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hawaiiansteel
01-09-2013, 01:42 AM
Contract situations

by Dale Lolley
MONDAY, JANUARY 07, 2013

With the Steelers roughly 13 or so million dollars over next year's salary cap of $120 or so million, they will have some juggling to do to get under the cap and still be able to resign potential free agents, offer tenders to their restricted and exclusive rights free agents and sign their rookie class.

Here are the top 10 salaries headed into next year:

Cap Number

Ben Roethlisberger $19.6
LaMarr Woodley $13.2
Lawrence Timmons $11.16
Troy Polamalu $10.1
James Harrison $10.03
Ike Taylor $9.45
Heath Miller $7.95
Willie Colon $7.65
Antonio Brown $6.2
Ryan Clark $4.75

As you can see, the top of the pay scale tips heavily toward the defense - particularly in favor of the linebackers. That group of 10 players also accounts for roughly $100 million of the team's salary cap for 2013, leaving just $20 million to fill out the rest of the roster.

Now, there is some wiggle room there, such as turning base salary into signing bonus - something the Steelers have done quite a bit of in the past. The only problem with that is you have to be sure the player is going to be part of your plans in future seasons because it increases their cap hit down the road.

For example, a simple restructure for Roethlisberger would make sense, since you could turn his base salary into bonus money and save $7.1 million.

For a player such as Harrison, however, the savings would only be $2.8 million. And with Harrison at 35, that's probably not the way to go.

Just doing a simple restructure on all of their top 10 contracts - at least the ones they would be able to do so with - and the Steelers could create nearly $36 million in cap space.

But, that includes restructuring Harrison, Polamalu and Taylor - Clark can't be done since he is only signed through next season.

Take those three out of the equation, and you're looking at $27.2 million in savings, plenty enough wiggle room to do everything they need in the offseason without releasing any veterans.

http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot....ituations.html (http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/2013/01/contract-situations.html)

Chadman
01-09-2013, 01:49 AM
And condemning the Steelers to Cap Hell in the future...

SS Laser
01-09-2013, 02:05 AM
And condemning the Steelers to Cap Hell in the future...

I don't thinks so Chadman. It is what they have to do. When the cap goes up and higher paid players leave it will even back out some. But there will be others that need paid? Unless they go to crap after ben and don't have any high paid players we will be in the upper end of the cap with good players.

BigRob
01-09-2013, 02:59 AM
Two options IMO:

1. Steelers do this and try to keep the core of the defense together one more season. Then through the draft the Steelers go offensive with most of their picks. See if you can make one more Super Bowl run with a better offense.

2. Your rip off the band-aid and start getting young fast. You rebuild as quick as you can and try to get another Super Bowl why Ben is in his prime.

Oviedo
01-09-2013, 08:49 AM
Two options IMO:

1. Steelers do this and try to keep the core of the defense together one more season. Then through the draft the Steelers go offensive with most of their picks. See if you can make one more Super Bowl run with a better offense.

2. Your rip off the band-aid and start getting young fast. You rebuild as quick as you can and try to get another Super Bowl why Ben is in his prime.

BR-- I go for #2, I think this is the year we have to rip off the band aid and make major changes to set us up for the future. One more year with these players isn't getting it done. really think Troy or Harrison stay healthy for an entire season?

Slapstick
01-09-2013, 09:44 AM
BR-- I go for #2, I think this is the year we have to rip off the band aid and make major changes to set us up for the future. One more year with these players isn't getting it done. really think Troy or Harrison stay healthy for an entire season?

I can't agree...

Rather than set up for the future, I think that the Steelers should take advantage of their franchise QB now...when Ben retires, or is no longer effective, will be the time to dismantle the team...

supersteeler
01-09-2013, 10:15 AM
Two options IMO:

1. Steelers do this and try to keep the core of the defense together one more season. Then through the draft the Steelers go offensive with most of their picks. See if you can make one more Super Bowl run with a better offense.

2. Your rip off the band-aid and start getting young fast. You rebuild as quick as you can and try to get another Super Bowl why Ben is in his prime.

Out of those two options I would choose#1.
We lost 5 games by three points, win two and were in the playoffs. The offense is why we are sitting at home, and with a few additions it could make a difference winning those close games.
Injuries hurt us on our O-line, with that, the younger guys like Adams, Beachum, and a few games from DeCastro got playing time. That should help us next season and if we possibly could keep 5 starting guys healthy we should see improvement.
Besides the above we need a RB, is there a slight chance we keep Mendy or do we get one through the draft. I don't think WR is as critical even if Wallace bolts, we need that playmaker back first.

To keep Harrison he may have to restructure his contract, Foote accepts a decrease in his salary and we sign Keenan Lewis. Keeping those three would maintain the core for one more year, and see if the additions on offense will give us one more crack at a championship. If this fails, then in 2014 we could make more decisions to get younger and release older vets.

It could go either way depending on the front office, coaching staff in what they feel is the right direction to go.

For me, If we lose any of our D-players since they are the oldest its going to take some time to get back to a championship team. You lose Harrison,Foote, or Hampton we have to replace them with new guys, then next season Clark is even older and Troy as well and we'll need replacements for them too, don't forget Keisel he has only about another year left in the tank.

If they go with #2, we have to hope they find replacements for our older guys that will make an impact down the road while Ben is still there. Problem is how do you replace Players like Harrison? We seen that pic this year when he was out no one even close to what he does when healthy.

Overall:
If we was a 5-11 team this season, I would say lets do option two and replace the older vets now, but since we're not that far off maybe we try one more time to make a run.
We have so many issues to contend with its tough to maintain a playoff team, is the 8-8 record the beginning of the end for our Steelers, or is it the beginning of another run? I honestly don't know, too much uncertainty as we move forward.

Steelhere10
01-09-2013, 10:17 AM
Ditch Woodley, Harrison and Colon then restructure Timmons and problem solved.

Oviedo
01-09-2013, 10:21 AM
I can't agree...

Rather than set up for the future, I think that the Steelers should take advantage of their franchise QB now...when Ben retires, or is no longer effective, will be the time to dismantle the team...


We've got Ben for 5-6 more years baring injury (see making the OL Better). This team has too many holes and too many unreliable players to win in the next year or two. We have aging veterans whose time on the field and performance are slipping noticeably. Plus they are so expensive we are hamstrung to make moves that could help in the future like resigning Wallace.

The key to success is to know when to cut your losses and move on in a new direction. We have had a great ride but the horses are almost at the glue factory door.

Oviedo
01-09-2013, 10:22 AM
Ditch Woodley, Harrison and Colon then restructure Timmons and problem solved.

And the plan for finding two starting OLBs that will actually be able to play for LeBeau is exactly what?

Steelhere10
01-09-2013, 10:25 AM
And the plan for finding two starting OLBs that will actually be able to play for LeBeau is exactly what?It's a given Harrison is gone and Woodley have underperformed for two straight seasons since payday, so I really don't see a loss. I believe the team think highly of the rookie Robison who actually led the preseason in sacks and pressure.

Oviedo
01-09-2013, 10:26 AM
If they go with #2, we have to hope they find replacements for our older guys that will make an impact down the road while Ben is still there. Problem is how do you replace Players like Harrison? We seen that pic this year when he was out no one even close to what he does when healthy.



We got lucky with Harrison. Cowher did everything he could to make sure he was not a Steeler. Can't expect that to happen again which is why you need to make changes on defense that give you a higher probability of finding successful replacements for the player we have now. That could be simplifying what we do or it could be a new scheme. Let the guys who get the big bucks decide but the reality is we have some players running below a quarter tank on the fuel guage. If we go until we are compeltely out of gas we have a bigger problem.

Sugar
01-09-2013, 10:57 AM
IMO, this Steelers teams biggest problem this year was health. Sure, there are other issues but it's not like this team was getting blown out or anything. To me, they should maintain what they can on D and do what they can to make the O just a little better. Let these guys heal up and bring in a new Special Teams coach. That's it.

Slapstick
01-09-2013, 11:44 AM
The key to success is to know when to cut your losses and move on in a new direction. We have had a great ride but the horses are almost at the glue factory door.

The key to success is knowing what is actually a loss and what is still useful...

We just have a difference of opinion on that matter...

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-09-2013, 11:45 AM
Nowhere in the article does Lolly mention the cap expansion in 2014 when the new TV deal kicks in. Any decision is made with this in mind.

Dee Dub
01-09-2013, 12:58 PM
Ok I am confused. It has been reported here on Planetsteelers that the Steelers would be close to $30 million over the cap. But Lolley is saying only $13 million. Is this correct? If so this is great news. They aren't in bad shape at all.

Slapstick
01-09-2013, 01:00 PM
Ok I am confused. It has been reported here on Planetsteelers that the Steelers would be close to $30 million over the cap. But Lolley is saying only $13 million. Is this correct? If so this is great news. They aren't in bad shape at all.

I think the $13 million takes only players under contract into consideration...

I don't think it includes any tender offers, tags or the rookie pool under the salary cap...

snarky
01-09-2013, 01:18 PM
IMHO, this team was close to being a super bowl contender but not quite there. I don't think it does us any good to reload for one more year with some of these older guys as opposed to using 2013 as a chance to retool and get in good shape in terms of the cap. As mentioned this is not the last year we have Ben and I would rather see the Steelers set themselves up for five or six more good chances with Ben at the helm rather than try to win one more with a group of guys that seem to be spending an increasing amount of time on the bench.

What's more, I don't think Troy is the disruptive force he used to be -- even when healthy. I think teams have improved the way they plan for him.

So I would definitely be in the rip the band-aid off camp (I actually wanted them to do it last off season).

Out: Troy, Ike, Harrison, Kiesel
Keep: Anybody who protects Ben, Plax if cheap
Borderline: Foote, Mendy, Wallace (if he is even interested in staying)

Move Woodley to the right and play Worilds on the left. If Woodley doesn't perform up to his pay level next year, then ship him as well. Given what we are spending on D, it shouldn't take three years to fold players into the starting 11. I like DL, but if I was the FO, it would seem hard to justify spending that much on D and at the same time requiring 2-3 years to get a guy up to speed.

Also, we need a punter who can pin teams deep. I'd gladly give up a few yards per punt if it meant getting a guy who could consistently kill a ball inside the ten.

I know there is a line of thinking that the FO should essentially mortgage the future to try to win with Ben now. But given that there will still be time to do that over the next six years or so, I don't see the point.

Dee Dub
01-09-2013, 01:21 PM
I think the $13 million takes only players under contract into consideration...

I don't think it includes any tender offers, tags or the rookie pool under the salary cap...

Well that's still great. $13 million is a whole lot better than $30 million. And a couple of restructures and that becomes very doable.

pittpete
01-09-2013, 03:47 PM
Ditch Woodley, Harrison and Colon then restructure Timmons and problem solved.


You need to read this (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/1/9/3853220/steelers-2013-salary-cap-details-news-options-roster-Woodley-Harrison), it's just not that easy

Slapstick
01-09-2013, 04:00 PM
You need to read this (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/1/9/3853220/steelers-2013-salary-cap-details-news-options-roster-Woodley-Harrison), it's just not that easy

I think the plan is to cut Harrison (which galls me to no end) while restructuring Woodley, Timmons and Ben...

While that sucks, I think that it alleviates the salary cap burden this year and allows for retaining some young players like Keenan Lewis, Jason Worilds and Emmanuel Sanders...

Crash
01-09-2013, 04:04 PM
Harrison has already said he would agree to a salary cut to stay. I think he'll get that chance.

Oviedo
01-09-2013, 04:16 PM
I think the $13 million takes only players under contract into consideration...

I don't think it includes any tender offers, tags or the rookie pool under the salary cap...

Correct. The larger number factors in tenders to RFAs and the rookie cap so what you read can vary. I think it also factors in roster bonuses and the like.

Steelhere10
01-09-2013, 04:18 PM
You need to read this (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/1/9/3853220/steelers-2013-salary-cap-details-news-options-roster-Woodley-Harrison), it's just not that easy
Good read.

Slapstick
01-09-2013, 04:25 PM
If Harrison would accept a pay cut (like Casey did this year), the Steelers could make it work...

I think that cutting Harrison outright before the season saves the Steelers about $5 million...if the Steelers needed that money to get under the cap, James would have to take a $5 million salary cut, leaving him with a salary of roughly $1.5 million...would he stay for that little? Do the Steelers need all of that $5 million savings?

Can he play next season like he played in the last seven games this season? If he can, the Steelers MUST make it work...

phillyesq
01-09-2013, 05:45 PM
If Harrison would accept a pay cut (like Casey did this year), the Steelers could make it work...

I think that cutting Harrison outright before the season saves the Steelers about $5 million...if the Steelers needed that money to get under the cap, James would have to take a $5 million salary cut, leaving him with a salary of roughly $1.5 million...would he stay for that little? Do the Steelers need all of that $5 million savings?

Can he play next season like he played in the last seven games this season? If he can, the Steelers MUST make it work...

Also, keep in mind, if the Steelers replace Harrison, they're going to need to pay a replacement. The bonus portion of the cap charge is there and is not going to change. I think they can, and should, find a cut that makes sense for both parties.

Crash
01-09-2013, 05:56 PM
If Harrison goes I move Woodley to Harrison's side and Worilds to Woodley's side.

phillyesq
01-09-2013, 06:06 PM
If Harrison goes I move Woodley to Harrison's side and Worilds to Woodley's side.

I agree but doubt it happens.

Chadman
01-09-2013, 06:13 PM
Just looking at the numbers..

Ben, Timmons, Woodley & Colon are potential 'restructures' as they have numerous years left on their contracts. Of course, every restructure will just increase their cap hit for the following years..

Harrison, Polamalu, Ike, Clark & Miller would be bad restructures due to age & contract length remaining. They are potential cut options though (although cutting Miller might border on insanity). Cutting Cotchery would save roughly a million, same with Suisham.

Would suggest that a restructure for Ben & Colon might be most likely, with Harrison getting a 'pay cut' as it is. Wouldn't surprise to see Cotchery released. Not sure where this would place the team, as far as the Salary Cap goes, but it 'should' get them close to under $121m- which would be the aim for the start of FA. Then, if they feel they need to sign a FA, we see other restructures (Timmons/Woodley) or cuts (Ike... particularly if they decide to keep Lewis & extend Allen).

Reckon we're about to see a whole bunch of young players on this team.

hawaiiansteel
01-09-2013, 07:31 PM
I think the plan is to cut Harrison

I strongly believe that the Steelers will restructure Harrison's contract and Deebo will return for another season at a much lower salary.

Chadman
01-09-2013, 07:34 PM
I strongly believe that the Steelers will restructure Harrison's contract and Deebo will return for another season at a much lower salary.

Agreed- cutting Harrison all together would bring the angry hoardes to the door, not to mention weaken the team.

Steelhere10
01-09-2013, 07:59 PM
A big name player have to go period... And i think Harrison wont play for a couple of mills, he may take the Ward route praying that someone will pay him then end up back/retiring.

BigRob
01-10-2013, 01:56 PM
Ok I am confused. It has been reported here on Planetsteelers that the Steelers would be close to $30 million over the cap. But Lolley is saying only $13 million. Is this correct? If so this is great news. They aren't in bad shape at all.

The "$13 million dollars" Does not include the Restricted Free-Agent tenders. If you include these and the likely-to-be earned incentives, we are probably closer to 20 to 21 million dollars over the cap.

Also count the fact we need to lock-up Lewis and maybe Allen long-term this off-season and you have a limited cap situation even after cuts and restructures.

BigRob
01-10-2013, 02:06 PM
Harrison has already said he would agree to a salary cut to stay. I think he'll get that chance.

He meant he would restructure. I think they will cut him and try to sign him to a very small deal.

phillyesq
01-10-2013, 02:25 PM
He meant he would restructure. I think they will cut him and try to sign him to a very small deal.

I'd like to see the statements because I thought I heard pay cut as well.

Last year, Harrison's agent was pushing for a restructure, in part because he knew that it would make it more difficult for the Steelers to cut Harrison this year if he restructured last year. The Steelers didn't bite.

BigRob
01-10-2013, 03:08 PM
I'd like to see the statements because I thought I heard pay cut as well.

Last year, Harrison's agent was pushing for a restructure, in part because he knew that it would make it more difficult for the Steelers to cut Harrison this year if he restructured last year. The Steelers didn't bite.

How much pride does James Harrison have? He must ask himself if he can start over on another team/scheme at his age and succeed. Or does he take a real pay cut and play one more year for the Steelers and cement his legacy?

If I'm the Steelers I am cutting him to realize the largest possible gain towards the cap and then trying to re-sign him to a team friendly deal.

I also heard today that teams actually can designate two cut players as post June 1 cuts.

Slapstick
01-10-2013, 03:55 PM
IIRC, James Harrison restructured his contract in both 2011 and 2012...while it helped the Steelers get under the cap, it also paid James a crapload of money up front...

Last year, and perhaps James agrees with me, he was paid for work that he didn't do...

Crash
01-10-2013, 04:00 PM
Same with Troy.

I guess he can go too.

Oviedo
01-10-2013, 04:17 PM
I strongly believe that the Steelers will restructure Harrison's contract and Deebo will return for another season at a much lower salary.


I think the Steelers definition of a "lower salary" will be much different than Harrison's. Wouldn't surprise me at all if Harriosn was not back.

hawaiiansteel
01-10-2013, 04:46 PM
I think the Steelers definition of a "lower salary" will be much different than Harrison's. Wouldn't surprise me at all if Harriosn was not back.

it honestly wouldn't surprise me either way. I just think Harrison can still play and the Steelers don't have anyone as good to play ROLB next season and that Deebo doesn't want his Steeler career to end this way.

papillon
01-10-2013, 04:50 PM
it honestly wouldn't surprise me either way. I just think Harrison can still play and the Steelers don't have anyone as good to play ROLB next season and that Deebo doesn't want his Steeler career to end this way.

Not only do the Steelers not have anyone to play ROLB they don't have anyone even remotely close to James Harrison's level. He's healthy going into the off season, the time off will help and he'll be ready to be the James we all know and love in 2013. He'll record double digit sacks next year and might get 12-14. He was playing really well at the end of the season.

Pappy