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mesaSteeler
08-02-2009, 07:44 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=Ao.lyJIFViRyCbewYiG1y5iT2bYF?slug=ap-steelerscamp&prov=ap&type=lgns

Some key Steelers still waiting for big paydays

By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer 1 hour, 54 minutes ago
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LATROBE, Pa. (AP)—James Harrison(notes) got his money, and so did Hines Ward(notes) and Heath Miller(notes). Max Starks(notes), Chris Kemoeatu(notes) and Trai Essex(notes) cashed in, too.

Here’s the potential problem for the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers: Casey Hampton(notes), Jeff Reed(notes), Willie Parker(notes), Brett Keisel(notes) and Ryan Clark(notes) are assured of one more season’s worth of paychecks but no more.

No NFL champion in the salary cap era can retain every player, keep everyone financially satisfied or prevent some players from leaving for more money elsewhere once their contracts expire.

When a team wins two Super Bowls in four seasons, however, asking prices go up. Player values rise. Feelings become hurt when contracts aren’t offered. And a player entering the final season of a contract sometimes worries about a potential serious injury that might end his career before he lands another deal.

The Steelers have an unusually high number of core players unsigned past this season, and they include some of their most important players: Parker, three times a 1,000-yard rusher; Keisel, the reliable defensive end; Reed, who has missed only six of 56 field goal attempts the last two seasons, and Clark, the most physical member of their secondary.

After Miller signed a $35.3 million, six-year contract last week, team president Art Rooney II said the money was nearly dried up and there might not be any more contracts given out this year. Even if the Steelers create some cap room, any deal must get done during training camp because of the team’s policy of not negotiating during the season.

Contract uncertainty can cause unhappiness, as Clark knows.

“I’m not used to being taken care of,” said Clark, who signed with Pittsburgh in 2006 after playing out his contract with the Washington Redskins. “I’m not used to being the guy they care enough about to get it done. But it’s not painful for me. You go, ‘OK, maybe this will be my last year with this team and these guys,’ and you cherish it and have a good time.”

Clark specifically told agent Joel Turner he didn’t want to know anything said between the agent and the Steelers during any contract talks because, “You don’t want to start disliking people.”

“I remember going through it with the Redskins, feeling I did a good job there and wanting to be there, but I kept hearing why they can’t give you a certain amount of money,” Clark said. “I don’t want to hear it, why it (the contract) won’t be done. I want to continue liking everybody.”

During contract discussions, Clark’s agent has been told that Clark’s aggressiveness and big hits leave him vulnerable to injury, yet it is those qualities that have allowed an undrafted player to play seven NFL seasons.

Hampton is a four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman and one of the NFL’s top run-stoppers, yet his ongoing weight problems likely influenced the Steelers not to offer him a new contract.

Hampton reported to camp in better shape than a season ago, and he passed the run test he failed last year, but neither the 6-foot-1 Hampton nor the team will say how much he weighs. He is listed, optimistically, at 325 pounds.

“I’m going to take it in stride, just go out and play,” Hampton said of not getting a new deal. “If they ain’t got none (money), they ain’t got none. I can’t do nothing about that. I don’t have any control over that. My main focus is going out and finishing the way we did last year. That contract stuff, it’s not even on my mind.”

What about a possible injury?

“I’ve made a lot of money, man,” he said. “If I get hurt, I’m going to be all right. I’m not worried about that.”

Parker, limited last season by several injuries, may split time at running back with Rashard Mendenhall(notes), which could reduce Parker’s value to Pittsburgh for future seasons.

“It only makes you hungrier,” Parker said. “I prepare every year like I’m competing (for a job). Coming up on a contract year, you’re going to go harder but smarter. It’s all about this year.”

J Dogg
08-02-2009, 07:50 PM
Parker can keep waiting, because he'll be in another uniform next season.

tony hipchest
08-02-2009, 07:55 PM
“I’ve made a lot of money, man,” he said. “If I get hurt, I’m going to be all right. I’m not worried about that.”

much has been said about hamptons poor attitude, but this is an example of absolute great attitude.

mulldog24
08-02-2009, 08:24 PM
I would really like to hang on to all of the guys but the reallity is the damn cap! If there is not enough room under the cap then some guys don't get signed it's just the sad truth! But at least the smaller market teams can compete this way.

Gnutella
08-02-2009, 08:29 PM
Reed gets extended, Hampton gets franchised, and Parker, Keisel and Clark are replaced by Rashard Mendenhall, Ziggy Hood and Ryan Mundy, respectively.

J Dogg
08-02-2009, 08:42 PM
I wouldn't shed too many tears if Casey moves on after this season. There are a lot of good young DTs to be had next season at the back half of the draft/later rounds. Marvin Austin, Geno Atkins, DeMarcus Granger, Vince Oghobaase, etc.

steeltheone
08-03-2009, 12:31 AM
All getting long in the tooth....Clark would be my pick then Reed if he is cheap enough the rest are all replaceable.

jjpro11
08-03-2009, 01:01 AM
my most important resignings for next year are:

1) Clark
2) Reed


I think Hamptons days are numbered as a Steeler and a top DT. If Mendenhall becomes what we thought when we drafted him, letting Parker go won't hurt much. Kiesel is valuable but expendable and replaceable

have to agree here.. i love the other 3, but i know that keeping all 5 is unrealistic. Clark is brilliant in our defense and nothing is more unsettling than having an unreliable kicker. both of those guys must stay.

WWIIOwheelz
08-03-2009, 01:06 AM
I became a really big fan of Ryan Clark last season, both as a player and a man. I'm really hoping the rumors about them working to extend his stay with the Steelers proves true.

OX1947
08-03-2009, 01:11 AM
Clark and Reed will get signed. And Hampton maybe if they franchised him but they wont.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-03-2009, 01:13 AM
much has been said about hamptons poor attitude, but this is an example of absolute great attitude.

The only ones making an issue about Hamptons "poor attitude" are those that have no idea what a DT goes thru in the course of a football season.

Who else is a better NT in the NFL?? Shaun Rogers, Jamaal Williams or Kris Jenkins??? Hamp is in the conversation with all of those guys.

MasterOfPuppets
08-03-2009, 01:34 AM
does anybody want clark, hampton, and parker signed at the risk of not being able to pay woodley, taylor, or holmes next year ?

OneForTheToe
08-03-2009, 01:52 AM
Reed gets extended, Hampton gets franchised, and Parker, Keisel and Clark are replaced by Rashard Mendenhall, Ziggy Hood and Ryan Mundy, respectively.


It is possible that Mendenhall and Mundy could be replacements, but since neither has seen much playing time it is still an open question. Ziggy Hood does not replace Casey Hampton. I don't see this guy with the size, strength and leverage to be a great every day NT in a LeBeau 3/4 D. He might be a very good DE someday. He might even play some NT. However, Hampton's replacement is likely still playing college ball somewhere.

MasterOfPuppets
08-03-2009, 02:07 AM
It is possible that Mendenhall and Mundy could be replacements, but since neither has seen much playing time it is still an open question. Ziggy Hood does not replace Casey Hampton. I don't see this guy with the size, strength and leverage to be a great every day NT in a LeBeau 3/4 D. He might be a very good DE someday. He might even play some NT. However, Hampton's replacement is likely still playing college ball somewhere.actually he suggested hood replacing keisel.... boo robinson will be hamptons successor :thumbsup:

OneForTheToe
08-03-2009, 02:13 AM
actually he suggested hood replacing keisel.... boo robinson will be hamptons successor :thumbsup:


Yes, sorry about that Gnutella (reading comprehension at 2:00 am.) Hood might indeed replace Keisel. Although Keisel might not be that hard of a resign. He likes it here. Ben is his best friend.

I think next year a NT will be a high draft priority.

Galax Steeler
08-03-2009, 04:55 AM
I would like to see most of the guys come back next year, but the way this business works we won't see them all sad but true.

GridironWarrior
08-03-2009, 08:19 AM
Clark and Reed are musts in my book. I love to see Hampton back but don't want to over pay for him. As much as I like Parker I hope Mendenhall is the real deal.

The Duke
08-03-2009, 08:33 AM
does anybody want clark, hampton, and parker signed at the risk of not being able to pay woodley, taylor, or holmes next year ?

Just what I was thinking. Those three are more important imo. Reed should be resigned however

I still think casey is eyeing big bucks from jerry jones next season

I see parker in a packers uniform in 2010, unless Ryan Grant comes back to 2007 form. Teach the man how to catch better passes and he'd be perfect fir for that offense

steelballs
08-03-2009, 10:55 AM
Parker can keep waiting, because he'll be in another uniform next season.

I agree. Willie has been a great Steeler and teammate, but his days are numbered, especially if we see Mendenhall perform as expected.
The fact that Rashard has soft hands doesn't help Willie either...remember the AFC Championship game and Willie's drop of a sure 6??

steelreserve
08-03-2009, 11:59 AM
Clark will be back with the money we save by letting Parker go. Kiesel is Kimo Von Oelhoeffen all over again, and we'll be fine. Hampton's probably not going to get the big deal he wants, simply because we won't have enough money, so it's probably franchise or nothing. Reed I hope we keep, unless it gets in the way of keeping someone like Woodley or Holmes.