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83-Steelers-43
01-05-2007, 07:16 AM
Steelers face many key offseason negotiations
Friday, January 05, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


At least eight Steelers will become unrestricted free agents in March unless they sign new contracts, including halfback Najeh Davenport, safeties Tyrone Carter and Mike Logan and special teams co-captain Sean Morey.

No starter's contract will expire other than right tackle Max Starks, however, and he will be a restricted free agent.

Still, the Steelers are headed for a busy negotiating session this spring because many of their most important players enter the final season of their contracts. That's usually a time when the Steelers try to negotiate extensions for the players they want to retain. Among the players with one year left on their deals are offensive guard Alan Faneca, safety Troy Polamalu, defensive end Aaron Smith, linebackers Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, and fullback Dan Kreider.

Several players renegotiated their deals this season to help the Steelers' save cap room, according to a list of contracts of the entire team obtained by the Post-Gazette. Those include Aaron Smith, linebacker Larry Foote and centers Jeff Hartings and Chukky Okobi.

The player who counted the most against the Steelers' salary cap in 2006 was not quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, nor Pro Bowl members Faneca, Casey Hampton or Troy Polamalu. It was left tackle Marvel Smith at $6.6 million, including a $4.4 million salary and a pro-rated portion of his signing bonuses. Next was center Jeff Hartings at nearly $6.5 million. Hartings has a year left on his contract, but he may retire; if he does, it would save $3.6 million in salary-cap room for the Steelers.

Other players with salary-cap values of more than $5 million last season were Faneca ($5.8 million), Hines Ward ($5.75 million) and Joey Porter ($5.23 million).

The final year of Porter's contract next season calls for him to have the highest salary-cap figure at $6.6 million. That includes a $4 million salary and a $1 million roster bonus payable in March.

Among the more intriguing salary-cap costs next season is cornerback Ike Taylor's. He received a new contract this season for $22.5 million over five years that paid a $6.4 million signing bonus. By the final third of the season, however, he was benched. His cap value of $1,588,000 this season jumps to nearly $5 million next season -- reflecting a jump in salary of about $2.8 million. That's a lot of cap room for someone who does not start, although he likely will get a chance to win back his job next summer.

The salary chart that accompanies this story reflects base salary, salary-cap value and certain bonuses such as workout bonuses, signing bonuses and roster bonuses. It does not reflect other financial information or incentives that affects each player's salary cap. Those can include incentives likely to be earned, reporting bonuses (once popular, now rarely used) and more.

Also, some figures listed in future roster bonuses do not affect a salary cap that season, based on how they are determined. For example, Roethlisberger is due large roster bonuses in the final two years of his contract, including $8 million in 2009, yet his salary-cap value for that season is slightly less than $3 million.

Other players who will become unrestricted free agents in two months if they do not sign with the Steelers in the interim are:

Offensive tackle Barrett Brooks, linebacker Chad Brown, defensive end Rodney Bailey, special teams player Chidi Iwuoma and receiver Lee Mays. Quarterback Brian St. Pierre would be a restricted free agent. Linebacker Arnold Harrison, long snapper Greg Warren and receiver Nate Washington are exclusive rights free agents who cannot move elsewhere as long as the team offers them a minimum-wage contract.

NOTES -- The Steelers signed six players to their reserve/future roster yesterday: Tight end Jon Dekker, running back Carey Davis, offensive tackle Brandon Torrey, defensive back Mike Lorello, linebacker Ron Stanley and wide receiver Walter Young. All spent time on the Steelers' practice squad last season.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07005/751463-66.stm

stlrtruck
01-05-2007, 08:20 AM
Sign CHIDI!!!!

bradness113
01-05-2007, 10:45 AM
def sign chidi. Get Najeh locked up for atleast 1 more year, Troy to longterm and the others we will just have to see. I like haggans ...porter is dyin on me. Idk if keisel was on the list...but he had a good season

Mosca
01-05-2007, 11:31 AM
Porter's best seasons might be behind him, but he's still an emotional leader. Keep him. With Cowher going, you need to keep the emotional leaders of the team around to ensure continuity.


Tom

MJ5150
01-05-2007, 02:27 PM
I hope the Steelers are careful with Max Starks. Maybe they can learn from what happened in Seattle with Steve Hutchinson.

-Mike

Atlanta Dan
01-05-2007, 02:29 PM
I hope the Steelers are careful with Max Starks. Maybe they can learn from what happened in Seattle with Steve Hutchinson.

-Mike

By hoping some other team overpays for Starks?

MJ5150
01-05-2007, 02:32 PM
No, by signing him now if they want him. The Seattle front office grossly underestimated his worth and assumed no one would come after him.

-Mike

Haiku_Dirtt
01-05-2007, 03:18 PM
I hope the Steelers are careful with Max Starks. Maybe they can learn from what happened in Seattle with Steve Hutchinson.

-Mike

Max wears 78. Hutchinson wears 76. The only thing Hutchinson and Starks have in common is that their number starts with a 7.

The question I would pose...can Colon step up next season so we don't have to resign Starks? Outside of the taunting penalty in the red zone he played well against Cincy.

Haiku_Dirtt
01-05-2007, 03:27 PM
Is there anything funnier in this article than Brian St. Pierre having a "restricted" status tagged on him? How bad was the Omar Jacobs pick?

sumo
01-05-2007, 03:28 PM
I know we all fall in love with certain players, but the Steelers formula in the FA era has always been to let guys go rather than brake the bank - Taylor and Porter leaving would free up a lot of room - why pay top money for guys that are performing at an avg to below avg level?

Livinginthe past
01-05-2007, 04:02 PM
Is Taylor supposed to be going somewhere?

Joey Porter may well leave, but I dont think Ike is leaving so soon after that big contract.

NM

Stlrs4Life
01-05-2007, 05:10 PM
I'm all for letting Starks go, if another team signs him, i believe we get a compensation pick for him right? I believe Colon has done well for Starks while he was in there vs Baltimore and Cincy.

sumo
01-05-2007, 05:15 PM
Is Taylor supposed to be going somewhere?

Joey Porter may well leave, but I dont think Ike is leaving so soon after that big contract.

NM

Well why would they pay a guy that much to sit? - is he going to be the next Duce Staley - cheering from the sidelines in a pair of baggy sweats?

Elvis
01-05-2007, 06:09 PM
:wave: Well why would they pay a guy that much to sit? - is he going to be the next Duce Staley - cheering from the sidelines in a pair of baggy sweats?

FUNNY.... bUT tRUE!!:sofunny: maybe the browns will pick Max up..:wink02:

MJ5150
01-05-2007, 08:50 PM
Max wears 78. Hutchinson wears 76. The only thing Hutchinson and Starks have in common is that their number starts with a 7.

Well, not really. Hutch was a RFA last season, and Starks will be soon as well. The Seahawks got hosed for not being aggressive about signing him. If Pittsburgh really wants him back, they should sign him soon before another team comes in and makes a contract offer the Steelers can not match. I realize Hutch is 10 times the lineman Starks is, so the chances of Starks getting the same offer are zero. Still...a deal needs to be done if the Steelers want him.

That's cool and all if you don't want him. You don't have to agree with me that we should resign him. I was only pointing out that if the Steeler FO wants him, I hope they move quickly.

-Mike

Rotorhead
01-06-2007, 04:10 PM
Taylor is already locked up, I think Porter will be gone actually, he wants top money and the Steelers arent going to give it to him.

polamalufan43
01-06-2007, 04:50 PM
Well, I think there are a few people who should be signed ASAP from a short and long term point of view. Others I think we have seen their best days and should think about what we really need,

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

paw-n-maul-u
01-09-2007, 02:37 AM
Well why would they pay a guy that much to sit? - is he going to be the next Duce Staley - cheering from the sidelines in a pair of baggy sweats?

there is no way they are going to let Ike go. He didn't have that great of a season but our secondary has so much young talent. mcfadden, taylor, troy and A. smith are all verrrry young and i think we are in really good shape as far as the secondary goes. maybe bring in another corner on day 1 this year to push ricardo/mcfadden/taylor.

I think porter is gone, along with hartings.

Jeez this is going to be such a big draft for us. we don't really have a ton of holes to fill but I'm really excited to see who our coach will be. whoever it is will have a signifigant impact on who we draft. I don't really see us going offense in the first round. We haven't had a round 1 defensive pick since troy. You can bet that will change if rivera is the coach.

jbattenhouse
01-09-2007, 08:08 AM
I hope the Steelers are careful with Max Starks. Maybe they can learn from what happened in Seattle with Steve Hutchinson.

What happened in Seattle was different. Hutchinson was an UFA, but Seattle could have slapped the franchise tag on him, which would have required them to pay him the average salary of the top 5 OL but they would have received 2 FIRST ROUND draft choices if some other team chose to sign him. Instead, they designated him the transition player, which required that they pay him the average salary of the top 10 OL but Seattle would receive NO compensation if another team chose to sign him. The cost savings for Seattle was about $500 -$600k, but they could have negotiated a long term deal and removed the franchise tag if done in time. Instead, they lost possibly their best lineman and got NOTHING FOR IT, except to be the laughing stock of the NFL for such stupidity.

This situation cannot happen with Max Starks. He is a RFA and can either receive a tender offer (I believe there are 3 tiers to this) or not. And from a desirability standpoint, he will certainly not draw the same attention that Hutchinson did.

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-09-2007, 02:10 PM
I'm all for letting Starks go, if another team signs him, i believe we get a compensation pick for him right? I believe Colon has done well for Starks while he was in there vs Baltimore and Cincy.

I agree..and just as an added bit to the fact that he played well...(He has "a little" experience at the center position)

During a blocking drill, the former Hofstra lineman controlled outside linebacker Clark Haggans. Frustrated at being shut down by a rookie, Haggans yanked off Colon's helmet.

Not a good idea, even for a veteran.

"You hit me, I'm going to hit you back, just like your mama told you to do when you were a kid," Colon said. "I know I'm a rookie, but I didn't care if it was Haggans -- if you let a player of that status show you up, you become a weak link. And I refuse to be the weak link. I worked too hard to be the weak link."

When assistant coach Russ Grimm offered Colon a chance to jump back in against Haggans on the next play, Colon willingly did so. But Haggans was pulled out by assistant coach John Mitchell to take part in a drill on another field, so Haggans and Colon exchanged words for another 30 seconds.

"All day," Colon said, referring to how he felt he could contain Haggans in any kind of matchup.

Haggans and Colon later laughed off the flare-up, with Colon joking that he planned to give Haggans "a hug -- and a kiss" during dinner that night.

Dynasty
01-09-2007, 04:34 PM
yeahg, willie colon is a badass, even if he is named after the digestive tract. XD

sumo
01-09-2007, 04:48 PM
Taylor is already locked up, I think Porter will be gone actually, he wants top money and the Steelers arent going to give it to him.

IMHO, there is no such thing as "locked up" in the NFL - signing bonuses are the only "locked up" part of any contract - if Ike continues to mail it in and the Rooneys find a young guy with promise - Ike will get traded or cut...and like I said before - Porter is all but gone - I see him landing some place like Oakland, Denver, or Miami - the only thing that would save him would be if he took a cut and signed a contract that matches his current abilities and we all know Mr Porter won't do this....however, he could look at his stats this year face reality and at least play out the final year - however, this scenario is highly unlikely...

Elvis
01-09-2007, 05:38 PM
there is no way they are going to let Ike go. He didn't have that great of a season but our secondary has so much young talent. mcfadden, taylor, troy and A. smith are all verrrry young and i think we are in really good shape as far as the secondary goes. maybe bring in another corner on day 1 this year to push ricardo/mcfadden/taylor.

I think porter is gone, along with hartings.

Jeez this is going to be such a big draft for us. we don't really have a ton of holes to fill but I'm really excited to see who our coach will be. whoever it is will have a signifigant impact on who we draft. I don't really see us going offense in the first round. We haven't had a round 1 defensive pick since troy. You can bet that will change if rivera is the coach.
:coffee:
DB and OL are top priority in the upcoming draft in my opinion...:wave:

Steeldude
01-11-2007, 11:51 AM
:coffee:
DB and OL are top priority in the upcoming draft in my opinion...:wave:

what about LB??? as of now the steelers have 4 very average LBs starting. the LBs are the backbone of the steelers 3-4, but they are average and getting old.

no reason to spend early picks on DBs. you have taylor and mcfadden at corner. clark, polamalu for safeties. with smith being groomed.

the OL i agree with. no C, RG or RT. although the RG could probably be filled by kemo. RT seems to be the most imporant hole on the O-line. this assuming of course that okobi plays better than the aging hartings next season.

Showdaddeee
01-11-2007, 11:09 PM
Sign Porter, we need his leadership right now and let Max go. Are DB's will be alright after this long season of learning. We need a quality WR with our 15th pick in the draft. Maybe a USC WR hmmmm. You never know.

tony hipchest
01-12-2007, 12:39 AM
Sign Porter, we need his leadership right now and let Max go. Are DB's will be alright after this long season of learning. We need a quality WR with our 15th pick in the draft. Maybe a USC WR hmmmm. You never know.c rogers has been cut and possibly m. williams. why dont we pick one of them up and draft someone we can REALLY use?

another 1st round wr??? youve got to be kidding me!

wr is too risky that early although ginn jr sounds nice if we plan on ditching ward for salary cap reasons in a year or 2. im pretty sure that isnt gonna happen unless washington proves to be an adequate and cheap starter

Steeldude
01-12-2007, 10:41 AM
Sign Porter, we need his leadership right now and let Max go. Are DB's will be alright after this long season of learning. We need a quality WR with our 15th pick in the draft. Maybe a USC WR hmmmm. You never know.

since when is porter a leader? why do some fans think porter is a leader because he has a big mouth? if he wants to be a leader then he should lead by example. no more 0 stat games and long loops to the QB. also, porter is going to eat up $6.6 mil of cap room next season. this defense has lacked a leader for quite a long time.

drafted a WR in the first round last year and another in a later round. this is a team, that has 3 spots(C, RG, RT) on the O-line that need improving. who is going to protect the QB and give him enough time to throw to the new WR? also, BR couldn't hit a WR in stride beyond 20 yards if his life depended on it. BR throws the worst long ball in the NFL. always a high, short pass thrown off of his back foot. just like he did in college. the QB coach should address this problem but he doesn't for some reason.