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hawaiiansteel
03-02-2012, 02:26 AM
Kovacevic: Steelers must keep cuts coming

By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, March 2, 2012


Nice of the Steelers to finally find time on their docket to show the franchise's greatest wide receiver the door.

Maybe it really did take 52 full days since the playoff loss in Denver for the front office to determine Hines Ward no longer was in their plans. Maybe they really were agonizing all that time. But if you believe that, then good luck explaining why they never approached Ward with any offer, even for the veteran minimum.

They knew they didn't want him. And yet they made him squirm for two months, reduced to begging to return on his Facebook page, before telling him Wednesday.

That was lousy, like so much else about this bizarre offseason for the seldom-bizarre Steelers.

But it's done now. And to repeat my oft-stated stance since season's end, it was absolutely the right move. Ward's tank was close to empty, as had become plainly and painfully evident.

Same was true, for that matter, of Aaron Smith and Chris Kemoeatu. Both were told Thursday that they, too, will be released.

No problem there, either.

Releasing Smith, 35, saves $2.11 million against the cap. This was a no-brainer after his many major injuries. He should have retired on his own. But he'd always said the team would have to "drag me kicking and screaming out of here," and that's how it played out.

Kemoeatu, 29, saved $2.39 million. His knee trouble had become so crippling he couldn't block a nuisance follower on Twitter.

Keep going with the cuts, I say.

A release of James Farrior, 37, would save $2.85 million against the cap. His performance fell off a cliff in 2011, as steeply as Ward's. His agent, Ralph Cindrich, hinted Thursday that Farrior will be next: "It's not a done deal, but the percentages just aren't there."

A release of Casey Hampton, 34, would save about $4.9 million, plus a $1 million "workout bonus." (Wouldn't you love to read the specifics of that clause?) Hampton hasn't played at an elite level in a while, and he tore his ACL for the third time in the Denver game. Kevin Colbert said last week he expects Hampton to return. I don't see why he should.

Hey, if Ward's fair game, who isn't?

Omar Khan, the Steelers' capologist, has slashed $37.39 million in 2012 salary in the past several weeks alone, mostly through players restructuring their contracts. It's been amazing work, really. If this man were in charge of the federal budget deficit, our nation could buy China by week's end.

But it still isn't enough.

Colbert estimated entering the offseason that the Steelers were $25 million over the cap. If so, they're now about $12.4 million under it. That might sound great, but it isn't. Not if this team is to remain a contender rather than undergo some sort of rebuilding.

The top need and that's exactly the right term is to sign Mike Wallace to a multiyear extension. And do it before March 13, after which teams will have at least a plausible chance of raiding the Steelers by offering huge up-front money.

This will cost, and it will cost big-time. But it would be well spent.

I've heard all kinds of goofy theories about how the Steelers might be better off letting Wallace walk, using his money on other needs and happily accepting a first-round draft pick as compensation.

It's nonsense.

For one, the money is there to be had. Just do more cutting.

For another, they preach in any business to build from your strengths. The receiving corps is the Steelers' primary positional strength other than quarterback but it would instantly become a weakness without Wallace. No receiver anywhere stretches the field like he does.

Some will suggest Antonio Brown could take his place at No. 1.

Come on.

If you're going to praise Brown for outplaying Wallace in the second half of last season which Brown did then you've also got to weigh that Wallace drew most of the double-coverage.

How would Brown fare in double-coverage, especially given his many route-running miscues?

Really want to find out?

Let's also see the Steelers keep Jerricho Cotchery for receiver depth. An experienced back to support Isaac Redman would be welcome, too. So would any help on the interior offensive line or middle linebacker.

Bottom line: It's paramount that the Steelers get younger. This was an old, slow roster in 2011, and it's only going to get older and slower without more moves like we've seen the past 48 hours.

Look out, China.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1nw0MbRvQ (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_784438.html#ixzz1nw0MbRvQ)

Oviedo
03-02-2012, 08:46 AM
This is right on the mark. The cuts need to keep coming and we need to get younger. We need the flexibility to fix the OL and the defense is going to have to get players on the year before they finish three year apprenticeships.

If we don't make these cuts and get younger and faster we will see ourseleves looking up from third place in the AFC North with the Ravens having already made some age adjustments last year and the young Bumgals getting better and having two 1st Round picks this season.

I do disagree about Wallace. Great deep threat but far from a complete WR. If someone signed him and we got a #1 in return I think that we would long term end up on the better side of that.

Steelers>NFL
03-02-2012, 09:11 AM
This is right on the mark. The cuts need to keep coming and we need to get younger. We need the flexibility to fix the OL and the defense is going to have to get players on the year before they finish three year apprenticeships.

If we don't make these cuts and get younger and faster we will see ourseleves looking up from third place in the AFC North with the Ravens having already made some age adjustments last year and the young Bumgals getting better and having two 1st Round picks this season.

I do disagree about Wallace. Great deep threat but far from a complete WR. If someone signed him and we got a #1 in return I think that we would long term end up on the better side of that.

Agree. Would love to keep Wallace. But I think getting an extra 1st round pick, helps the team more in the long run. They can fill two positions in one round. Can not wait.

BradshawsHairdresser
03-02-2012, 09:52 AM
A release of Casey Hampton, 34, would save about $4.9 million, plus a $1 million "workout bonus." (Wouldn't you love to read the specifics of that clause?) Hampton hasn't played at an elite level in a while, and he tore his ACL for the third time in the Denver game. Kevin Colbert said last week he expects Hampton to return. I don't see why he should.




In terms of money paid relative to production? Hampton has got to be one of the worst values out there.

Oviedo
03-02-2012, 10:05 AM
A release of Casey Hampton, 34, would save about $4.9 million, plus a $1 million "workout bonus." (Wouldn't you love to read the specifics of that clause?) Hampton hasn't played at an elite level in a while, and he tore his ACL for the third time in the Denver game. Kevin Colbert said last week he expects Hampton to return. I don't see why he should.




In terms of money paid relative to production? Hampton has got to be one of the worst values out there.


IMO he needs to be on this cut list. Fitness in a normal off season was always a problem for him. How much working out do you think he is doing rehabing from Knee surgery.

These cuts should be a notice to everyone on this team that you are fighting for your roster spot everyday!!!!!

Chucktownsteeler
03-02-2012, 10:07 AM
A release of Casey Hampton, 34, would save about $4.9 million, plus a $1 million "workout bonus." (Wouldn't you love to read the specifics of that clause?) Hampton hasn't played at an elite level in a while, and he tore his ACL for the third time in the Denver game. Kevin Colbert said last week he expects Hampton to return. I don't see why he should.




In terms of money paid relative to production? Hampton has got to be one of the worst values out there.


IMO he needs to be on this cut list. Fitness in a normal off season was always a problem for him. How much working out do you think he is doing rehabing from Knee surgery.

These cuts should be a notice to everyone on this team that you are fighting for your roster spot everyday!!!!!


:Agree

frankthetank1
03-02-2012, 10:21 AM
i dont see any reason why farrior and hampton wouldnt be cut. it doesnt make any sense keeping them for how much they cost. even though all these cuts are older players besides kemo im sure it will take a few years to rebuild the defense.

it would be a huge loss imo to let wallace walk. if some team wants to pay close to 10 mil a year the steelers would have no choice. at least they are in a win win situation. as much as i love wallace if they were to lose him and get a first round pick they could replace both hampton and farrior in the first round. that would be huge

feltdizz
03-02-2012, 10:42 AM
A release of Casey Hampton, 34, would save about $4.9 million, plus a $1 million "workout bonus." (Wouldn't you love to read the specifics of that clause?) Hampton hasn't played at an elite level in a while, and he tore his ACL for the third time in the Denver game. Kevin Colbert said last week he expects Hampton to return. I don't see why he should.




In terms of money paid relative to production? Hampton has got to be one of the worst values out there.


IMO he needs to be on this cut list. Fitness in a normal off season was always a problem for him. How much working out do you think he is doing rehabing from Knee surgery.

These cuts should be a notice to everyone on this team that you are fighting for your roster spot everyday!!!!!

I think they know this....

Chadman
03-02-2012, 10:46 AM
:lol: :lol:

Geez, lucky it's that easy to replace guys like Farrior & Hampton huh?

Farrior will be easier because the team thought ahead & brought Foote back. So they have a ready-made replacement on the roster. And while Foote isn't the player Farrior was in his prime, he's a superior player to the Farrior we saw last season- so the ILB position should be upgraded.

Hampton is a guy that you either see the value of, or don't. He'll never be a stats guy. So if you look for a guy that makes 100 tackles a year, 5 sacks etc- he won't be your guy. But there are very few, if any, NT's in the NFL that absorb blockers like he does, and he's the anchor to the Steelers run defense. Will he be fat & out of shape due to his injury? Probably. Lucky he won't be asked to run more than 5 yards on the field...

Still shaking the head at how so many expect that Antonio Brown could easily replace Wallace if he went elsewhere. They compliment eachother- but Brown needs Wallace more than Wallace needs Brown.

RuthlessBurgher
03-02-2012, 11:23 AM
This is right on the mark. The cuts need to keep coming and we need to get younger. We need the flexibility to fix the OL and the defense is going to have to get players on the year before they finish three year apprenticeships.

If we don't make these cuts and get younger and faster we will see ourseleves looking up from third place in the AFC North with the Ravens having already made some age adjustments last year and the young Bumgals getting better and having two 1st Round picks this season.

I do disagree about Wallace. Great deep threat but far from a complete WR. If someone signed him and we got a #1 in return I think that we would long term end up on the better side of that.

Agree. Would love to keep Wallace. But I think getting an extra 1st round pick, helps the team more in the long run. They can fill two positions in one round. Can not wait.

I don't understand the "I'd rather get a late first round pick for Wallace" mentality. What are the chances that you get a player the quality of Mike Wallace with that extra 1st round pick? Although we have had success with our 1st round picks under Colbert, league-wide the bust-rate for 1st round picks is probably around 50% (and I'm sure that doesn't improve the later you pick in round 1). How many of those players are Pro Bowlers within 3 years? I'd say the chances drop to less than 10%. How many have a unique skill that they are best-in-the-league bar-none, like Wallace's big play ability because of his deep speed (if I'm not mistaken Ben-to-Wallace already has the 2nd most 40+ yard TD passes, and is only 1 shy of the record already)? Suddenly, the percentage likely drops below 1%. No thank you to the late first round pick for Wallace. The team is doing what it takes to re-sign him long term (hopefully before the RFA period even starts), and I'm glad for that.

Oviedo
03-02-2012, 11:43 AM
This is right on the mark. The cuts need to keep coming and we need to get younger. We need the flexibility to fix the OL and the defense is going to have to get players on the year before they finish three year apprenticeships.

If we don't make these cuts and get younger and faster we will see ourseleves looking up from third place in the AFC North with the Ravens having already made some age adjustments last year and the young Bumgals getting better and having two 1st Round picks this season.

I do disagree about Wallace. Great deep threat but far from a complete WR. If someone signed him and we got a #1 in return I think that we would long term end up on the better side of that.

Agree. Would love to keep Wallace. But I think getting an extra 1st round pick, helps the team more in the long run. They can fill two positions in one round. Can not wait.

I don't understand the "I'd rather get a late first round pick for Wallace" mentality. What are the chances that you get a player the quality of Mike Wallace with that extra 1st round pick? Although we have had success with our 1st round picks under Colbert, league-wide the bust-rate for 1st round picks is probably around 50% (and I'm sure that doesn't improve the later you pick in round 1). How many of those players are Pro Bowlers within 3 years? I'd say the chances drop to less than 10%. How many have a unique skill that they are best-in-the-league bar-none, like Wallace's big play ability because of his deep speed (if I'm not mistaken Ben-to-Wallace already has the 2nd most 40+ yard TD passes, and is only 1 shy of the record already)? Suddenly, the percentage likely drops below 1%. No thank you to the late first round pick for Wallace. The team is doing what it takes to re-sign him long term (hopefully before the RFA period even starts), and I'm glad for that.


I think the issue is "do you think that you can really sign Wallace to a reasonable long term contract?" We don't know. We have no idea what kind of contract demands he is making.

Some of us are just looking at this like, if he is looking to be paid like a Top 5 WR in the NFL then no thank you. He is a trermendous deep threat but he isn't a complete WR. Plus he is a great deep threat on a team where our franchise QB is no way close to being the best deep thrower in the league.

I won't argue that Brown's success was linked to Wallace. I said that all of last season, but if based on what you are hearing from his agent you aren't going to meet Wallace's demands then it is better to have someone give you a Round 1 pick this year than to let him walk next year and get nothing but a comp pick.

Plus WR seems to be one of the easiest positions to replenish at. We lost Buress with no issues. We got rid of Holmes with no issues. Same would be done for Wallace and we didn't get a Round 1 pick for either of the other WRs we recently lost.

Like the RB position I think this league as the rules are now is more about WR by committee than stars.

BradshawsHairdresser
03-02-2012, 12:05 PM
Hampton is a guy that you either see the value of, or don't. He'll never be a stats guy. So if you look for a guy that makes 100 tackles a year, 5 sacks etc- he won't be your guy. But there are very few, if any, NT's in the NFL that absorb blockers like he does, and he's the anchor to the Steelers run defense. Will he be fat & out of shape due to his injury? Probably. Lucky he won't be asked to run more than 5 yards on the field...



You're right that it's never been about the "stats" with Hampton. But he is now, at BEST, a two-down player who no longer draws a double-team most of the time. There's no denying his play has been in decline (and not coincidentally, so has the Steelers' run defense). Is he worth what he is being paid? Not even close. And after the way McClendon came on last seaon, I think Hampton is probably now a backup. That's a lot of $$$ to pay a backup.

Still, we may be stuck with him because the only other NT currently on the roster is McClendon. Too bad Hoke had to get the career-ending injury. We could have kept him on, with his modest salary, to be the backup, and said "Sayonara" to obese Casey and his obese salary.

ikestops85
03-02-2012, 12:17 PM
I don't understand the "I'd rather get a late first round pick for Wallace" mentality. What are the chances that you get a player the quality of Mike Wallace with that extra 1st round pick? Although we have had success with our 1st round picks under Colbert, league-wide the bust-rate for 1st round picks is probably around 50% (and I'm sure that doesn't improve the later you pick in round 1). How many of those players are Pro Bowlers within 3 years? I'd say the chances drop to less than 10%. How many have a unique skill that they are best-in-the-league bar-none, like Wallace's big play ability because of his deep speed (if I'm not mistaken Ben-to-Wallace already has the 2nd most 40+ yard TD passes, and is only 1 shy of the record already)? Suddenly, the percentage likely drops below 1%. No thank you to the late first round pick for Wallace. The team is doing what it takes to re-sign him long term (hopefully before the RFA period even starts), and I'm glad for that.

Ruthless ... always the voice of reason.

I agree wholeheartedly. If we lose Wallace we won't be able to snap our fingers and get a replacement. The only good thing about the situation is if we lose Wallace we will get another 1st rounder ... but I would much rather have the perverbial bird in hand instead of the two in the bush. :wink:

Slapstick
03-02-2012, 01:37 PM
This is right on the mark. The cuts need to keep coming and we need to get younger. We need the flexibility to fix the OL and the defense is going to have to get players on the year before they finish three year apprenticeships.

If we don't make these cuts and get younger and faster we will see ourseleves looking up from third place in the AFC North with the Ravens having already made some age adjustments last year and the young Bumgals getting better and having two 1st Round picks this season.

I do disagree about Wallace. Great deep threat but far from a complete WR. If someone signed him and we got a #1 in return I think that we would long term end up on the better side of that.

Agree. Would love to keep Wallace. But I think getting an extra 1st round pick, helps the team more in the long run. They can fill two positions in one round. Can not wait.

I don't understand the "I'd rather get a late first round pick for Wallace" mentality. What are the chances that you get a player the quality of Mike Wallace with that extra 1st round pick? Although we have had success with our 1st round picks under Colbert, league-wide the bust-rate for 1st round picks is probably around 50% (and I'm sure that doesn't improve the later you pick in round 1). How many of those players are Pro Bowlers within 3 years? I'd say the chances drop to less than 10%. How many have a unique skill that they are best-in-the-league bar-none, like Wallace's big play ability because of his deep speed (if I'm not mistaken Ben-to-Wallace already has the 2nd most 40+ yard TD passes, and is only 1 shy of the record already)? Suddenly, the percentage likely drops below 1%. No thank you to the late first round pick for Wallace. The team is doing what it takes to re-sign him long term (hopefully before the RFA period even starts), and I'm glad for that.

To be fair:

What are the chances that a 3rd round pick turns out to be Mike Wallace?

Or a 6th round pick turns out to be Antonio Brown?

RuthlessBurgher
03-02-2012, 04:28 PM
To be fair:

What are the chances that a 3rd round pick turns out to be Mike Wallace?

Or a 6th round pick turns out to be Antonio Brown?

Pretty damn remote. But when you luck out with guys like this, you do whatever it takes to keep 'em.

Mo_Steel
03-02-2012, 10:25 PM
:lol: :lol:

Geez, lucky it's that easy to replace guys like Farrior & Hampton huh?

Farrior will be easier because the team thought ahead & brought Foote back. So they have a ready-made replacement on the roster. And while Foote isn't the player Farrior was in his prime, he's a superior player to the Farrior we saw last season- so the ILB position should be upgraded.

Hampton is a guy that you either see the value of, or don't. He'll never be a stats guy. So if you look for a guy that makes 100 tackles a year, 5 sacks etc- he won't be your guy. But there are very few, if any, NT's in the NFL that absorb blockers like he does, and he's the anchor to the Steelers run defense. Will he be fat & out of shape due to his injury? Probably. Lucky he won't be asked to run more than 5 yards on the field...

Still shaking the head at how so many expect that Antonio Brown could easily replace Wallace if he went elsewhere. They compliment eachother- but Brown needs Wallace more than Wallace needs Brown.


All great points :Agree

ter1230_4
03-02-2012, 10:29 PM
I don't understand the "I'd rather get a late first round pick for Wallace" mentality. What are the chances that you get a player the quality of Mike Wallace with that extra 1st round pick? Although we have had success with our 1st round picks under Colbert, league-wide the bust-rate for 1st round picks is probably around 50% (and I'm sure that doesn't improve the later you pick in round 1). How many of those players are Pro Bowlers within 3 years? I'd say the chances drop to less than 10%. How many have a unique skill that they are best-in-the-league bar-none, like Wallace's big play ability because of his deep speed (if I'm not mistaken Ben-to-Wallace already has the 2nd most 40+ yard TD passes, and is only 1 shy of the record already)? Suddenly, the percentage likely drops below 1%. No thank you to the late first round pick for Wallace. The team is doing what it takes to re-sign him long term (hopefully before the RFA period even starts), and I'm glad for that.

Ruthless ... always the voice of reason.

I agree wholeheartedly. If we lose Wallace we won't be able to snap our fingers and get a replacement. The only good thing about the situation is if we lose Wallace we will get another 1st rounder ... but I would much rather have the perverbial bird in hand instead of the two in the bush. :wink:

I totally agree, the Steelers would be foolish to even take a chance on losing Mike Wallace. I don't know if he's a top 5 receiver, but he's surely a top 10 receiver in a 32 team NFL. By managing to draft receiving talent like Wallace in the 3rd round and Brown in the 6th round over a two year span, the Steelers hit the lottery. It's usually a lot tougher to find that kind of receiving talent,. Just ask Bill Belechick, he's been trying for years now and he can't find a receiver who can stretch the field despite having spent multiple high draft picks. That's why the Patriots are guaranteed to come after Wallace if they get the chance. They'd be happy to give us pick #31 for a 25 year old Pro Bowl receiver. Just think how you'd feel two years from now if the Patriots pick up Wallace and the Steelers have wasted a high pick on a Limas Sweed type bust. Draft the talent, keep the talent, that's the Steelers way.

Slapstick
03-03-2012, 12:13 AM
I don't understand the "I'd rather get a late first round pick for Wallace" mentality. What are the chances that you get a player the quality of Mike Wallace with that extra 1st round pick? Although we have had success with our 1st round picks under Colbert, league-wide the bust-rate for 1st round picks is probably around 50% (and I'm sure that doesn't improve the later you pick in round 1). How many of those players are Pro Bowlers within 3 years? I'd say the chances drop to less than 10%. How many have a unique skill that they are best-in-the-league bar-none, like Wallace's big play ability because of his deep speed (if I'm not mistaken Ben-to-Wallace already has the 2nd most 40+ yard TD passes, and is only 1 shy of the record already)? Suddenly, the percentage likely drops below 1%. No thank you to the late first round pick for Wallace. The team is doing what it takes to re-sign him long term (hopefully before the RFA period even starts), and I'm glad for that.

Ruthless ... always the voice of reason.

I agree wholeheartedly. If we lose Wallace we won't be able to snap our fingers and get a replacement. The only good thing about the situation is if we lose Wallace we will get another 1st rounder ... but I would much rather have the perverbial bird in hand instead of the two in the bush. :wink:

I totally agree, the Steelers would be foolish to even take a chance on losing Mike Wallace. I don't know if he's a top 5 receiver, but he's surely a top 10 receiver in a 32 team NFL. By managing to draft receiving talent like Wallace in the 3rd round and Brown in the 6th round over a two year span, the Steelers hit the lottery. It's usually a lot tougher to find that kind of receiving talent,. Just ask Bill Belechick, he's been trying for years now and he can't find a receiver who can stretch the field despite having spent multiple high draft picks. That's why the Patriots are guaranteed to come after Wallace if they get the chance. They'd be happy to give us pick #31 for a 25 year old Pro Bowl receiver. Just think how you'd feel two years from now if the Patriots pick up Wallace and the Steelers have wasted a high pick on a Limas Sweed type bust. Draft the talent, keep the talent, that's the Steelers way.

The Patriots are far from guaranteed to pursue Wallace. Perhaps once they deal with the Wes Welker situation, but will they drop that much money on two big WR contracts in the same year? And give up a 1st round pick?

hawaiiansteel
03-03-2012, 01:43 AM
THURSDAY, MARCH 01, 2012

Two more vets told to hit the road, more coming?


The Steelers have informed defensive end Aaron Smith and guard Chris Kemoeatu that they are not in the team's plans for 2012 and will be released.

The news comes a day after the team informed wide receiver Hines Ward that he will also be released.

The total cap savings from those cuts - when they occur will be $9.7 million.

And the Steelers might not be done. Avella native Ralph Cindrich, the agent for linebacker James Farrior, tweeted on Thursday that he expects his client could also be on the chopping block.

Certainly, either Farrior or fellow veteran inside linebacker Larry Foote, will not be with the team in 2012.

It is difficult to see Smith, like Ward, go.

A consummate professional, Smith was long one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league - until everyone began talking about him being one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league. By the time that happened, injuries began to knock him out of the lineup for extended periods of time.

Yet Smith was still one of the most respected men in a locker room full of strong leaders.

If the Steelers do indeed cut Farrior to go along with the cuts of Ward and Smith, they will have lost a great deal of leadership in their locker room.

Who steps into some of those roles remains to be seen.

Brett Keisel is a natural option along the defensive front, while Troy Polamalu, though not necessarily vocal, is a player who leads by example.

Offensively, there is little doubt that Ben Roethlisberger is now the man, though Maurkice Pouncey has also earned a lot of respect from his peers.

posted by Dale Lolley

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

NJ-STEELER
03-03-2012, 04:34 AM
To be fair:

What are the chances that a 3rd round pick turns out to be Mike Wallace?

Or a 6th round pick turns out to be Antonio Brown?

Pretty damn remote. But when you luck out with guys like this, you do whatever it takes to keep 'em.

thats what i dont get. we strike gold with some later round guys and then want to peddle them off like its easy to find such gems

we've had 2 years plus nof paying wally peanuts for his production. i dont mind if we overpay for him (if that happens) in the next few years..it kind of averages out