a massive paycut.

What we'll likely see is the culling of overpriced back-ups, and the non-signing of the out of contract guys.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
02-15-2012, 11:35 AM
While there is no doubt that the Steelers will feel the Salary Cap squeeze this season, Chadman believes we are on the precipice of Chicken Littledom here.

After Woodley, Timmons & Ike restructured, and McFadden & Battle were released- the report was the Steelers are about $9 million over the estimated cap.

Now, guys like Starks are pretty much guarenteed to be gone- the Steelers won't be able to bring him back at starters money. Gay might go too if there is a halfway decent offer out there for him.

But for the cuts- let's not get carried away. Kimo is almost a given- why? Overpriced Back-up. That saves about $2 million. Will Allen- same thing, overpriced Back-up. $1 million saved. Ward- hate to say it, but overpriced back-up. If he takes a paycut, he might stick. But if cut- $4 million saved. That's $7 million right there. Jonathon Scott- overpriced back-up- $2 million.

We haven't even touched the 2 ILB's in Farrior & Foote or Casey Hampton & Aaron Smith yet.

Here's betting the STARTERS get restructured deals- Farrior or Foote & Hampton. Smith & Ward are either outright cut or they take a massive paycut.

What we'll likely see is the culling of overpriced back-ups, and the non-signing of the out of contract guys.
Add in the tenders, 2012 dead money, and the future contracts the Steelers are 19 mil over the cap right now (12.5 mil Rule 51). Still a LONG WAY to go and it isn't gonna be pretty.

Oviedo
02-15-2012, 12:18 PM
While there is no doubt that the Steelers will feel the Salary Cap squeeze this season, Chadman believes we are on the precipice of Chicken Littledom here.

After Woodley, Timmons & Ike restructured, and McFadden & Battle were released- the report was the Steelers are about $9 million over the estimated cap.

Now, guys like Starks are pretty much guarenteed to be gone- the Steelers won't be able to bring him back at starters money. Gay might go too if there is a halfway decent offer out there for him.

But for the cuts- let's not get carried away. Kimo is almost a given- why? Overpriced Back-up. That saves about $2 million. Will Allen- same thing, overpriced Back-up. $1 million saved. Ward- hate to say it, but overpriced back-up. If he takes a paycut, he might stick. But if cut- $4 million saved. That's $7 million right there. Jonathon Scott- overpriced back-up- $2 million.

We haven't even touched the 2 ILB's in Farrior & Foote or Casey Hampton & Aaron Smith yet.

Here's betting the STARTERS get restructured deals- Farrior or Foote & Hampton. Smith & Ward are either outright cut or they take a massive paycut.

What we'll likely see is the culling of overpriced back-ups, and the non-signing of the out of contract guys.
Add in the tenders, 2012 dead money, and the future contracts the Steelers are 19 mil over the cap right now (12.5 mil Rule 51). Still a LONG WAY to go and it isn't gonna be pretty.


It won't be pretty but it is necessary. The team is long overdue for a readjsutment of their cap structure. This always carries with it some risk but also opportunity. This team could get younger real fast and give some young guys a chance to prove it on the field versus waiting until they have "mastered" a particular part of the offense or defense.

Who knows, we may have some Victor Cruz out there just not getting a chance because some coach doesn't want to get out of his comfort zone or change something.