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Thread: Inside Slant: The Latest...

  1. #1
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    Inside Slant: The Latest...

    Inside Slant

    The Steelers are taking the same approach in negotiations with another valuable offensive lineman that they took last year with guard Alan Faneca. Some would say it's no approach at all. It could be considered a wait-and-wait approach.

    Faneca signed with the New York Jets as a free agent this year, reluctantly leaving after 10 years and seven Pro Bowls in Pittsburgh at just 30 years old. Left tackle Marvel Smith had one year left on his contract and there have been no negotiations toward a new one.

    It looks like the Steelers are prepared to let another good, veteran offensive lineman go because they can't or won't pay market value.

    The Steelers did at least make Faneca an offer more than a year ago, but it insulted him more than anything and there were no more talks until a last-minute conversation between Faneca and Kevin Colbert, the team's director of football operations, at the end of training camp.

    Once the regular season starts, the Steelers have a long-standing policy that they end negotiations for any contract extensions. There's still time for them to do something with Smith, who will make about $4.5 million in the final year of his contract.

    Smith took a different approach this spring than did Faneca; he practiced with his teammates, although he did miss two weeks when his son was born in California. Faneca skipped all but a required minicamp last year in protest of his contract situation.

    "To me, if it's going to happen, it's going to happen," said Smith. "It's not something I can worry about, for the most part. I love football. Any opportunity I get to play, whether it's in the offseason or not, that's what I plan on doing."

    Smith, a second-round draft choice in 2000, moved into the starting lineup as a rookie at right tackle and became the starting left tackle in 2003. He's made one Pro Bowl and should command a fat contract as a free agent, if it gets to that.

    "Wouldn't Marvel be fun going to free agency with?" said agent Ken Zuckerman, a partner in the same agency as Faneca's agent, Rick Smith.

    NOTES, QUOTES

    —Coach Mike Tomlin waved off Tuesday's OTA and took his team bowling instead. Tomlin said he wants it to become a tradition.

    "It was awesome," nose tackle Chris Hoke said, "just a great experience."

    —Longtime Steelers player personnel director Dick Haley, 70, took a job as a consultant for the Miami Dolphins. It reunited him with Bill Parcells. Haley, who left the Steelers to join the New York Jets in 1992, worked with Parcells there from 1997 to 2000. Haley worked for the Steelers for 20 years.

    —Former Steelers defensive end Dwight White was buried in Pittsburgh Wednesday. White, part of the famous Steel Curtain front four, died last Friday from a blood clot that developed after he had back surgery May 12.

    —Tomlin would not say why Pro Bowl NT Casey Hampton has missed several weeks of OTAs, or whether he was working out on his own, with a personal trainer, etc. Hampton was scheduled to make an appearance for teammate Tyrone Carter for a charity event in Pompano Beach, Fla., Saturday.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "The schedule is what it is. We tend to focus on things we can control. We don't make the schedule, we play it." — Mike Tomlin on having the toughest schedule in the NFL in 2008.

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    MEDICAL WATCH: DE Travis Kirschke had recent ankle surgery to clean loose particles out. He should be OK by training camp.

    FRANCHISE PLAYER: None

    TRANSITION PLAYER: OT Max Starks (tendered at $6.895M; signed tender April 21).

    UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

    —LB Marquis Cooper (not tendered as UFA).

    —RB Verron Haynes (not tendered as UFA).

    —FB Dan Kreider (not tendered as UFA).

    RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

    EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

    PLAYERS ACQUIRED

    —LB Keyaron Fox: UFA Chiefs; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

    —C Justin Hartwig: FA Panthers; $3.725M/2 yrs, $975,000 SB.

    —RB Mewelde Moore: UFA Vikings; $4.95M/3 yrs, $1.35M SB.

    PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

    —DE Nick Eason: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    —OT Trai Essex: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.

    —LB Andre Frazier: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

    —LB Arnold Harrison: ERFA; terms unknown.

    —G Chris Kemoeatu: RFA; $1.47M/1 yr.

    —DE Travis Kirschke: Potential UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    —OT Max Starks: TFA; $6.895M/1 yr.

    —LS Greg Warren: RFA; $2.3M/3 yrs, $395,000 SB.

    —WR Nate Washington: RFA; $1.47M/1 yr.

    PLAYERS LOST

    —G Alan Faneca: UFA Jets; $40M/5 yrs, $21M guaranteed.

    —LB Clark Haggans: UFA Cardinals; $1.5M/1 yr, SB unknown.

    —LB Cliff Kriewaldt (released/failed physical).

    —CB/KR Allen Rossum (released).

    —QB Brian St. Pierre: UFA Cardinals; 1 yr, terms unknown.

    —TE Jerame Tuman (released).

    —WR Cedrick Wilson (released).

  2. #2

    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    I highly doubt Marvel gets a big contract from the Steelers.

  3. #3
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    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    I highly doubt Marvel gets a big contract from the Steelers.
    Agreed... It just won't happen. I think he COULD be a quality O-lineman, but not worth the money he will undoubtably command...

  4. #4
    Legend fordfixer's Avatar
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    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    I highly doubt Marvel gets a big contract from the Steelers.
    Agreed... It just won't happen. I think he COULD be a quality O-lineman, but not worth the money he will undoubtably command...

    IMO none of them are worth the money they think they are

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  5. #5
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    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    Quote Originally Posted by fordfixer
    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    I highly doubt Marvel gets a big contract from the Steelers.
    Agreed... It just won't happen. I think he COULD be a quality O-lineman, but not worth the money he will undoubtably command...

    IMO none of them are worth the money they think they are
    You are absolutely right!
    As a matter of fact all yunz are.
    O-line is not great, we may have improved slightly at center.
    Marvel needs to become what he's paid for. What they are paying him for this season, I like the rest of you shake my head. All that money and next year he's gone IMHO.
    My question is, what does Tomlin see that we dont see?

  6. #6
    Hall of Famer AngryAsian's Avatar
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    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    Unless this line plays lights out this year. I can't see anybody on this line being able to command high cash flow on their next contract.... and when I speak of lights out play, I'm talking about total dominance in various offensive categories in both the running and passing games.

  7. #7
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    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    Smith's value to the Steelers will be a 3rd round comp pick in the 2010 draft. That might be the only thing we could dispute. Good LTs very seldom hit the open market. If Smith has a good season I would be willing to bet there will be someone willing to pay him twice the Steelers offer! I think the Steelers know this because they bought an insurance policy in Starks! Smith would have to take a big discount to stay here.



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    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    Maybe the Steelers want to see how he actually plays before re-signing him. Isn't he coming off injuries/surgery?

  9. #9
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    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    This article is ridiculous. Marvel Smith has chronic back problems that required surgery. He must prove he is healthy before the Steelers make any investment in him.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

  10. #10
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    Re: Inside Slant: The Latest...

    Quote Originally Posted by steelblood
    This article is ridiculous. Marvel Smith has chronic back problems that required surgery. He must prove he is healthy before the Steelers make any investment in him.


    Most of these articles are pro player and anti front office trying to paint this stuff like poor laborers and uncaring management. Smith is damaged goods and it would be foolish to resign him long term until he proves to be completely healthy.

    The only issue I have is the front office not negotiating during the season. I think it puts them at a disadvanatage when free agancy begins where they could have laid the groundwork for an agreement. Once free agancy starts it becomes a bidders war that the Steelers won't, rightly so in most cases, engage in.
    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!

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