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Thread: Second half could settle contract issues

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    Second half could settle contract issues

    Second half could settle contract issues

    By Alan Robinson
    Sports Reporter


    http://triblive.com/mobile/m/msports...llace-contract


    Published: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 10:46 p.m.
    Updated 2 hours ago


    Think it’s difficult balancing the family checkbook? Try balancing Omar Khan’s.


    Khan, the director of business and football administration for the Steelers, is responsible for making sure the team stays under the salary cap, which is $121 million this season. He is so skilled at a job whose duties include negotiating contracts, he has been contacted about multiple NFL general managers’ jobs.


    Just like an overly expensive trip to Costco can ruin a monthly budget, so can a poorly done contract, and thanks to Khan and GM Kevin Colbert, the Steelers haven’t had nearly as many of those as some franchises.


    The Steelers are projected to be about $12 million to $15 million over the cap once the 2012 season ends, and it will take some mathematical manipulations by Khan to balance it all out. Until then, current-roster performances will be evaluated, the free-agent market assessed, the college talent pool scouted.


    And don’t think those players whose contracts are ending aren’t thinking about the next one — or if there will be a next one.


    “(The contract issue) is never going to go away,” wide receiver Mike Wallace said. “Good or bad, it’s always going to be out there.”


    With Wallace due to become a free agent, the Steelers’ options are to try to sign him to a long-term deal (which they will do) or make him their franchise player (which they almost certainly won’t do).


    Here’s who will be thinking contract during the second half of the season, which begins Monday night against Kansas City:


    Wallace: Ben Roethlisberger will be lobbying hard to bring him back. But can the Steelers afford him after giving a $42.5 million deal to Antonio Brown?


    Rashard Mendenhall: Free agent; virtually no chance of him returning, especially if Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer keep producing.


    Redman, Dwyer, Steve McLendon, Emmanuel Sanders, Stevenson Sylvester: Can become restricted free agents; the Steelers can retain them by making tender offers. Sylvester is the least likely to return.


    Larry Foote: Free agent; has handled the post-James Farrior leadership role well, but he grades fourth from the bottom among NFL 3-4 inside linebackers by profootballfocus.com. He’ll be 33 next season, and the Steelers will probably let him walk.


    Ramon Foster: One of the NFL’s best bargains; has made 34 career starts but is earning only $1.26 million. He’ll make more elsewhere in 2013, when David DeCastro starts at right guard.


    Casey Hampton: Free agent; accepted restructured $2.8 million deal to play this season. McLendon probably takes his job next season.


    James Harrison: Due $6.57 million in 2013, with a cap value of $10 million.


    “That ain’t happening. That ain’t happening. That ain’t happening,” NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes said. “I can promise you that. One way or another — if they part ways or if they restructure — they’re not paying him $10 million.”


    Brett Keisel: Due $2.85 million; Steelers must decide if he’s worth bringing back for much less money.


    Keenan Lewis: Free agent; played this season for $1.26 million tender. Do the Steelers give him a multiyear deal or look for an affordable replacement in free agency or the draft?


    Ryan Mundy: Free agent; unlikely to return.


    Troy Polamalu: Due $7.5 million in 2013 and $8.25 million in 2014. Steelers must refinance this mortgage.


    Max Starks: Free agent. Steelers keep bringing him back and bringing him back. The way he’s playing this season, it might cost some money to do it again.


    Ben Roethlisberger: Will make $11.6 million in 2013; Steelers could rework to transform most of the money into a signing bonus that can be spread out over multiple seasons.


    Ike Taylor: Due $6 million in 2013. Steelers must decide if he’s worth it.


    Lawrence Timmons: Owed $7.875 million. Candidate for restructuring.


    LaMarr Woodley: Owed $9 million. Candidate for restructuring.


    Greg Warren: Free agent. Steelers must decide if one of the NFL’s most dependable long snappers fits their budget.

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    This gives me a headache just thinking about it

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    Pretty accurate assessment. Summarizing, it looks like those gone according to the author will be: Mendenhall, Sylvester, Foote, Foster, Mundy, and likely Wallace and possibly Harrison. I could see that happening. Sylvester and Mundy won't be missed. Foote and Foster will be slight losses, with Foote's situation being complicated by the fact there is no replacement. Wallace and to a lesser degree Mendenhall will be serious losses.

    Harrison is the one I can't guage. He is very average so far this year but if he would get healthy in the upcoming off season maybe he has one or two good seasons left. Fact is we are near the end of his playing days and we need to look at the future with an alternative real soon.
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    Tough choices, but they will need to spend their money on the younger players on the rise in order to secure the future. IMO, that means Foster and Lewis need to be retained. Somebody else will give Wallace a whole lot more money that we can pay. Injury-prone older players, difficult though it may be, may need to take a whole lot less money or be let go, and that may include Max, Harrison, and maybe even Troy. Would be really difficult to see Harrison and Troy in any other uni than the B&G. Maybe letting go of those players gives us a shot at keeping Wallace. I don't think they's spend alot to try to keep Mendy either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukieBoy View Post
    Tough choices, but they will need to spend their money on the younger players on the rise in order to secure the future. IMO, that means Foster and Lewis need to be retained. Somebody else will give Wallace a whole lot more money that we can pay. Injury-prone older players, difficult though it may be, may need to take a whole lot less money or be let go, and that may include Max, Harrison, and maybe even Troy. Would be really difficult to see Harrison and Troy in any other uni than the B&G. Maybe letting go of those players gives us a shot at keeping Wallace. I don't think they's spend alot to try to keep Mendy either.
    I still don't think Wallace really wants to stay. He doesn't like Haley's offense and IMO he doesn't like the internal competition with Brown.
    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!

    2014 Draft

    1. Eric Ebron, TE
    2. Calvin Pryor, S
    3 (Comp). Jaylen Watkins, CB
    4. Justin Ellis, DT/NT
    5a. Brandon Coleman, WR
    5b. Brent Urban, DE
    6. Prince Shembo, OLB
    7a. Aaron Colvin, CB
    7b. Storm Johnson, RB

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    I think Foote returns unless the Steelers sign an outside FA, which seems unlikely. The Steelers never leave themselves in a position where they do not have a credible starting option at a position going into the draft. Even if a rookie wins a job, the Steelers make sure that they have competition.

    Mendenhall is an interesting case. I'd have to think this season has hurt his value so far in that he still seems to be a health risk. And Dwyer/Redman need to demonstrate consistency and health for the ROS. I could see him resigning at a lower price on a one year deal unless he comes back and shows that he can handle a significant workload with no side effects.

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    I don't understand all of this... If we dump a few big salaries, does that nullify all the "restructuring" talk of seemingly every other guy on the roster. This article should focus on those that we have to make decisions on specifically for next year; instead, they talk about every guy on the roster making any money, as if they are going to be free agents in '13.

    If we get the numbers of Ike, Harrison, and a few other veterans off the books, does that take the burden off to a large extent?

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