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83-Steelers-43
08-31-2007, 10:14 AM
Ron Cook: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca
Friday, August 31, 2007
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nine days to go.

To when the Steelers open the regular season in Cleveland, sure. But also to management's self-imposed deadline to sign guard Alan Faneca to a new contract.

There's still time to get a deal done, you know?

Both sides owe it to the other to make one final try.

If this extra long preseason -- which ended happily for the Steelers last night because no significant players were injured in their 19-3 win against the Carolina Panthers -- revealed anything, it's that the team still needs Faneca, not just for this season but for beyond. Quite simply, he remains their best offensive lineman. Forget that sack he allowed to Carolina tackle Kris Jenkins in the only series he played. It happens. Actually, it happened exactly the same way two years ago in the final exhibition game; Jenkins blew by Faneca, who was left to pick up quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and tell him he was sorry. Roethlisberger survived. Faneca went on to another Pro Bowl season. The Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl.

It's nice to think the same thing could happen again this season.

There also could have been mitigating circumstances involved in that sack last night. If Faneca's head wasn't in the game, who can blame him? None of the players wanted to play -- their only goal was to get out in one piece so they can get on to the real games -- but he had the added burden of knowing his future with the Steelers is about to be officially determined. The team doesn't negotiate contracts during the season, and Faneca surely will go to the highest bidder if he becomes a free agent after the season.

It doesn't have to go down that way.

Really.

The Steelers need to raise their offer to Faneca. His value to the team only increased this summer, the way new coach Mike Tomlin shuffled linemen in and out of the exhibition games, looking for five starters. It appears center Sean Mahan, right guard Kendall Simmons and right tackle Willie Colon have won jobs, but Tomlin hasn't made it official. Only Faneca at left guard and Marvel Smith at left tackle are rock-solid as starters. That's a bit unsettling, to say the least.

As former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis noted on more than one occasion in his new book, which created so much buzz around town last week, Steelers management not only is hesitant to give big contracts to players older than 30, it starts to look for reasons to get rid of them. Faneca will be 31 before the end of the season, but he's a little different than most older players. For one thing, he's a six-time Pro Bowler, the most-honored guard in franchise history. For another, he's not like a running back or wide receiver or most defensive players. His game isn't based on speed. There is reason to think he still will be effective and able to play at a high level for several seasons. Durability hasn't been a concern to this point; he has missed only two games in his nine NFL seasons, none since 2001.

But Faneca also needs to be reasonable and bring his price down a bit. He can't expect to get the same money now that he would as an unrestricted free agent after the season, not with this year still remaining on his current contract. What he can get, though, is peace of mind and security for his family. If he does a new deal with the Steelers, he won't have to worry about a serious injury sabotaging his future. He'll already have cashed that big signing bonus check and won't have to give a cent back.

There has been much speculation since Faneca's infamous minicamp rant in May that he's too bitter to do a new contract with the Steelers. That's nonsense. The man isn't stupid. He'll forget his bitterness real quickly if the Rooneys offer the right money. For their part, they certainly won't hold a grudge because of anything he said out of frustration.

This isn't personal, it's business.

The Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette is reporting today that the Steelers have stepped up efforts to re-sign Simmons, who also is entering the final season of his contract.

That's fine, but Faneca is the man they should be targeting.

It's not too late.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07243/813691-87.stm

Atlanta Dan
08-31-2007, 10:19 AM
And the Steelers need to quit charging for beer at Heinz Field.

Wishing will not make it so Ron.

fansince'76
08-31-2007, 10:24 AM
Remind me again why Cook isn't employed in the Steelers' F.O.? :rolleyes:

83-Steelers-43
08-31-2007, 10:26 AM
And the Steelers need to quit charging for beer at Heinz Field.

Dropping the price from $6.75 to $5.75 for watered down beer would be nice. :smile:

I'm sure Faneca can drop the bitterness act if we break the bank on him, but meeting half-way doesn't seem very realistic at this point. I could be wrong....I'm not in the Steelers F.O. nor do I know the exact amount Faneca is looking for, but it seems to me he's looking for break the bank type of cash. IMO, this is a dead issue.

tony hipchest
08-31-2007, 10:47 AM
Forget that sack he allowed to Carolina tackle Kris Jenkins in the only series he played. It happens. Actually, it happened exactly the same way two years ago in the final exhibition game; Jenkins blew by Faneca, who was left to pick up quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and tell him he was sorry. Roethlisberger survived.:dang: so we harp on essex or starks when they allow somebody to get a sack, and write doom and gloom articles how horrible the line is, but just give faneca a pass and a boat load of cash?

There also could have been mitigating circumstances involved in that sack last night. If Faneca's head wasn't in the game, who can blame him? None of the players wanted to play -- their only goal was to get out in one piece so they can get on to the real games -- but he had the added burden of knowing his future with the Steelers is about to be officially determined. :dang:

"added burden"?
didnt want to play?
head not in the game?

bens sack by jenkins couldve led to injury.

Steelers management not only is hesitant to give big contracts to players older than 30, it starts to look for reasons to get rid of them. :dang: it took them a microsecond to extend aaron smith.

If he does a new deal with the Steelers, he won't have to worry about a serious injury sabotaging his future. i agree. it would be nice to see him with peace of mind and his head in the game, so i dont have to worry about serious injury sabotaging our quarterbacks future. :dang:

The Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette is reporting today that the Steelers have stepped up efforts to re-sign Simmons, who also is entering the final season of his contract.
the steelers also had to address the departure of hartings, and the potential departure of m. smith, after simmons and starks. it isnt all about faneca on the o-line.

oh, and theres that franchise qb we need to extend too. maybe cook believes a little too much of jeromes book and an injured ben will help the rooneys with the bottom line, thus making faneca more affordable.

with all that being said, i would welcome faneca back for another 4 years at an affordable price.
unfortunately i think faneca is more about the big payday than he is security for his family and peace of mind.

fansince'76
08-31-2007, 10:50 AM
bens sack by jenkins couldve led to injury.

Didn't Cook in so many words say he wanted to see that happen in another one of his recent Pulitzer-worthy articles? :rolleyes:

One day, it will happen to Ben Roethlisberger. Mark it down. Later rather than sooner, hopefully, some defensive lineman or linebacker is going to take out Big Ben's knee with a low hit in the pocket.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07231/810693-87.stm

rog
08-31-2007, 10:53 AM
At this point the steelers would have to make an offer Faneca couldn't refuse (excuse the godfather quote). There is no way they will they just don't do that type of thing. The only way for the steelers to sign him is if he comes around and takes what the team wants to offer, I don't see this happening any time soon. Just hope he plays well 1 more season and we can all wish him the best next year.

fansince'76
08-31-2007, 10:57 AM
The only way for the steelers to sign him is if he comes around and takes what the team wants to offer, I don't see this happening any time soon.

And I really can't blame Faneca in that regard - why should he take minimum wage when other guards with about 1/3 of his ability are getting $50 million deals? At his age, he has one more big contract coming - it won't be with the Steelers, though.

rog
08-31-2007, 11:06 AM
And I really can't blame Faneca in that regard - why should he take minimum wage when other guards with about 1/3 of his ability are getting $50 million deals? At his age, he has one more big contract coming - it won't be with the Steelers, though.

I absolutly agree with you if guys like Leonard Davis are getting paid then a possible future HOFer like Faneca should but I think he burned the contract bridge with the Steelers by being as outspoken as he was during the offseason.

Jman
08-31-2007, 11:36 AM
He's still a player, so the bridge isn't burned. I don't know the writer very well, or have read a lot of his work. I do believe it does deserve another look, despite what many think should be a lost cause. Great player, great team, it deserves a shot!

ShutDown24
08-31-2007, 11:48 AM
Hasn't Cooky been watching the pre-season ? Fanec has looked horrible. I'm sorry but I don't want the Steelers to sign him for even half of the money he is asking for.

Atlanta Dan
08-31-2007, 11:51 AM
Cook's columns are becoming increasingly nonsensical.

Sometimes you simply cannot reach each other's price point in negotiations - that rule applies to the NFL as much as any other financial transaction.

In terms of playing for a competitive team, Steve Hutchinson (the best guard playing today - sorry Alan) certainly took a step down by going from Seattle (where the owner has the deepest pockets in the league) to Minnesota but he did it for the $$$. The Seahawks let him go because they had other salary demands to address and were not going to blow up their salary structure to keep an All-Pro guard.

If Simmons actually is having a good camp I am glad to see the Steelers address OL problems by signing someone they can afford.

Jman
08-31-2007, 11:54 AM
:yawn:

Maybe the right price isn't 50 M? Who knows?

delhess
08-31-2007, 12:34 PM
the question might be.. do you want to pay $7 for a 10 ounce beer, and wave goodbye to dan kreider and risk a disgruntled qb, because he can't get his money, to keep a GREAT, but bitter, player???

i think the steelers are running out of salary cap space. am i right?

if i understand the situation from an interview i heard several weeks ago with faneca's rep, he is going to be a little bitter if he doesn't get top money. the way he described the situation was : faneca has wanted more money for several years, the f.o. kept telling him "just wait till your contract is up, don't worry, your payday is coming" now he is furius because they don't want to play ball (in his mind).

i would hate to lose faneca, but i would also love to see him do what many players have done, and say "hey, i might deserve more, but i want to do what is best for the team." i don't think that is gonna happen, and we all know the steelers f. o. isn't going to pay him what he really wants.

ShutDown24
08-31-2007, 12:49 PM
Trade Faneca to Arizona for Fitzgerald for all I care and start Mahan at left guard... Or Starks... With Okobie at center... Fitzgerald may be a little steep but Wiz probably has such a ____ __ for Faneca that he just might do it... If not Larry get Bryant Johnson, he could start at receiver on a lot of teams...

steelwolf21
08-31-2007, 01:41 PM
ain't no way Faneca's going to get resigned. (scuse the double negative) I agree, he can play at a probowl level till he's about 35 which means a 4 year contract would be worth it, but the Steelers don't have the cap room to make him an offer, it seems to me, especially if they're going to extend Big Ben's contract next year and look into locking up other younger up and coming guys in the near future. Faneca knows the Steelers won't offer him as much as one of the 31 other teams next year. All he has to do is make it through one year and he'll have even more peace and security from an even larger signing bonus then he'd have if he signed with the Steelers before next weekend. I'm sorry but the Steelers can't and won't offer him a large enough contract and he can see what he'd get on the open market and expects (rightly so) to be paid what he's worth. I'd love it, but I can't see a resigning happening.

rbryan
08-31-2007, 01:53 PM
Steelers need to get a deal done with Faneca or what?? Faneca is gonna cry like a baby to the media? Faneca is going to have a bad attitude and not give his all?

Please, this ship has sailed. Is this the message you really want to send to other players on the roster?? Act like a jerk and get a big contract? If Faneca doesn't STFU and PLAY, I say sit his azz down. Lets see how much of a contract he gets somewhere else if he's sitting on the bench this year with his piss poor attitude. From what I've seen in the preseason theres a good chance he could get our franchise QB killed due to his lack of effort. He is a professional footbal player who has already been paid millions of dollars. I don't want to hear about his heart not being in it.

Crushzilla
08-31-2007, 02:02 PM
Trade Faneca to Arizona for Fitzgerald for all I care and start Mahan at left guard... Or Starks... With Okobie at center... Fitzgerald may be a little steep but Wiz probably has such a ____ __ for Faneca that he just might do it... If not Larry get Bryant Johnson, he could start at receiver on a lot of teams...

Wishful thinking, but impossible.

Faneca will walk when this contract is done. No sooner, no later, no trade, no resign.

He's past his prime. If he were 26 and dominant, that would be different, but no one is going to give a high potential player for a guy they will get two maybe three productive years out of.

ChronoCross
08-31-2007, 02:20 PM
its pretty simple,,, steelers offered faneca 19mil.. faneca wanted 23 mil for 3 more years..

And for people saying faneca looking horrible,,, get use to it.. its sad but he has let some people just go right by him and that is nothing more then a message to the FO to pay him.. And we going to have to deal with it all season..

rbryan
08-31-2007, 02:38 PM
its pretty simple,,, steelers offered faneca 19mil.. faneca wanted 23 mil for 3 more years..

And for people saying faneca looking horrible,,, get use to it.. its sad but he has let some people just go right by him and that is nothing more then a message to the FO to pay him.. And we going to have to deal with it all season..

I agree. Furthermore, I think if Faneca hadn't been such a jerk over the years the Rooneys may have cut him loose to go get his payday. much like they did Porter. This has become personal now, on both sides. This is just a bad situation with no easy solution. The FO appears to be stubborn enough to force him to play this year even if its clear he isn't going to give his best effort.

Atlanta Dan
08-31-2007, 04:29 PM
But the problem Faneca faces is that if he mails it in this year, after a 2006 season in which he did not play to his previous high level, a legitimate question for any new team is whether he can turn on the switch and return to the level of 2000-2005 Faneca.

Even if you hate your current job, performing it poorly probably is not the best way to attract a new employer for top $. If Faneca has a rotten 2007 it will be because his skills are eroding, not because he is saving something for his new team.

Preacher
08-31-2007, 05:42 PM
But the problem Faneca faces is that if he mails it in this year, after a 2006 season in which he did not play to his previous high level, a legitimate question for any new team is whether he can turn on the switch and return to the level of 2000-2005 Faneca.

Even if you hate your current job, performing it poorly probably is not the best way to attract a new employer for top $. If Faneca has a rotten 2007 it will be because his skills are eroding, not because he is saving something for his new team.

Yep.

Like I said, I will laugh if this season's performance creates a situation where the Steelers are the highest offer. However, at that point, I think we would be done with him. Furthermore, I am worried about injury to our other players if he is only going half way....

delhess
08-31-2007, 05:58 PM
But the problem Faneca faces is that if he mails it in this year, after a 2006 season in which he did not play to his previous high level, a legitimate question for any new team is whether he can turn on the switch and return to the level of 2000-2005 Faneca.

Even if you hate your current job, performing it poorly probably is not the best way to attract a new employer for top $. If Faneca has a rotten 2007 it will be because his skills are eroding, not because he is saving something for his new team.

i am still not convinced he is gonna mail it in. he has a lot to play for, and has always played with passion. maybe i'm dumb, but i think he'll come around a be a workhorse again this year. i hope so, because i think our o line is in trouble w/o him.

Atlanta Dan
08-31-2007, 06:02 PM
i am still not convinced he is gonna mail it in. he has a lot to play for, and has always played with passion. maybe i'm dumb, but i think he'll come around a be a workhorse again this year. i hope so, because i think our o line is in trouble w/o him.

I agree - it is in Faneca's own self-interest to have a great year = the Jags apparently cut Leftwich's ass this afternoon for having a bad preseason in his contract year because of lackadaisical preseason play.

delhess
08-31-2007, 06:03 PM
i also have to add that these agents are ruining the nfl by telling their client they can get them what they "deserve". who "deserves" $20 million anyway? what's going on with raiders right now is a damn shame, and something should be done to stop this nonsense (greed really) or the nfl is going to look like the nba in a couple years.

i think if we learned anything in the last couple weeks, it should be that paying a guy top dollar gaurantees nothing. (i'm talkin about vick)

the steelers will do what is right here, i am sure

revefsreleets
08-31-2007, 08:04 PM
I think it's probably in the Steelers best interests to offer Faneca a deal that is significantly richer then the offer he dismissed as insulting, but not rich enough that he'd actually sign. This way it sends the message to the players around the league that the Steelers will pay well, just not overpay. Make no mistake about it, Alan Faneca will be playing his butt off this year, and he's going to be fishing for "AAA" player money, whether his play warrants it or not. It behooves the Steelers to appear generous so other FA's they try to attract in the future, as well as their own future FA's get the right message.

Black@Gold Forever32
08-31-2007, 08:05 PM
People of Pittsburgh send me Cook's articles.....Not that I think he is a great writer by any means...But I want to save on toilet paper and I will wipe my back side with Cook's master pieces...lol

steelpride12
08-31-2007, 10:40 PM
I think it's probably in the Steelers best interests to offer Faneca a deal that is significantly richer then the offer he dismissed as insulting, but not rich enough that he'd actually sign. This way it sends the message to the players around the league that the Steelers will pay well, just not overpay. Make no mistake about it, Alan Faneca will be playing his butt off this year, and he's going to be fishing for "AAA" player money, whether his play warrants it or not. It behooves the Steelers to appear generous so other FA's they try to attract in the future, as well as their own future FA's get the right message.

I agree i mean he is prob. the best Guard in the NFL and a very valuable player/leader on the O-Line who we need to lead the youngsters. Sadly our O-line is bad enough and with him gone it will be worse so i think he should get the money def. since we have alot laying around cuz Rooney never spends it!(Smart man)