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Thread: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

  1. #1
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    Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton
    The Steelers have some tough decisions to make concerning their six unrestricted free agents before the signing period begins March 5. What they do about their hulking nose tackle may be one of the hardest.
    Sunday, January 24, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10024/1030671-66.stm

    Casey Hampton will play in his fifth Pro Bowl next Sunday and it might not be the last time this year he wears a football uniform other than his Steelers No. 98. For nine seasons, since he broke into the starting lineup as a rookie in 2001, Hampton has anchored some of the best defenses of the decade at nose tackle. But unless the team makes a move to keep him over the next month, Hampton will become an unrestricted free agent March 5.

    The Steelers have options, none of them cheap. They can negotiate a long-term contract over the next month or they can put either a franchise or transition tag on Hampton.

    His agent does not know what to expect, but sources told the Post-Gazette the team will try to sign Hampton one way or another before he becomes a free agent. That is something they did not try to do last year while they signed other players to long-term contracts before they started their final year under their old deals, players such as defensive end Brett Keisel, tight end Heath Miller and offensive tackle Max Starks.

    "Really, we don't know right now," said agent Eric Armstead, who hopes to talk to the Steelers during Senior Bowl practices this week in Mobile, Ala. "They have time to toy around until March. It's an administrative decision.

    "Typically, the Steelers do business one way. When they want to retain a person, they sign him a year early and don't make a big splash. They are textbook."

    That is what they did with Hampton the last time around. He had one year left on his contract when they signed him to a new one in the summer of 2005 at $22.75 million for five years. They ignored him last summer under identical circumstances and one year after coach Mike Tomlin put him on the physically unable to report list when the coach said he did not report to training camp in shape.

    Replacing Hampton would be a difficult job. Chris Hoke remains his backup and played well when he started 12 games in 2004, including two in the playoffs, after Hampton's season ended with a torn ACL. Hoke has not had to play often since then, although he regularly enters games to give Hampton a rest. Hoke turns 32 in April, Hampton 33 in September.

    Hampton has said he wants to stay with the Steelers and privately has told people that someone promised him the team would not put the franchise tag on him.

    However, the Steelers might have no choice and it might be their best avenue. The cost to put the one-year franchise or transition tenders on a player have not yet been revealed by the league or the players union. Last season a one-year salary required to pay a franchised defensive tackle was slightly more than $6 million, about $5.5 million for the transition tag.

    Each team will have both a franchise and transition tag if the collective bargaining agreement is not extended by March 5. That might not be a bad way for the Steelers to go with Hampton, who counted $6,652,000 against their salary cap last season. He would roughly count the same if franchised in 2010.

    If they put the "exclusive" franchise tag on Hampton, he cannot negotiate with other teams. The "non-exclusive" tag would allow him to negotiate and if he signs and the Steelers do not match, they would receive two first-round draft choices in return. The transition tag only allows the Steelers the right to match another contract and keep the player.

    "They haven't suggested making him the franchise player," Armstead said. "But a lot of times teams don't, so we really, really don't know."
    For more on the Steelers, read the new blog, Ed Bouchette On the Steelers at http://www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10024/10 ... z0dXJXaH7k

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  2. #2
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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    This is probably the toughest free agent decison the team has had to make in years.

    Case for resigning:
    1. When motivated can be a dominant player
    2. Understands the scheme
    3. No history of durability concerns
    4. NT can play well into their mid 30's if they take conditoioning serious
    5. No immediate option on the roster

    Case for not resigning:
    1. Has shown he doesn't take conditioning serious which will be more critical as he gets older
    2. Will he be motivated after getting "last big contract"

    I think the team is between a rock and a hard place and at a minimum will have to tag him and continue to try to work out a deal. It worked for Starks. My concern is Hampton is a head case who becomes Alan Faneca if he gets tagged.

    I'll beat my favorite deadhorse on this one. This is the problem with the 3-4 defense on the defensive line. The three positions require unique skillsets that are tougher to replace or replenish than the 4-3 defensive line requirements. We may have to pay a heavy price for that with Hampton.
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  3. #3

    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    The Steelers must tag him unless he wants to sign a three year deal reasonably. Hoke is ok...but he isn't Hampton. If we franchise him...we have to get a first round NT...unless we plan to pull a Starks. If we let him go...we have to get a first round NT. The only way we don't draft one is if we sign Hampton to a 3 year deal.
    2014 NFL Draft
    1) ​Darqueze Dennard-DB MSU
    2) Jordan Matthews-WR Vandy
    3) Chris Borland-ILB Wisconsin
    4) Caraun Reid, DT Princeton
    5) De'Anthony Thomas-RB Oregon
    5b) Ryan Carrethers-NT Arkansas State
    6) Jeff Janis-WR Saginow Valley State
    6b) Seantrel Henderson, OT MIami
    7) Colt Lyerla -TE Oregon

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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    He would've been resigned already if I was the GM. I'm OK with Casey coming in fat and greasy.. He has been a tank for years.. he goes out on his own terms..

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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    The Steelers must tag him unless he wants to sign a three year deal reasonably. Hoke is ok...but he isn't Hampton. If we franchise him...we have to get a first round NT...unless we plan to pull a Starks. If we let him go...we have to get a first round NT. The only way we don't draft one is if we sign Hampton to a 3 year deal.
    I think a 3-year contract is the way to go.



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    Hall of Famer Mister Pittsburgh's Avatar
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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    I transition tag him. He plays his best facing a contract. Keep the carrot (free agency) dangling on the string one more year and groom the hell out of someone.

    I say move Kemo to NT.
    @_Hellgrammite

  7. #7

    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    The Steelers must tag him unless he wants to sign a three year deal reasonably. Hoke is ok...but he isn't Hampton. If we franchise him...we have to get a first round NT...unless we plan to pull a Starks. If we let him go...we have to get a first round NT. The only way we don't draft one is if we sign Hampton to a 3 year deal.
    I think a 3-year contract is the way to go.
    That's what I want personally...especially if he will play for a semi reasonable salary. Then we can look at NT later in the draft...maybe 3rd round Troups? And get a FS, DB and/or ILB in the first three. This is the optimal situation.
    2014 NFL Draft
    1) ​Darqueze Dennard-DB MSU
    2) Jordan Matthews-WR Vandy
    3) Chris Borland-ILB Wisconsin
    4) Caraun Reid, DT Princeton
    5) De'Anthony Thomas-RB Oregon
    5b) Ryan Carrethers-NT Arkansas State
    6) Jeff Janis-WR Saginow Valley State
    6b) Seantrel Henderson, OT MIami
    7) Colt Lyerla -TE Oregon

  8. #8
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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh
    I transition tag him. He plays his best facing a contract. Keep the carrot (free agency) dangling on the string one more year and groom the hell out of someone.

    I say move Kemo to NT.
    I think he said/implied he would be very unhappy if tagged. Could make for a funky season or a real drop off in production..

    This situation is like a flat tire on a holiday weekend.. you pretty much have to pay what the tow truck charges for a new tire or ride the spare..

  9. #9

    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh
    I transition tag him. He plays his best facing a contract. Keep the carrot (free agency) dangling on the string one more year and groom the hell out of someone.

    I say move Kemo to NT.
    I think he said/implied he would be very unhappy if tagged. Could make for a funky season or a real drop off in production..

    This situation is like a flat tire on a holiday weekend.. you pretty much have to pay what the tow truck charges for a new tire or ride the spare..
    OK, dizz. First, the baby learning to walk analogy (Steelers 2005 Colts playoff game). Now this one.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Casey Hampton

    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh
    I transition tag him. He plays his best facing a contract. Keep the carrot (free agency) dangling on the string one more year and groom the hell out of someone.

    I say move Kemo to NT.
    I think he said/implied he would be very unhappy if tagged. Could make for a funky season or a real drop off in production..

    This situation is like a flat tire on a holiday weekend.. you pretty much have to pay what the tow truck charges for a new tire or ride the spare..
    Not really at all man. He showed up for camp in great shape and played great this past year because he figured he had to have a good showing for free agency. All you would be doing by transition tagging him is delaying free agency one more year. If he shows up fat and has a crappy year then that just diminishes his own value facing free agency in 2011. Incentive is a magical tool.

    What incentive is there if they sign him for a multi-year deal? I would bet a lot of money if they signed him to a long term deal (2 or 3 years) next week, he shows up for training camp heavier and in worse shape than he did this past camp.....and then we would hear all the garbage from him about he will be ready, whatever......

    I don't view us as screwed if he wasn't signed. I think Hoke could play NT very well for a season or two. He doesn't have as much wear on his body as Hampton even though they are near the same age. Plus, to be honest, I thought Hoke played better than Hampton at times even this season.

    If they didn't sign him though, they better be doing some damn fine scouting of NT and draft one high this year and bring in a lower round pick and undrafted free agent sleeper type to battle in camp to try and see who deserves to be groomed.
    @_Hellgrammite

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