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mesaSteeler
06-29-2009, 11:50 PM
Who's next in Pittsburgh?
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth
June 29, 2009 1:25 PM

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

After spending much of the offseason close to the salary cap, the Pittsburgh Steelers finally have some much-needed relief following a recent four-year contract extension with starting left tackle Max Starks. The agreement lifted the $8.451 million franchise tag off Starks and provided about $3 million in salary-cap space for this season.

In for the long haul?
Here is a look at Pittsburgh's key 2010 free agents:
Player Pos. Age
Heath Miller TE 26
Willie Parker RB 28
Ryan Clark S 29
Brett Keisel DE 30
Jeff Reed K 30
Casey Hampton NT 31

Now the question in Pittsburgh is, "Who's next?"

Most people are aware of the high-profile Steelers playing in the final year of their deals such as tight end Heath Miller, safety Ryan Clark, tailback Willie Parker and starting nose tackle Casey Hampton. The 2010 class also included Starks, receiver Hines Ward and Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison until Pittsburgh took care of those players with long-term deals this offseason.

The first order of business for Pittsburgh likely is getting rookie Evander "Ziggy" Hood under contract before players report to training camp on July 31. Hood is the only unsigned draft pick left for the Steelers.

But once that part is complete, expect the Steelers to attempt to lock up at least one more key cog -- maybe Miller or Clark -- long-term before trying to make another title run.

mesaSteeler
06-29-2009, 11:52 PM
Also from James Walker ESPN mailbag

Bob Benson from Austin, TX writes: Now that Max Starks has signed a new deal and opened up some cap room, who is the top UFA for the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign? My vote is TE Health Miller.

James Walker: Based on some reporting mixed in with an educated guess, Miller and/or safety Ryan Clark could be next to get new deals. I mentioned this in an earlier blog post Monday, Bob. Miller is probably the most important 2010 free agent, but he will not be the most affordable. That could make it a little tougher to get him signed long-term. Clark is a very good player who could be more on the affordable side to fit under this year's salary cap.

Men of Steel
06-30-2009, 01:25 AM
agree! Heath has to be the most important signing... he has to be locked up for the next several years... his play improves with each year, and he is only 26. His value is unquestionable for this team... the offense and Big Ben of course.

Clark is such a great player.. .that flies under the radar... well, after last years huge plays and HITS... who knows for how much longer. yet he is also an important sign... really... who can relieve troy and ryan for starting time? while the younger players are raised to play steeler football.. it is essential our Veterans stay with the team.

thats why farrior and ward are here to stay... to prepare the young kids.. and set the tone for the futre... to teach the rooks the Steeler way. :tt03:

Galax Steeler
06-30-2009, 06:02 AM
I would love to see Miller get signed soon. He is a big piece of the offense. I just hope he don't won't break the bank type money.

Preacher
06-30-2009, 06:09 AM
I think it goes

Miller
Clark
Hampton.

If Ziggy works out, Keisel either walks or takes a good cut to stay around, though I could see Hampton walking and Ziggy filling in MAYBE.

Reed will sign, but there is no need to really worry about him.

Left out is Willie and one of the Dline. However, a hometown discount might bring them all back. Though that is quite unlikely.

Does anyone know where we sit next year? I know it is an uncapped year supposedly, but compared to this year, how far over or under the cap will we be with projected salaries? That will say a lot right there.

HometownGal
06-30-2009, 07:26 AM
Signing Heath is a MUST and we have to find a way to hang on to Ryan Clark. Hampton will be 32 years old in 2010, so the Steelers may want to think about a short term commitment there.

The Steelers will sign Mr. Clutch and I hope he is handsomely rewarded. :hatsoff:

steel9guy
06-30-2009, 09:14 AM
Heath Miller, Jeff Reed.

Steel Head
06-30-2009, 09:35 AM
Miller is probably the most important 2010 free agent, but he will not be the most affordable.

why did he say this about not being affordable???

I didn't think tight ends made a huge amount of money

I think they will re-sign Miller and Clark. 3-year deal for Clark and a nice long 5-year deal for Miller

Let Hampton play this year then franchise him next year then let him go

TackleMeBen
06-30-2009, 09:50 AM
we definately need to sign miller.

as for parker, i think his contract will depend on what mendy does this upcoming season. if he has a great season, they may let parker go and let mendy become the #1 running back. if mendy doesnt have a great season, then i could see them trying to sign parker.

lilyoder6
06-30-2009, 09:53 AM
I think it goes

Miller
Clark
Hampton.

If Ziggy works out, Keisel either walks or takes a good cut to stay around, though I could see Hampton walking and Ziggy filling in MAYBE.

Reed will sign, but there is no need to really worry about him.

Left out is Willie and one of the Dline. However, a hometown discount might bring them all back. Though that is quite unlikely.

Does anyone know where we sit next year? I know it is an uncapped year supposedly, but compared to this year, how far over or under the cap will we be with projected salaries? That will say a lot right there.

well since there is supposed to be no cap next, and if they get a new deal in place.. they will have to come up with what the cap will be next yr... and then u don't know if the nfl will increase it after some events,, like this past yr when they raised it like 8 mill..

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-30-2009, 09:56 AM
As much as I worry about who is gonna play NT, I think Miller is the most important to sign and hope they can somehow get it done.

The probable departure of veterans like Townsend, Kirschke, Carter, Ratliff, Davis, Keisel, Hartwig after this season means there should be some cap room to massage for guys like Hampton, Clark.

Also, remember that with no CBA, there will be both the franchise tag and transition tag to use in 2010.

steelreserve
06-30-2009, 10:42 AM
Clark - re-signed before this season
Miller - high RFA contract; sorry
Hampton - Franchise
Kiesel - signs for $5M (his cap hit this year) or else gone
Parker - good riddance; plays for Broncos and sucks

There. So that pretty much takes care of everything.

Steel-Bryan
06-30-2009, 06:05 PM
Clark - re-signed before this season
Miller - high RFA contract; sorry
Hampton - Franchise
Kiesel - signs for $5M (his cap hit this year) or else gone
Parker - good riddance; plays for Broncos and sucks

There. So that pretty much takes care of everything.

I doubt he would suck.

SteelCityKing
06-30-2009, 06:30 PM
i read somewhere that no matter what happens Casey Hampton wants to retire a Steeler. even if that means taking a huge paycut. i mean, Bettis did it and look what happened for him. a title.

Hampton should stay no matter what. Miller should be signed for sure. Clark should stay. i think if anyone is upa nd ready to go would be Willie Parker. injury prone and a great roste of backups, it could happen. even though it'd suck, but if you want to make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs.

HometownGal
06-30-2009, 06:47 PM
I doubt he would suck.

I agree.

That "what have you done for me lately" odor is permeating this thread. :poop:

Texasteel
06-30-2009, 07:04 PM
I agree.

That "what have you done for me lately" odor is permeating this thread. :poop:

If he has a great year no one will ever remember having said anything against Parker.

MongoSteeler
07-03-2009, 10:07 PM
The question was "Who's Next"?

The answer has to be Clark because of the limited cap space they face now. They will try to get a 2 year extension done with Clark before the beginning of Training Camp.