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hawaiiansteel
04-15-2013, 02:50 PM
Ed: Steelers Blew it on Both Sanders, Harrison

MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2013 08:39 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

Good morning,

Well, the Steelers blew it. No, not necessarily by matching the $2.5 million contract Emmanuel Sanders signed as a restricted free agent wit the New England Patriots – although my opinion against matching was written here last week – but by not tendering him a larger one-year contract in the first place.

Had the Steelers tendered Sanders a $2 million offer as an RFA, a team would have had to give up a second-round draft pick to get him, and that was much less likely to happen. By tendering him a $1.3 million deal, the Steelers not only let everyone know that’s what they thought Sanders was worth, but also that they would be willing to take a third-round pick for him.

In the end, they got neither.

Now that they’ve matched, let’s look where they stand:

--- Their wide receiving group is not decimated and they actually could go into the 2013 season with what they have – Sanders, Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico Burress. They also have a few youngsters, headed by David Gilreath.

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley does not use many four-wide formations, so that could be enough. Nevertheless, they still no doubt will draft someone.

--- They have to draft someone because Burress is old and he, Cotchery and Sanders all will have their contracts expire at the end of the 2013 season.

--- The Steelers are left with roughly $800,000 in salary cap room. That’s not enough to sign someone like Ahmad Bradshaw. If they want to do that, they’ll have to create more room by pushing yet more cap accounting into the future, such as reworking the deal of Troy Polamalu, who turns 32 on Friday.

--- Now, the Steelers can try to protect their investment in Emmanuel Sanders, which cost them the 91st pick in this draft, by keeping him longer than the one season in which he is now under contract. They can negotiate now, and sign the deal after June, when they get the $5.5 million cap space from Willie Colon’s contract. They signed Antonio Brown last August to a six-year, $43 million contact with an $8.5 million signing bonus after Mike Wallace turned them down. Must they offer Sanders that much in order for him not to enter free agency in 2014? Probably. Brown was two years from becoming a UFA when he signed, Sanders is only one year away. Plus, he saw how it worked out for Wallace and he could be just as willing to roll the dice.

--- Sanders comes out of this the big winner. There was little gamble for him by signing with the Patriots. He nearly doubled his salary for 2013 and would either catch passes from Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady.

--- In the end, the Steelers matched Sanders contract because had they not it would have again appeared they were giving up on the 2013 season, an opinion that already is popular among their fans. This at least temporarily stops the talent drain that has been going on since the beginning of March.

Onto some stuff:

--- By many reports, it appears James Harrison will sign a contract this week with the Cincinnati Bengals. That’s a lose/lose for both the Steelers and Harrison. The linebacker turned down the demand by the Steelers that he take a paycut from his $6.57 million salary. Their highest offer, according to one source, was $3.7 million for 2013 in a straight salary. He might get half that from the Bengals.

--- The Bengals want to put Harrison on the strong or left side of their 4-3 defense. The outside linebackers in a 4-3, drop into coverage more than they rush the passer, which is the primary job of the ends in that defensive set. Harrison can cover and he can stop the run, but his forte is rushing the passer and he did it in a 3-4 defense from the right side – the predominantly weak side. That sounds like putting a fish out of water.

--- The Steelers had two other restricted free agents whom I thought were vulnerable to being signed – projected starting nose tackle Steve McLendon and halfback Isaac Redman. Neither would have required compensation with the Steelers only maintaining their right to match any signed offer sheet. How much is a starting nose tackle worth?

--- Onto your questions:

--- YOU: I'm worried that Sanders has a bit of a breakout year (a la Keenan Lewis) and the Steelers wind up losing him anyway. Do you think the Steelers try to sign him to - say - a 4-year deal to guard against this? Also, how much longer until we find out about Bradshaw's foot?
ME: I’m sure they will try to sign him before the 2013 season to a longer term. Ahmad Bradshaw reportedly will visit the Steelers a second time before the draft.

--- YOU: How much if any impact do you think B.R. had in the Steelers’ decision to keep Sanders.
ME: I’m sure they took Ben Roethlisberger’s opinion into account, but his coaches may have had the most influence on keeping him. Ben was probably preaching to the choir if he made his pitch to Mike Tomlin. It was the front office they needed to convince to match.

--- YOU: Ed, now that they have signed Sanders to the offer sheet, does this indicate he may have a long term deal coming before the season and if so, does that help or hurt them on the salary cap? Last question....does this pretty much squash a WR in the first round?
ME: I wrote the pros and cons to getting a long-term deal done above, but no it does not squash the idea they could still draft a receiver in the first round.

--- YOU: What do the Steelers management see that most of us die hard fans don't? Even if he turns out to be worth the money THIS year, how could he ever be worth the money he will command next year whether he is with the Steelers or not? Is this not mortgaging the future for the futile present? This one is hard to swallow, I have not been this disappointed since the decision to hire Tomlin over Grimm.
ME: Many questions, no firm answers.

--- YOU: Okay, let's turn this around on you--YOU are Kevin Colbert. Would you take a mid-round chance on Marcus Lattimore? Kid has incredible character and drive. He'd be a risk, and a long-term investment...but what a potential upside. If so, what round?
ME: It depends on what I draft in the first couple of rounds. I would take him in the fourth.

--- YOU: i was imagining sitting tight with their pick in the first round and then maybe trying to trade back into the end of the first round and maybe grab lacey. it would seem that the cost of trying to trade up is far far less than in years past. i think they need all the playmakers they can get on offense. if they could come away with eifert, patterson, and/or lacey on the first day, i think us steeler fans would hold off on the talk of the armageddon.
ME: It will be hard for teams to trade back in the first round this year, not that it cannot be done. There’s really no reason for them to trade higher in the round.

--- One YOU are Kevin Colbert today:

--- Round 1 – Given the drop off after the first 5-10 picks, I would pick ‘for need’ as anybody is technically a reach given the parity between picks 10-40 or so. We need a player to start so I would go with offense and pick a RB or WR (especially with Sanders’ imminent departure) or perhaps a TE given the evolution at that position

Round 2 – If no WR in first round, find the best WR with speed. If not, find a LB, S, or RB.

Round 3 – Best available players with our 2 picks to fill the RB, LB, S, NT voids”

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/120745-ed-steelers-blew-it-on-both-sanders-harrison

flippy
04-15-2013, 03:06 PM
Why didn't the Steelers tender Manny at $2M?

papillon
04-15-2013, 03:47 PM
Why didn't the Steelers tender Manny at $2M?

Just more of the chaos that is the off season of 2012 for the Steelers. I'm beginning to wonder who exactly is guiding the ship.

Pappy

squidkid
04-15-2013, 03:55 PM
although i think matching the offer was big mistake, using 20/20 hindsight is a chickensh!t move by douchette. this situation rarely occurs. if the steelers would have tendered him for the first round, 2 million, douchette would have cried that they are paying him more than need be because nobody ever signs anyonelses RFAs

harrsion blew it, not the steelers

hawaiiansteel
04-15-2013, 04:20 PM
Monday Wakeup Call: Why Steelers right on Sanders

April 14th, 2013
By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Let’s not kid anyone: This decision was going to be based off what Ben Roethlisberger needed and wanted, and he’s entitled to have that say as a two-time Super Bowl winning QB. If that offends anyone longing for the old days when even the most elite athletes had no say, so be it. Ben’s going to be 31 and would have had every right to be ticked had he lost Mike Wallace and Sanders and not had a meaningful free agent signed.

Analyzing this further is probably a waste of time, but since everyone will: The Steelers could have let the Patriots keep Sanders, saved $2.5 million, spared themselves the indignity of watching Sanders walk next spring as a free agent and, of course, gotten a third-round comp pick. And some of that inherently sounds pretty tempting.

But at what cost?

The 2013 Steelers needed another receiver, or they’d go into the season with Antonio Brown, Plaxico Burress and Jerricho Cotchery, and maybe cope for a spell without Heath Miller. Sorry, but that’s tantamount to forfeit, no matter if you brought in a rookie Earl Campbell to be your back.

That matters. It matters that a star QB in his prime isn’t tossing away an entire season.

Moreover, there’s nothing stopping the Steelers from drafting a wide receiver should they wish. People were talking as if the New England comp pick were the only way they’d ever pull that off. They could still have one in the first round should they so choose. (I’d hope not.)

The NFL exists on a year-to-year basis. The greatest turnarounds happen in football, the shortest period before free agency is in football, and what’s here today can be gone tomorrow with the next snap.

I won’t suggest Sanders doesn’t have flaws. He does, not least of which is the generally infantile behavior of the so-called Young Money crew. He’s not consistent enough, not durable enough. But he’s an established NFL wide receiver, he’s only 26, he can make plays and, way above all, this team needs that right now.

http://blog.triblive.com/dejan-kovacevic/2013/04/14/monday-wakeup-call-why-steelers-right-on-sanders/

Shawn
04-15-2013, 05:39 PM
I'll tell you exactly why they didn't tender Sanders at 2 million. They were wanting to get a third for him, and figured no one would give a second. But, it appears something changed, and management reconsidered their position on Sanders...public opinion, coaches input, Bens input, change of heart who knows.

thor75
04-15-2013, 05:47 PM
They probably thought they could get away with giving Sanders lesser money. Maybe they were banking on his injury history or the reluctance of teams to give up premium picks. They just got caught by another FO that wasn't napping.

SteelerOfDeVille
04-15-2013, 05:47 PM
Why didn't the Steelers tender Manny at $2M?
was a gamble that no one would want to pay more than $1.2 million AND give up a 3rd rounder... we all know the result, but, i don't blame 'em. I wouldn't hve thought anyone would give up a 3rd AND pay him, either...

Eddie Spaghetti
04-15-2013, 05:54 PM
agree with ed.

not a good offseason for the FO, IMO.

Vader
04-15-2013, 08:16 PM
The FO comes off as a bunch of numbnuts that don't know what they are doing. They tried to save a few bucks and got caught. IF Sanders was in their long term plans then they should have put a 2nd round tender on him. Now they have lost money against the cap and have rented Sanders for 1 years. A guy that hasn't done anything in the NFL yet. The fact is that if they wanted Sanders they could have signed him long term last year. Now they lose cap space because they were playing games and they look like they don't have a plan.

phillyesq
04-15-2013, 08:24 PM
agree with ed.

not a good offseason for the FO, IMO.

Yeah, I agree with Bouchette as well.

If the Steelers wanted to keep Sanders, tender him at a second round level. You give him the third round tender if you are willing to let him walk. Now, rather than saving cap space, they lost $500k in cap space. This is not hindsight; it is a lack of foresight.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
04-15-2013, 08:35 PM
They signed Antonio Brown last August to a six-year, $43 million contact with an $8.5 million signing bonus after Mike Wallace turned them down. Must they offer Sanders that much in order for him not to enter free agency in 2014? Probably. Brown was two years from becoming a UFA when he signed, Sanders is only one year away. Plus, he saw how it worked out for Wallace and he could be just as willing to roll the dice.

Really? He thinks that Sanders will be worth what Brown signed for, and what Wallace was offered, because he is one year closer to FA than they both were last year? Really?

Wallace has 48 starts, over 4,000 receiving yards and 32 TDs
Brown has 13 starts, over 2,000 yards, and 7 TDs, but was coming off of a 1,000 yard season when he was signed.
Sanders has 8 starts, 1,290 yards, and 5 TDs

I think that you can sign him to a 3-4 year deal worth somewhere around $5M per year, and a first year cap hit below his currently scheduled cap hit.

NorthCoast
04-15-2013, 08:52 PM
Why not look at it like the Steelers are renting Sanders for a season? They will almost assuredly take a WR at some point in the draft and could end up with a pick that makes us all forget Sanders next season given how deep the WR talent is this year. So Sanders has a breakout season?... buh bye. Got the rook ready to make the next step next season for a whole lot less money than Sanders would command.
The idea that Sanders has a breakout season and leaves the Steelers high and dry isnt predetermined. The Steelers could set themselves up this season for that eventuality.

Eddie Spaghetti
04-15-2013, 10:06 PM
sanders isn't worth close to 5 million per season, IMO. That's a crazy number for a guy with his production to this point.

but the deal they gave brown fractured the pay structure.

Chadman
04-16-2013, 01:31 AM
How many catches did Cotchery have last year? They paid him $1.5m for those. Sanders is worth more than that at least.

flippy
04-16-2013, 01:40 AM
If I was Sandy, I'd wait for FA next year. Cause whatever they're willing to give him now is related to his health. I'd roll the dice. Sandy playing it this way says he believes in himself. I kinda like that approach.

But here's also where his agent F's him a bit. To insure against injury, there's an amount he should just take to set himself up for the future and if he's a real money whore and outplays the contract, he can hold out in the future.

But there's always give to get. And if you get taken care of now, you give a little in return. But these contracts aren't guaranteed so the player's always set up to look like a douche no matter what he does. About the only thing a player and team can do is just not talk about the contract in the media at all.

Eich
04-16-2013, 08:40 AM
Why not look at it like the Steelers are renting Sanders for a season? They will almost assuredly take a WR at some point in the draft and could end up with a pick that makes us all forget Sanders next season given how deep the WR talent is this year. So Sanders has a breakout season?... buh bye. Got the rook ready to make the next step next season for a whole lot less money than Sanders would command.

I agree. It's not ideal but that scenario isn't doomsday either - particularly if Sanders actually plays for a new contract unlike Wallace, who was happy to let his previously showcased speed do the talking, playing to not-get-hurt in 2012.

phillyesq
04-16-2013, 09:31 AM
Why not look at it like the Steelers are renting Sanders for a season? They will almost assuredly take a WR at some point in the draft and could end up with a pick that makes us all forget Sanders next season given how deep the WR talent is this year. So Sanders has a breakout season?... buh bye. Got the rook ready to make the next step next season for a whole lot less money than Sanders would command.
The idea that Sanders has a breakout season and leaves the Steelers high and dry isnt predetermined. The Steelers could set themselves up this season for that eventuality.

Given that it is a deep WR class, wouldn't it be better to have a third round pick this year instead of a late round comp pick in 2015?

Slapstick
04-16-2013, 11:57 AM
Given that it is a deep WR class, wouldn't it be better to have a third round pick this year instead of a late round comp pick in 2015?

Only if you are not trying to win this year...

NorthCoast
04-16-2013, 12:27 PM
Given that it is a deep WR class, wouldn't it be better to have a third round pick this year instead of a late round comp pick in 2015?

No, it may be better to have the services of both Sanders and a rookie this season, and given the WR depth may get the equivalent of Sanders a round later than he was picked. That was the point of my post.
I honestly don't believe Sanders will have the luxury of taking the season cautious because he doesnt have the stats to command the big payday without a blockbuster season.

phillyesq
04-16-2013, 01:13 PM
No, it may be better to have the services of both Sanders and a rookie this season, and given the WR depth may get the equivalent of Sanders a round later than he was picked. That was the point of my post.
I honestly don't believe Sanders will have the luxury of taking the season cautious because he doesnt have the stats to command the big payday without a blockbuster season.

For this season, yes, I agree that it is better to have Sanders. Sanders is a better weapon than Burress or Cotchery and will likely perform better than a rookie picked this year.

But, even if the Steelers draft a WR this year, they will need to draft another WR or sign a free agent in 2014, assuming that Sanders leaves. And while he makes the team marginally better this year, I don't see him as a difference maker. If Sanders left, the Steelers could have drafted 2 WRs this year and been set moving forward. Instead of using picks in the first three rounds to attempt to replace and maintain the status quo, they could look to improve.

phillyesq
04-16-2013, 01:35 PM
Only if you are not trying to win this year...

I think you always have to balance the present and the future. Letting Sanders go would give the Steelers 4 picks in the first three rounds both this year and next. That would give an aging team a lot of ammunition to reload...

hawaiiansteel
04-16-2013, 02:34 PM
Steelers-hater James Harrison wanted by Bengals

By Kevin Patra NFL.com
Published: April 16, 2013

James Harrison signing with the Cincinnati Bengals seems so assumed that Bengals players sounded perfectly comfortable talking about the linebacker's potential addition on Monday.

"One of the things I like about him is he brings that intensity and swagger to the defense," defensive tackle Domata Peko said Monday, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Whenever I watch him play he is knocking people's heads off. That's what you want on that team. With Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, those are a lot of playmakers out there, and to add someone like Harrison would be awesome for us."

Harrison met with the Bengals' brass Monday to work on a contract, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported. A contract has yet to surface.

The 34-year-old former NFL Defensive Player of the Year would slide into the strong-side linebacker spot alongside middle linebacker Rey Maualuga and weak-side linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

The Bengals' locker room likes the idea of lining him up against the Pittsburgh Steelers twice next season.

"He hates the Steelers now, and that's somebody we need on our side of the football," defensive end Carlos Dunlap said.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000160180/article/cincinnati-bengals-want-steelers-hater-james-harrison

Steelcage
04-16-2013, 04:13 PM
Remember Joey, Harrison was a beast it's time to let the next man up. Let him race Woodly for the team sack title. His run defense will come fast, I would say he's at the same point when James started, only it took him a few years earlier.

SidSmythe
04-16-2013, 06:19 PM
Why didn't the Steelers tender Manny at $2M? seems like no one is signing RFA's these days anyway. so what's the point unless you really are thinking you have a great player who will draw attention. I was surprised by this myself

supersteeler
04-16-2013, 06:26 PM
Mclendon and Redman haven't signed their tenders yet, I hear the deadline is this Friday.

BURGH86STEEL
04-16-2013, 07:51 PM
The Steelers basically blew $500,000 dollars. $500,000 isn't going to make or break the team. I don't see the big deal.

hawaiiansteel
04-18-2013, 03:00 AM
Ex-NFL GM Casserly: Max Starks Might Sign Before James Harrison Does

April 17, 2013

http://cbspittsburgh.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/harrison4.png?w=300

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – As the NFLDraft approaches, NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly joins Ron Cook on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.

The former NFL general manager shares his thoughts on James Harrison’s situation, as talks between Harrison and the Cincinnati Bengals appear to have stalled.

“He’s not the same player he was,” Casserly says. “Clearly, he misread the market. I didn’t think there would be any market for him. You gotta look at his age, and where he was last year, he’s only 3-4 outside linebacker so that eliminates half the teams right there. He had a home with the Steelers, and he misread that.

“Max Starks may have a better chance of getting signed than James Harrison, because of [the value of] the offensive tackle position versus the outside linebacker position. Even though Harrison is probably a better player at this time, Max might get signed first,” he added.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/04/17/ex-nfl-gm-casserly-max-starks-might-sign-before-james-harrison-does/