View Full Version : Which Steeler is next to get a new deal?

04-14-2009, 08:27 PM
Which Steeler is next to get a new deal?
By Mike Bires
Times Sports Staff
Published: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 2:29 PM EDT

PITTSBURGH -- Now that James Harrison’s new deal is done, who’s next to have his contract extended?

Traditionally, the Steelers prefer to lock in star players before they enter into the last year of their existing contracts.

With Harrison agreeing to a six-year, $51.175 million deal on Monday, that leaves the Steelers with at least 12 key contributors in the final year of their contracts.

Here’s a list of them according to their importance:


Heath Miller, tight end

Because of the way the Steelers throw the ball, Miller will probably never catch enough passes to earn Pro Bowl recognition. But to the Steelers, Miller is an all-star. He’s only 26 and very much in the prime of his career. He’s a keeper.

Willie Parker, running back

Now 28, Parker is entering his sixth season. He’s been injured for parts of the past two seasons. Considering that studies show that average career for an NFL running back lasts less than three years, Parker may have already peaked. Still, there’s hope Parker has at least two more electrifying years left in him.

Max Starks, tackle

After the Steelers tagged Starks a franchise player, he quickly signed the offer which guarantees him $8.5 million this year. That’s the average of the top 10 salaries at his position last year. Ideally, the Steelers want to lock Starks into a long-term deal. Why not? He’s already started on two Super Bowl teams. He’s huge (6-foot-8 and 345 pounds). And he’s only 27.

Hines Ward, wide receiver

Players get new deals not because of what they’ve done in the past, but what they can do in the future. And even at 33, Ward still has much to give. He caught 81 passes last year and went over 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2004. And he was still throwing those bone-crunching blocks of his.

Ryan Clark, free safety

There may be better safeties in the NFL, but no one is more feared by pass catchers crossing the middle of the field than Clark. Just ask New England’s Wes Welker or Baltimore’s Willis McGahee. Most importantly, Clark is an intelligent safety who’s so important to the way the Steelers play defense.


Casey Hampton, nose tackle

“Big Hamp” already got his monster contract four years ago when he got a signing bonus close to $7 million. Because he plays only half the game (he leaves the fields on passing downs), the Steelers won’t break the bank to keep him. But he still is a great run stuffer, and great defense always starts with stopping the run.

Willie Colon, tackle

This tough guy from the Bronx, NY, may someday move inside and play guard. But wherever he plays, the Steelers like him. He’s a physical brawler who’s started every game the past two years. And he’s only 26.


Brett Keisel, defensive end

Considering he was a seventh-round pick in the ‘02 draft, Keisel has had a very good ride. He’s a great guy in the clubhouse. But he certainly isn’t the most spectacular 3-4 D-end in the NFL. With the Steelers projecting to pick a defensive end in this year’s draft, there may be no reason to sign Keisel to an extension.

Jeff Reed, kicker

He’s a little bit of a flake (witness his off-season police blotter incident when he punched out a towel dispenser in a Sheetz’s restroom). But Reed has been Mr. Clutch the past two years, connecting on 50 of 56 field goal attempts. Still, he is kicker, so there is no hurry to lock him in long-term.

Justin Hartwig, center

If the Steelers pick a center in the first or second round of this year’s draft, Hartwig’s chances of getting an extension drop dramatically. At times last year, Hartwig received rave reviews from the coaches. But no one’s that clamoring that Hartwig is the Steelers’ next great center.

Deshea Townsend, cornerback

This wily veteran will be 34 in September, so the Steelers are in no hurry to sign him long-term. That’s especially true with William Gay primed to move into the spot vacated by Bryant McFadden’s departure. But because Townsend is still a solid cover corner, he maybe brought back in 2010 to provide depth and leadership.

Larry Foote, inside linebacker

Foote’s days as a Steeler may be numbered At least his days as a starter are. It’s time for Lawrence Timmons, the No. draft pick two years ago, to step into a starting role. If Foote wants to start again, he’ll have to test free agency in 2010.

04-14-2009, 09:23 PM
How long is Santonio's rookie contract?

Steel Head
04-15-2009, 09:47 AM
How long is Santonio's rookie contract?

he is entering his 4th year of a 5 year contract

04-15-2009, 09:54 AM
I think signing Jeff Reed is important. The man has never missed a game winning FG. Hines, Miller, Reed and Clark are musts.

T Bradshaw
04-15-2009, 10:00 AM
I think signing Jeff Reed is important. The man has never missed a game winning FG. Hines, Miller, Reed and Clark are musts.


04-15-2009, 05:17 PM
HEATH MILLER is the one that they should go after next

04-15-2009, 05:22 PM
No way that they dont Re Sign Reed, this guy can kick in one of the worst places to kick period, and hes clutch. A knuckle head yes, but he can kick.