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Thread: 2009 Offseason Will Be Critical For The Steelers

  1. #1
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    2009 Offseason Will Be Critical For The Steelers

    by cgolden on Jun 4, 2008 9:23 AM EDT in News
    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/
    So I was bored this morning and was taking a look at the contract status the current roster and one thing kept jumping out at me: there are an awful lot of players who will be free agents. This past off season was a relatively easy one for the front office considering there weren't many free agents and outside of the Max Starks fiasco, there weren't many difficult decisions. February 2009 would be a completely different story though, here's a quick list of the free agents to be:

    Player Position Player Position
    Marvel Smith OT Charlie Batch QB
    Max Starks OT Anthony Smith FS
    Willie Colon OT Anthony Madison DB

    Trai Essex OT Grant Mason DB
    Chris Kemoeatu OG Bryant McFadden CB
    Nate Washington WR James Farrior LB
    Willie Reid WR Arnold Harrison LB
    Najeh Davenport RB Andre Frazier LB
    Carey Davis FB Ryan McBean
    DE

    Wow, in case anyone is counting that list of players has combined to start 295 games and play in over 500 games for the Steelers. Now to be honest some of these guys will be restricted free agents and several of these names are possible cut victims during camp. Willie Colon, Willie Reid, Anthony Smith, Anthony Madison, Grant Mason, Arnold Harrison and Ryan McBean will all be restricted free agents and Carey Davis might be as well but I'm not sure because he's actually been in the league since 2004.

    Obviously the biggest losses will come on the offensive line. While one or two of these guys may get new deals in Pittsburgh, they simply can't all be retained. If I'm taking guesses, the most likely would seem to be Chris Kemoeatu, who might get a new deal before the season even starts. After Chris K, I'd have to think either Starks or Marvel, but that'll likely depend on who the front office/coaching staff sees as the future at left tackle. Essex is just a guy so I'd imagine with Hills being added to the mix, this is probably his final season in the Burgh.

    Washington, Reid, Davenport, and Batch are probably playing their final season here, if they make it through the season. Reid and Davenport seem to be on the chopping block already. Washington's future took a shot with the drafting of Limas Sweed. Carey Davis will probably get a new deal even if he isn't a RFA, if for no other reason than he'll likely be very cheap.

    For the defensive guys, the two big questions are obvious: what to do with McFadden and Farrior? Is Farrior worth a new deal at 33 years old and will he be willing to give a 'hometown discount?' Can McFadden stay healthy long enough to finally prove he's the playmaker that some of us think he is? I honestly don't know the answers to these questions and even though I'd really like to see both of these guys back in 2009 and beyond, it'll likely depend on whether they want to be here or not.

    So who do you see as they guys we absolutely have to keep? Is this something we should be concerned about or does this look like a purge of mostly marginal players

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  2. #2
    motter1975
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    Re: 2009 Offseason Will Be Critical For The Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by fordfixer
    by cgolden on Jun 4, 2008 9:23 AM EDT in News
    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/
    Player Position Player Position
    Marvel Smith OT Charlie Batch QB
    Max Starks OT Anthony Smith FS
    Willie Colon OT Anthony Madison DB

    Trai Essex OT Grant Mason DB
    Chris Kemoeatu OG Bryant McFadden CB
    Nate Washington WR James Farrior LB
    Willie Reid WR Arnold Harrison LB
    Najeh Davenport RB Andre Frazier LB
    Carey Davis FB Ryan McBean
    DE
    ....
    So who do you see as they guys we absolutely have to keep? Is this something we should be concerned about or does this look like a purge of mostly marginal players
    I would think that as long as Dennis Dixon shows he is competent to be a backup, Charlie will be gone at the end of this season.

    As far as who we absolutely have to keep? Actually, I don't see any on there right now that are HAVE TOs (as in, if we don't keep them it's the end of the world as we know it). But, I personally would keep Marvel Smith if possible (but I wouldn't renegotiate with him until after I see how this season goes, so he may well end up leaving to FA), and see if we can sign Farrior to a short (3-4 year deal) with lower signing bonus and higher base salary, if we can fit it under the salary cap. I'd try to get that done this summer to prevent him from hitting the market.

    Thing is, depending on how these guys do this year would tell me whether or not they're worth keeping, as other than Smith and Farrior, none of them has really proven themselves to me yet. But, if they are due to hit the FA market, likelihood is, we may lose out to another team for them.

    Don't know, but it's definitely something worth thinking about.

  3. #3
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    Re: 2009 Offseason Will Be Critical For The Steelers

    Every off season is critical in the age of free agency and the salary cap.

    The only players on your list who I think we should make every effort to try to keep at a reasonable salary in order are:

    1. Marvel Smith
    2. Max Starks
    3. James Farrior
    4. Willie Colon

    I'd like to see them keep McBean if he shows anything this year. Eceryone else is expendable and could be replaced.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  4. #4
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    Re: 2009 Offseason Will Be Critical For The Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Every off season is critical in the age of free agency and the salary cap.

    The only players on your list who I think we should make every effort to try to keep at a reasonable salary in order are:

    1. Marvel Smith
    2. Max Starks
    3. James Farrior
    4. Willie Colon

    I'd like to see them keep McBean if he shows anything this year. Eceryone else is expendable and could be replaced.

    Mcfadden should also be added to that list. He's the real deal and the only reason he hasn't cracked the starting line up is because of injruies. I fully anticipate him starting next to Ike Taylor once the season begins and further proving his worth. Additionally a few months ago I was told by a friend who's somehow knows Lebeau through family that Lebeau is very big on McFadden and believes he'll be a stud corner in the NFL. I guess we'll see what happens because the jury is still out, this coming season is his time to shine hopefully he takes advantage.

    I also don't think Sweed at all hurts Nate Washington unless Nate wants to leave. He'll play as the 4th receiver and with the current trend in our offensive style 4 WR sets are no longer abnormal. He's a solid reciever with the occasional drop. The 4th WR is perfect for him and I wouldn't break down in tears if he was the number 3 even though I thinK Sweed wins that job.

  5. #5
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    Re: 2009 Offseason Will Be Critical For The Steelers

    I know this sound obvious, but it will depend on how some of these guys perform this year that will make this determine their futures, as it is truly make or break for them. As for me, I think it might break down like this...

    RFAs
    Colon OL - Beat Max, but gave up 12 sacks, might project better inside - KEEP
    Reid WR - A waste, but he could come back if he catches fire as a WR/RS - GOES
    Smith S - He's too good to let go, he just needs to be a SS - KEEP
    Madison DB - Keep only if you can't draft or sign someone better - GOES
    Mason DB - Keep only if you can't draft or sign someone better - GOES
    Harrison LB - Of the 2 Arnold's, this one offers more - KEEP
    McBean DE - He's gotta show something or he's gone this year - GOES

    Other FAs
    Batch QB - Dixon is the future, Charlie's meant for TV & charity work - GOES
    Starks OT - He's got to start to earn his $$$, possibly the LT if Marvel is done? - KEEP
    Essex OT - He's out of chances, Hills & cheaper back-ups take his spot - GOES
    Kemoeatu OG - He's going to be okay this year, if not...we have options - KEEP
    McFadden CB - DeShea can't hold him off forever, he's worth re-signing - KEEP
    Nate WR - I like Nate, but Sweed has promise. This may be up to Hines' health - KEEP
    Farrior LB - Love Farrior, he needs to stay & slide over for Timmons to help him - KEEP
    Davenport RB - Probably won't make the team anyway - GOES
    Frazier LB - A "dime a dozen" LB - GOES
    Davis FB - He doesn't seem special & I'd rather have Lorenzo Neal anyway - GOES
    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust & sweat & blood...

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