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mesaSteeler
04-21-2009, 12:18 AM
Steelers' over-30 set wants their money
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2009/04/20/sports/steelers/doc49ed448ba8a1e401148550.txt
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff

PITTSBURGH — Hines Ward and Casey Hampton want to be the next 30-something Steelers to cash in with lucrative contracts.

Last August at 33 years old, inside linebacker James Farrior got his deal done.

Last week, outside linebacker James Harrison, who turns 31 on May 4, became the highest-paid defensive player in franchise history.

“Potsie signed one. Deebo signed one,” Hampton said of Farrior and Harrison’s extensions. “So the myth is kind of changing of (the Steelers) not paying guys over 30.

“Just look out for me one time,” Hampton added with a laugh.

Actually, the Steelers did “look out” for Hampton four years ago when they signed him to a five-year contract that included a $5 million signing bonus. This season, he’ll make $3.075 million in base salary.

The Steelers also took care of Ward four years ago when they signed him to a five-year contract that included a $10 million signing bonus. Ward will make $5.8 million in base salary this year

But now Hampton, who turns 32 on Sept. 3, and the 33-year-old Ward would like one more extension that would all but guarantee they’ll finish their careers in Pittsburgh.

“I want to be a Steeler. I don’t want to put on another uniform,” said Ward, the Steelers’ all-time leading pass catcher and team record holder in several statistical categories. “If the two parties can come together and agree to that, I’m all for it.”

Ward said that his agent and the Steelers have only engaged in “minor discussions” so far.

When asked if he expects a deal to be struck before the end of training camp — the Steelers don’t negotiate once a season starts — Ward said, “I hope so. All the guys (in the last year of their contract) would. But I’m going to harp on it.”

Hampton, the Steelers’ first-round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, said the Steelers won’t begin contract discussions with him until the start of training camp. Last year, Hampton spent two weeks on the physically-unable-to-perform list after reporting to camp overweight and out of shape.

“Of course I want to come back,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else. I want to end my career here. How many guys get to play 12, 13 years and get to stay in one place? Hopefully everything will work out and I will sign another deal and end up here.

“That was always a knock that (the Steelers) don’t pay you when you get over 30. If I get in a little shape and get in (to camp) right, maybe I will be the third guy over 30 to get a little money.”

Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com.

devilsdancefloor
04-21-2009, 12:30 AM
Well i honestly can see hines retiring a steeler , but i cant see big snack retiring a steeler:noidea:

Galax Steeler
04-21-2009, 04:24 AM
Well i honestly can see hines retiring a steeler , but i cant see big snack retiring a steeler:noidea:

Agreed I believe Hines will stay with us but Hampton will be history.

stlrtruck
04-21-2009, 08:17 AM
Keep Hines, replace Hampton

lilyoder6
04-21-2009, 08:48 AM
well it's nice 2 see hampton trying to come into camp in shape for once.. lol..
if hampton wants 2 be like ward,, then maybe they can find a middle and then he can get his wish bout retiring a steeler

BubbyBrister
04-21-2009, 09:06 AM
I don't know if anyone else saw it last night or not, if so you could refresh my memory. But, on KDKA last night they were talking to Hines and Casey (probably at the same time this was going on) and it sure sounded to me like Hines was willing to take at least some sort of hometown discount, no idea how big of one, but thats the way it sounded to me.

All I remember about them talking to Hampton was the quote about him coming in better shape this year.

scsteeler
04-21-2009, 09:45 AM
Well i honestly can see hines retiring a steeler , but i cant see big snack retiring a steeler:noidea:


Yes!!!!!!!!! Hines has already said he does not plan on going to another team and will remain a Steeler and has no problem doing what is needed contract wise to retire a Steeler. Hines said he learned a lot from Bettis and has no plans of shopping himself to any other team he wants to end his career in Steeler Town.

KeiselPower99
04-21-2009, 10:15 AM
Hampton has a few years left as a NT. After that he could be a great 4-3 DT. As for Hines we all know he wont leave this town and play for another.

Steel Head
04-21-2009, 10:17 AM
replace Hampton

easier said than done

I agree that I think the Steelers will let Hampton walk after this season but it will be tough to replace him. Nose Tackles are the cornerstone of the 3-4 defense. Without a strong nose tackle, the 3-4 doesn't work

GBMelBlount
04-21-2009, 10:38 AM
easier said (replacing Hampton) than done

I agree that I think the Steelers will let Hampton walk after this season but it will be tough to replace him. Nose Tackles are the cornerstone of the 3-4 defense. Without a strong nose tackle, the 3-4 doesn't work

I like Hampton but I dunno. Hasn't Hoke filled in pretty well when called upon? If Hampton is coming into the last year of his contract in better shape (for a change) it could be argued that it is only to cash in when he negotiates his final contract. I personally would be very careful about paying him top dollar at this point.......

billybob
04-21-2009, 10:42 AM
Hampton has been a solid brick in our defensive line for many years,he almost commands the opponent to double team him each and every play. Hoke is a very soid replacement ,but it is not like he is under 30 either.
I like the "Big Snack " , and i hope he retires as one of our own. If he changes to the " light snack " maybe he can afford to stay.
As far as Ward goes , he will retire a Steeler. The impression i get from Ward is he could play for a dollar a day and still smile! Seems like the "STEELERS " mean a lot to him , and he sure has meant a lot to the Steelers.
Without a proven , and solid prospect for our nose tackle, i'm not that convinced we should let " Big Snack " go. By proven i am not saying Hoke is not proven, but if you let someone as valuable as " Snack" has been to us go , for someone right behind him in age , i think it could be disasterous . Our defense needs a big nose tackle to be at its most effective level. The 34 depends on it more than most realize.

billybob
04-21-2009, 11:00 AM
Keep Hines, replace Hampton

Replace him with someone older, that makes real good sense. Who do you have in mind as a replacement? Someone like Hampton , is not gonna be replaced by a back-up that is older than he is for too long.

Steeldude
04-21-2009, 11:14 AM
I like Hampton but I dunno. Hasn't Hoke filled in pretty well when called upon?

IMO, i say the steelers try to find a replacement in this weekend's draft or 2010. when hampton's contract is up let him walk and use hoke for another year. personally i find hoke to be the better of the two, at the moment. this is because of hampton's weight problems.

billybob
04-21-2009, 11:22 AM
Are there any good "grooming quality '" 34 nose tackles in this draft? Haven't followed that closely , cause i did not feel it was a priority . Guess i have to look into that.

lilyoder6
04-21-2009, 11:31 AM
i'm think that with so many players entering there final yr of the contract.. the steelers might actually have some cap room next off-season.. so they should be able 2 re-sign players that won't ask too much

Curtain_of_Steel
04-21-2009, 11:54 AM
If the price is right we can resign both. But I dont think we can overpay Ward 6mill plus or Big Snack more than 2/2.5. Give them a nice bonus, guarranttees and 3 year deals should be good.

Holts deal could F%^k up Wards deal going forward. Casey won't be over paid elsewhere so imo a fair deal could be had, the dude comes to play at any weight..

Steel Head
04-21-2009, 12:06 PM
I like Hampton but I dunno. Hasn't Hoke filled in pretty well when called upon? If Hampton is coming into the last year of his contract in better shape (for a change) it could be argued that it is only to cash in when he negotiates his final contract. I personally would be very careful about paying him top dollar at this point.......

I agree

Atleast we get a year of Hampton playing his best for a big contract. Even though, he started the season last year out-of-shape, he had a pretty solid season. Next year, he should be even better :tt02:

Steel Head
04-21-2009, 12:08 PM
Are there any good "grooming quality '" 34 nose tackles in this draft? Haven't followed that closely , cause i did not feel it was a priority . Guess i have to look into that.

Someone had a thread in the draft forum about a NT from Michigan

billybob
04-21-2009, 12:09 PM
Like i said earlier , i think Ward could play for a dollar a day and still have that smile on his face. He is Pittsburgh ! Hampton needs to be adressed in my opinion. He is one of the boys now. If he doesn't get greedy , he will live out his NFL life as one of our own. He has not shown a decline in my opinion, and if he is a little overweight , it could take three lineman to keep him under control , instead of a measely 2.

Dino 6 Rings
04-21-2009, 12:15 PM
I don't think there are too many 3-4 NTs in College at this point. And with more and more NFL teams changing to the 3-4, finding a replacement for Hampton, that will be good for years and years is a very tall glass of water.

Personally, I think the Steelers go Dline this year in the 1st or 2nd round. There are Always Tackles and Guards and Centers available in Every Single Draft. With every single team in College using 5 linemen on offense, its the Dline 3-4 NT that is the tough one to find.

billybob
04-21-2009, 12:45 PM
I don't think there are too many 3-4 NTs in College at this point. And with more and more NFL teams changing to the 3-4, finding a replacement for Hampton, that will be good for years and years is a very tall glass of water.

Personally, I think the Steelers go Dline this year in the 1st or 2nd round. There are Always Tackles and Guards and Centers available in Every Single Draft. With every single team in College using 5 linemen on offense, its the Dline 3-4 NT that is the tough one to find.

Being realistic , i have to agree as finding a replacement "long term " for either Snack or Hoke is of secondary importance. I have backed up the " MACH 5 " , but i can see them selecting a quality o-lineman before they go for defense. Everyone seems to think it is a more pressing need. With that said , it is all the more reason a defensive minded team like we are , that " Big Snack " must stay.
I have faith in Ward , but lets face it wide recievers are almost a dime a dozen. A solid 34 nose tackle is not. We have to pick our poison. We have done the Steeler Nation proud for the most part in the past and i do not see that changing any time soon.
Of course we have to let it up to the front office and our big-time coaches.

steelreserve
04-21-2009, 12:55 PM
If Hampton really means he wants to get paid "a little", then he might stick around. If he actually means 4 years and $40 million by "a little," then he has franchise tag or Cowboys written all over him. And I only say franchise tag because we get two next year with no cap.

BubbyBrister
04-21-2009, 01:06 PM
I know that we don't like to think about it, but Lebeau can't coach forever (as we all know). When Lebeau is gone, isn't it likely that Tomlin takes that opportunity to hire 'his guy' and run his 4-3 Cover 2?

I'm not a Defensive strategy expert, so I'll ask. How does a 3-4 NT transfer into a 4-3? If not seamlessly, it just doesn't make sense to use a first round pick as a replacement on someone that we will only have for 2-3 more years. Not to mention that you would have to groom them to be a 3-4 NT at the NFL level, then have them transition back (and probably lose some weight) in the near future.

They could just franchise him next year, get him through two years (this and next) then who knows what is happening with the defense.

Perhaps I'm off base, and don't know if the plan is to stay a 3-4 in the A.L. era (After Lebeau).

fansince'76
04-21-2009, 01:12 PM
I'm not a Defensive strategy expert, so I'll ask. How does a 3-4 NT transfer into a 4-3? If not seamlessly, it just doesn't make sense to use a first round pick as a replacement on someone that we will only have for 2-3 more years. Not to mention that you would have to groom them to be a 3-4 NT at the NFL level, then have them transition back (and probably lose some weight) in the near future.

Move 'em to DT. The bigger transition will be acquiring 4-3 DEs as opposed to 3-4 DEs, if we do switch to a 4-3/Cover 2 at some point. Either that, or bring our OLBs to the line to play DE in the 4-3, and there's a transition involved if we go that route as well. At least I would think that'd be the case.

steelers4life66
04-21-2009, 01:18 PM
As long as Hampton doesn't go for the really big bucks I think they'll keep him. At least 2 years.

BubbyBrister
04-21-2009, 01:19 PM
Either that, or bring our OLBs to the line to play DE in the 4-3, and there's a transition involved if we go that route as well. At least I would think that'd be the case.

Weren't Woodley and Davis both 4-3 DE's in college? (Not that Davis is starter quality at the moment, or that he will develop into that)

[edit] I know that Woodley was, and I'm aware that I didn't mention Harrison, as I said, I'm horrible at guessing how they would transition.

Sidenote: Saw this while looking at Harrison's wiki:
"Harrison later told the Beaver County Times that if not for Haggans's injury, he planned on retiring from football at age 26 to focus on becoming a veterinarian, something that Harrison still plans on doing after his football career ends. "

fansince'76
04-21-2009, 01:23 PM
Weren't Woodley and Davis both 4-3 DE's in college? (Not that Davis is starter quality at the moment, or that he will develop into that)

Actually, I believe they were (I don't follow college ball much). Perhaps the transition wouldn't be that great.

Fire Haley
04-21-2009, 01:36 PM
Next year's headlines:

The 7 time Super Bowl Champion Steelers will be glad to accept paycuts from those players wanting to remain on the team.

truesteelerfan
04-21-2009, 01:44 PM
The only problem i have with giving Snack a big time contract is that he's only a 2-down player. Yes, he's vital to our stopping the run on 1st and 2nd downs, but he's replaceable with another big bodied 2 down player. He's above average I agree when it comes to his past performance, but isn't pretty much anyone who's 400 lbs hard to push out of the way by a center? I think we should def negotiate with him yes, but if he's looking for Harrison money and only plays half as much, let him go, draft his successor.

billybob
04-21-2009, 02:09 PM
problem is his successer is older than he.He never said he was looking for a pile of money , although i can't answer that. I love his presence in the locker room and i love his presence on the field. I say if he works with the front office , we can surely use him for at least 2 or 4 more seasons. Thing is , his teammates seem to like him too!
He has carried himself both on and off the field as a perfect example of what the Steelers look for in a player. (well maybe he likes to eat big snacks ) , but he was never detrimental to our team. I am all for bringing in a young buck for him to bring along , but that remains to be seen . I think Tomlin calling him out last season said a tremendous amount of what his charactor consists of. He did what he had to do and did not complain. If that ain't the kind of guy you want on your team , i don't know who is!

stlrtruck
04-21-2009, 02:27 PM
Replace him with someone older, that makes real good sense. Who do you have in mind as a replacement? Someone like Hampton , is not gonna be replaced by a back-up that is older than he is for too long.

Replace him via draft. I like the way the Steelers have mostly replaced their players and it's usually through the draft - not via free agency.

Steel Head
04-21-2009, 02:48 PM
Replace him via draft. I like the way the Steelers have mostly replaced their players and it's usually through the draft - not via free agency.

It's not as easy to replace a 3-4 nose tackle than it is other positions

lilyoder6
04-21-2009, 02:49 PM
the draft is prob the best way.. but always could find a gem in FA if the person is young enough

wootawnee
04-21-2009, 03:22 PM
Just pay him in cheeseburgers.....He'll stay........:rofl::rofl:

Rek
04-21-2009, 03:25 PM
Just pay him in cheeseburgers.....He'll stay........:rofl::rofl:

Six-year, 50 million cheeseburger salary with a bonus of onion rings :thumbsup:

Steely McSmash
04-21-2009, 04:13 PM
Are there any good "grooming quality '" 34 nose tackles in this draft? Haven't followed that closely , cause i did not feel it was a priority . Guess i have to look into that.

These guys are fairly easy to identify by shape. Find any list of DT college players and sort by decending weight and throw out guys taller than 6-3 and below 300 lbs.

BJ Raji and Ron Brace both from BC are the consensus first day NT picks.

Here are some groomers to watch:

Roy Miller from Texas -- Very good potential, probably 3rd best prospect - 3rd or 4th rounder

Dorell Scott from Clemson -- A bit on the light side, probably more natural in the 4-3 but could project to a Hoke like player than can be either 3-4 DE or NT. 3rd rounder

Terrence Taylor from Michigan -- Good college player - maybe a bit out of shape - 4th rounder

Sammie Lee Hill from Stillman -- Small college prospect who will need a year of grooming. a little taller than ideal. 4th or 5th prospect

Vance Walker from Georgia Tech -- A little on the light side but could develop. 5th rounder.

Chris Baker from Hampton -- needs a year to condition. possible character issues -- kicked off of PSU. 6th rounder

stlrtruck
04-21-2009, 04:14 PM
It's not as easy to replace a 3-4 nose tackle than it is other positions

That's why we need to draft one this year. Give him a few years under his belt before Big Snack leaves for the Big Check.

billybob
04-21-2009, 04:45 PM
I know all signs point to replacing our "OLD" d-line. With all we have nearing the end of thier contracts , i would expect some type of recovery from the draft.
Considering how much younger the "Mach 5 " is compared to our d-line , it makes perfect sense to utilize the draft to stablize the defense.
It was another thread , but all the "MACH 5 " was resigned. Just maybe this is the time to jump on the d-line. They have the age on this team , but i don't think letting "BIG SNACK " go is the correct answer to that debacle.
He is an anchor buddy boy , and if we let him go.........i don't want to be around for the responses on this site.
Why did we not restructure , why could we not figure a way out to keep him? Look how well he's playin for them.
I for one do not want the BIG SNACK " on an opposing defense. He is fine where he is and i only hope we can find a way to keep him where he started his carreer.
I am a "BIG SNACK " fan. Matter of fact i am going to have a couple of big-macs and take me a nap.
I love Ward , but man , to let the snack man go would , in my opinion be a grave mistake for our defense.
Guess we will see how "MR. DICK " and the rest of the organization feel about it in the long run.

LVSteelersfan
04-21-2009, 06:05 PM
They have got to do something about nose tackle in this draft regardless of whether Casey is re-signed or not. Grooming could take a couple years and Hoke is no spring chicken. I say slap the franchise tag on Hampton next year if he gets too greedy. He will still get paid but we won't be stuck with an older player with a long term contract. He could deteriorate very quickly over the next season or two especially since he has a history of weight related problems.

austinfrench76
04-21-2009, 07:24 PM
Sign them both! Follow in the Steeler path of "keeping our own"!

The Duke
04-22-2009, 01:44 AM
I think hampton will be gone. I just don't see him taking too much of a paycut, and he'll need that to stay. I bet he goes back home to texas and joins the cowboys

Next year's headlines:

The 7 time Super Bowl Champion Steelers will be glad to accept paycuts from those players wanting to remain on the team.

well, if they are smart they'll stay....

steelwall
04-22-2009, 02:26 AM
I think hampton will be gone. I just don't see him taking too much of a paycut, and he'll need that to stay. I bet he goes back home to texas and joins the cowboys



well, if they are smart they'll stay....

Yeah, Hampton doesnt seem like the kind of player to take less money just to stay... I could be wrong....He just strikes me as the person to go after the most money, and he'll get plenty of offers I'm sure.

ricksteelers55
04-22-2009, 02:42 AM
Funny but my thoughts on it is that maybe next year could be the last year we run the 3-4.I was thinking to myself can we really stay with the 3-4 without decent NT ? Hoke is more than ok,but he's getting older and Hampton will probably command top dollars,so what happen if we cant re-sign Big Snack and cant find college prospects that can step in and play NT ? And what if the plan is to simply let Big Snack go,and dont replace him with college prospect ? I think this D could switch to 4-3 cover 2 faster than we might think.

Aaron Smith would switch DT i think
Lamarr Woodley would switch to 4-3 DE
Chris Hoke could still work as 4-3 DT
and we could either keep Keisel as the other 4-3 DE or if he walks out next year try Bruce Davis or another draftee this year who knows.The more im thinking about that the more I think that the Bruce Davis pick last year when we all said we needed DL might have been a long-term plan.maybe not

LB corps would be Harrison-Farrior-Timmons I think

who knows...maybe im wrong,but that is just my opinion

steelwall
04-22-2009, 03:01 AM
Funny but my thoughts on it is that maybe next year could be the last year we run the 3-4.I was thinking to myself can we really stay with the 3-4 without decent NT ? Hoke is more than ok,but he's getting older and Hampton will probably command top dollars,so what happen if we cant re-sign Big Snack and cant find college prospects that can step in and play NT ? And what if the plan is to simply let Big Snack go,and dont replace him with college prospect ? I think this D could switch to 4-3 cover 2 faster than we might think.

Aaron Smith would switch DT i think
Lamarr Woodley would switch to 4-3 DE
Chris Hoke could still work as 4-3 DT
and we could either keep Keisel as the other 4-3 DE or if he walks out next year try Bruce Davis or another draftee this year who knows.The more im thinking about that the more I think that the Bruce Davis pick last year when we all said we needed DL might have been a long-term plan.maybe not

LB corps would be Harrison-Farrior-Timmons I think

who knows...maybe im wrong,but that is just my opinion


I don't see us changing our whole deffensive scheme over the loss of Hampton.

paw-n-maul-u
04-22-2009, 06:28 AM
That is an interesting thought, especially with the uncertainty of Dick Lebeaus return every year.

Hampton was a very special talent when he came out. I mean he was unstoppable from Day 1. I can't think of a DT besides Ngata that I thought could play a 3-4 NT like hampton in any recent draft.

The steelers have the personnel to switch to a 4-3, they even run a hybrid 4-3 sometimes. But I can't imagine a full on switch to NYG or Philly stlye 4-3

BubbyBrister
04-22-2009, 10:31 AM
I don't see us changing our whole deffensive scheme over the loss of Hampton.

I actually posted something similar to the post above you earlier in this thread.

It wouldn't be strictly due to the loss of Hampton. But, also the uncertainty over Coach Lebeau, the man is in his late 70s I believe. You also have to factor in that Tomlin is likely to run his own system once the mastermind retires.

Tomlin's system is the 4-3. I think his plan coming in was to eventually move to a 4-3, but let Lebeau continue to run the 3-4 until we had the personnel. Think of the drafts since he's been here: Woodley, College 4-3 DE; Bruce Davis, DE/LB in College (I think); and I'd say that Timmons has the motor to play just about anywhere (needs to get a bit better at the runstop however).

If the plan is to change in the future, and Hampton doesn't sign, the longest I see us running the 3-4 is until Hoke's contract runs out. B/c it is so hard to find someone as skilled/"athletically fat" as Hampton/Ngata to play that position, and it wouldn't make sense for us to draft/sign someone new long term if the eventual plan is to convert the defense anyway.

Edman
04-22-2009, 10:44 AM
This upcoming draft just got a whole lot more interesting.

flasteeler
04-22-2009, 11:26 AM
I agree, it sounds like Hampton will want too much money. I think Jeff Reed just turned 30, and he is also one fo the 30 somethings that wants a new contract. If he doesn't take a hometown discount, or we don't think he will, there is a great kicker we could pick up in the 6th-7th rounds this year out of Florida State (Grahm Gano). He has a breakout year last year, and handled kicking and punting duties. He could act as a back-up punter while taking full time kicking duties (at 6th-7th draft choice money). Just an idea. If he works on his leg strength on kickoffs, hell be great. I watched him over 20 times.

For sure, you have to resign Heath. I always say we should utilize our tight ends more. Heath is the real deal. Ward hopefully takes the hometown discount. I agree, we need to find a NT to replace Hampton/Hoke.

Dynasty
04-22-2009, 09:52 PM
I agree, it sounds like Hampton will want too much money. I think Jeff Reed just turned 30, and he is also one fo the 30 somethings that wants a new contract. If he doesn't take a hometown discount, or we don't think he will, there is a great kicker we could pick up in the 6th-7th rounds this year out of Florida State (Grahm Gano). He has a breakout year last year, and handled kicking and punting duties. He could act as a back-up punter while taking full time kicking duties (at 6th-7th draft choice money). Just an idea. If he works on his leg strength on kickoffs, hell be great. I watched him over 20 times.

For sure, you have to resign Heath. I always say we should utilize our tight ends more. Heath is the real deal. Ward hopefully takes the hometown discount. I agree, we need to find a NT to replace Hampton/Hoke.

yeah, but when you're a guy like reed, age doesn't matter too much. it seems like his leg is actually getting stronger, so not really an issue in the near future

billybob
04-22-2009, 10:04 PM
Hate to butt in on a thread about ........Reed ? He ain't goin anywhere. Parse that thought from your mind. Our whole team this season will have to be reckoned with by the rest of the league. Sepulvida coming back , Rush-hard coming back , entire special teams coming back. Thats all i need to say.

flasteeler
04-23-2009, 09:21 AM
I just worry about paying a kick $1.5 million a year. I love Reed, don't get me wrong. Heinz field is one of the toughest (if not the toughest) stadiums to kick in. We need cap space (apparantly), but what can we believe at this point in time. With the rumors that Russel was released due to behavior and not financial issues, maybe we have everything on lock down. Either way, I think its going to be one helluva season.