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KeiselPower99
09-08-2009, 02:44 PM
Just received a text from KDKA. Hartwig for 3 more years.

KeiselPower99
09-08-2009, 02:47 PM
They got one more done before the deadline.

The Steelers have signed starting center Justin Hartwig to a new four-year contract that will bind him to the team through the 2012 season. With one season left on his previous deal, Hartwig could have become an unrestricted free agent in March 2010.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Hartwig. “I just go to work every day and do my job and let these things take care of themselves. Fortunately it did, and it was right before the start of the season. I feel blessed to hopefully finish my career with the Steelers. It’s a great organization, and I’m glad I’m going to be a part of it for a few more years to come.”

The team has a policy of not negotiating contracts once the regular season begins, and that makes Thursday, Sept. 10, the deadline because that’s when the Steelers host the Tennessee Titans in the 2009 opening game.

Hartwig signed a two-year deal when he came to the team in 2008 after being released by Carolina, and he won a training camp battle for the starting center spot over incumbent Sean Mahan. Signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2007 from Tampa Bay, Mahan proved unable to deal with the bigger nose tackles in the AFC, which caused the Steelers to look for an alternative.

“You just don’t know what is going to happen,” said Hartwig. “I was released just a year ago from another team and fortunately things turned around for me here in Pittsburgh. It’s good to know you are going to be in a certain place for an extended period of time. I was going into the year thinking I was going to be a free agent again in five months. It is nice to know I’m going to be here for longer that. I am just happy to be a part of the organization.”

Hartwig, who will be 31 on Nov. 21, started all 19 games at center for the Steelers last season. He was part of an offensive line that had to overcome several changes in personnel, some by design and other caused by injury.

Chris Kemoeatu replaced left guard Alan Faneca, who left via free agency, and Hartwig won the battle for the center job over Mahan. But before September was over, injuries had claimed both Marvel Smith and Kendall Simmons, and so the Steelers ended up with different guys at left tackle and right guard as well.

Hartwig hopes stability will help the unit this season.

“As an offensive line you have to have five guys working as one, and you have to have continuity along that front,” said Hartwig. “When there are guys in and out every year it can make things difficult. We have been fortunate enough to have the same group of guys from last season together and going into this season. Hopefully we play for several more years together.”

So far this offseason, the Steelers have negotiated new contracts with Brett Keisel, James Harrison, Kemoeatu, Starks, Essex, Keyaron Fox, Hines Ward, Heath Miller, Charlie Batch, Andre Frazier and now Hartwig.

Fire Haley
09-08-2009, 02:47 PM
It's already up

Hartwig signs a new four-year deal

http://2009.steelers.com/article/109886/

lamberts-lost-tooth
09-08-2009, 02:47 PM
Just received a text from KDKA. Hartwig for 3 more years.

Hmmmm....Hartwig is one of those players that a team always looks into "upgrading". Maybe I am just spoiled because of a history of INCREDIBLE centers.:noidea:


...and NO..I dont mean Mahan!!!

BlastFurnace
09-08-2009, 02:54 PM
I'm very happy to hear this. IMO, Hartwig is a very good Center.

SteelC7
09-08-2009, 02:55 PM
man were re signing everybody but parker, i hate this, but im glad we locked up hartwig for 4 more years, hes the best player on our weak o line

Steel Head
09-08-2009, 02:59 PM
Hmmmm....Hartwig is one of those players that a team always looks into "upgrading". Maybe I am just spoiled because of a history of INCREDIBLE centers.:noidea:


...and NO..I dont mean Mahan!!!

Comparing Hartwig to Mahan makes him look like an all-pro

StainlessStill
09-08-2009, 03:04 PM
Locking up every key offensive lineman this season, and now this long term signing of Hartwig tells me that the O-Line must of come a LONG way from the start of last season. They are finally healthy, locked up, and know what each others style and what each man's assignment is. Communication is second to none when talkin' O-Line. Quarterback and Reciever are often used as having chemisty, but a solid offense is built from the inside out, starting with the 5 up front..thus our goal. Chemistry is running high in Pittsburgh on all cylinders. We are poised to sticking together for the next 5 years and making many, many runs to Titles in the process.

I have a feeling that this year will be similar to that of the 2003 season, to the 2004 season., going from worst, to one of the best. We are in great shape to kick off the 2009 season. EXCITING:tt03:!

RoethlisBURGHer
09-08-2009, 03:07 PM
While I like Hartwig (he's a whole lot better at handling the big NT's in our division), I am not all excited about this.

However, it's not like we were able to upgrade it in the offseason...and there is no guarantee we will be able to find a better center after this season.

devilsdancefloor
09-08-2009, 03:15 PM
Im kinda in shock.... i thought Ryan clark or big snack would be the next in line...

Texasteel
09-08-2009, 03:21 PM
Maybe they will announce Clark's signing tomorrow.

steelreserve
09-08-2009, 03:22 PM
Not bad. He's no All-Pro, but at least he's pretty reliable and I'm glad we don't have to worry about that position for a while. Wonder how much the deal was for -- do we still have enough to extend Clark? One would think so...

Steel Head
09-08-2009, 03:24 PM
FYI - The Steelers did offer Jeff Reed a contract extension 2 days ago and he rejected it (from radio)

OneForTheToe
09-08-2009, 03:24 PM
How much I like this depends on the numbers. I like Hartwig, but I would like to see Legursky, or maybe a draft pick be given a chance to upgrade the position. However, if the contract is like Kiesel's, where the numbers are manageable even if he lost his starting job in a few years and provided depth, or was moved to guard, or even cut with a year or two left on the contract, then I am all for it.

I though he was solid and should get better when the guards on either side of him get better. In addition, for some reason it it seems to me that centers often remain strong and effective well into their mid 30's - unlike players at other positions.

Steel Head
09-08-2009, 03:30 PM
How much I like this depends on the numbers. I like Hartwig

They already reported the numbers. Hartwig wasn't overpaid. I think it was 10.5 million (not sure of the structure but i think it was 2.5 million signing bonus)

I just hope he can stay healthy

OneForTheToe
09-08-2009, 03:30 PM
Im kinda in shock.... i thought Ryan clark or big snack would be the next in line...

There are two parties to these negotiations. The Steelers are likely signing those that step up to the plate and take an offer they feel is fair for every player. As I said before, I too would like to see Clark extended, but Hampton is a tough decision. Remember how quickly Joel Steed's skills vanished. One year he is playing like an all-pro, the next he is gone.

steelpride12
09-08-2009, 03:31 PM
Ill take Hartwig in this position. He is all pro and pretty reliable in the big games. He helped win a Super Bowl and yes has plenty of room for improvement, but im guessing that's what these next 4 years will do for him.

OneForTheToe
09-08-2009, 03:35 PM
They already reported the numbers. Hartwig wasn't overpaid. I think it was 10.5 million (not sure of the structure but i think it was 2.5 million signing bonus)

I just hope he can stay healthy

10.5 for 4 years. Hartwig is easily worth that. Both Starks and Kemo are making more than Hartwig , I believe. So, two years from now he could backup our center and guard positions for about the same (relatively speaking) as Chukki Okobi did when he just backed up the center position a few years ago. That is a nice contract for us.

7willBheaven
09-08-2009, 03:37 PM
If those numbers are correct (or at least close) it doesnt look too bad...just because of this doesnt mean he will be the starting center for all those years either. I too would have liked to see Clark done before this but as the saying goes if it was meant to be it will be! As much as I like Hampton and think he is important, I have him towards the bottom of my re-signing list.

Blitzburgh 34
09-08-2009, 03:50 PM
I don't mind this news. His new contract averages 2.5 mill, so very team-friendly for a proven starter, plus with the signing bonus only being around 2 mill, not a big cap hit if he's cut before it's up. He at least gives us a decent C till we get another one up and ready to play, be it a guy already on the roster like Legursky & Shipley or an early rounder like O'Dowd in next year's draft.

I'd prefer the entire OL be replaced, but I can live with Starks (at RT!) and Hartwig for now. I can't stand Colon or the Gs though.

MasterOfPuppets
09-08-2009, 03:54 PM
Hmmmm....Hartwig is one of those players that a team always looks into "upgrading". Maybe I am just spoiled because of a history of INCREDIBLE centers.:noidea:


...and NO..I dont mean Mahan!!!
i agree ... i don't like the move myself. hartwig may not be the worst center they could have, but i hate how they seem to be satisfied with average to below average linemen. i thought they would let him playout his contract then see where legursky is as far as developement. then either resign him or turn it over to legursky, and look in the draft again.

BlastFurnace
09-08-2009, 04:01 PM
FYI - The Steelers did offer Jeff Reed a contract extension 2 days ago and he rejected it (from radio)

That's not good news. I sure hope we don't try to lowball him. It was hard enough finding the next Gary Anderson.

BlastFurnace
09-08-2009, 04:02 PM
Im kinda in shock.... i thought Ryan clark or big snack would be the next in line...

I think Big Snack is gone after this year.

Sad...but true.

Shellshock
09-08-2009, 04:07 PM
Great we just signed the 32nd ranked starting center and who gave up the most sacks by a center.

SteelMember
09-08-2009, 04:12 PM
While I have no gut feeling either way on this one, at least if they do get someone next year in the draft, Hartwig can kick outside to guard if need be giving us more depth there. I think that only happens if we get a shot at a 1st round talent like O'dowd. If not, it's rookie grooming time for a few years.

OneForTheToe
09-08-2009, 04:21 PM
If I can speculate a bit at what the Steelers are thinking strategically now about the o'line. They are probably thinking that the center and left side of the line is set for at least two additional years beyond 2009. Sure, injuries happen, and if another player really steps up, all of the contracts they have done with this present bunch are not so prohibitive that if one of these starters is moved to another position or spends a year as a backup it will create a cap, or otherwise money, problem. Still, I bet they see these three as starters for at least two more seasons.

My guess is unless Essex plays lights out this year there will be competition for his RG spot. The competition could come from Legursky, Foster, Urbik or a yet unknown draft pick. Funny thing about the RT spot is that if there was a new CBA agreement Colon would likely be gone next year. As it looks now, without a CBA, Colon probably comes back next season due to the fact he will be a RFA. Still, I'm thinking the FO probably believes he will be gone after next season, giving a chance for Hills, Foster or a draft pick (preferably for grooming Starks replacement.) to take over.

OneForTheToe
09-08-2009, 04:23 PM
While I have no gut feeling either way on this one, at least if they do get someone next year in the draft, Hartwig can kick outside to guard if need be giving us more depth there. I think that only happens if we get a shot at a 1st round talent like O'dowd. If not, it's rookie grooming time for a few years.

Exactly what makes this a good signing. If we a get a couple years out of Hartwig at center while he grooms a replacemen, it's all good.

mmalone
09-08-2009, 04:23 PM
Great we just signed the 32nd ranked starting center and who gave up the most sacks by a center.

arians said the OL only gave up 19 sacks...

so how could hartwig have given up that many..??

OneForTheToe
09-08-2009, 04:26 PM
arians said the OL only gave up 19 sacks...

so how could hartwig have given up that many..??

I'm not saying Hartwig played like an all-pro, but I do think a number of his sacks and misplays probably can be attributed to the play of the two guards - which hopefully will improve.

Steel_Bus_24
09-08-2009, 04:41 PM
ehh, we need Ryan Clark and Jeff a lot more

pancake
09-08-2009, 04:53 PM
Im kinda in shock.... i thought Ryan clark or big snack would be the next in line...

same here... :noidea:

Blitzburgh 34
09-08-2009, 04:57 PM
I don't think that Snack will be resigned. I wouldn't resign him. I did think that Clark would be next though. I wonder if they're thinking about franchising the large one, due to his age and conditioning, so as not to have the cap space tied up in him if he got paid and got even fatter and lazier. As for Clark, I suspect they're seeing how his health holds out this year before inking him long-term. He's good, but old and injury prone.

Steelerstrength
09-08-2009, 05:05 PM
Sorry, didn't see the previous story!

That said, we have to sign Clark, IMO!

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-08-2009, 05:09 PM
Great we just signed the 32nd ranked starting center and who gave up the most sacks by a center.

Thankfully the Steelers know the game is played on the football field and not on the fantasy football statistics sheet.

This is a very good signing! :thumbsup:

fansince'76
09-08-2009, 05:10 PM
Hmmmm....Hartwig is one of those players that a team always looks into "upgrading". Maybe I am just spoiled because of a history of INCREDIBLE centers.:noidea:


...and NO..I dont mean Mahan!!!

:chuckle:

Preacher
09-08-2009, 05:10 PM
arians said the OL only gave up 19 sacks...

so how could hartwig have given up that many..??

Because he can ONLY block at the point of attack. He lets LB's slip right by him. Saw him juked out of his jockstrap on a spin move. (and no, it wasn't Kemo's assignment... Hartwig just whiffed).

This move surprised me quite a bit. I guess in hindsight, they are probably preparing for a non-cap two or three years. Better to keep who you have and not bankrupt the team in uncapped years.

But yeah, that does say a lot about Parker, Hampton, and Clark.

I am still hoping for Hartwig to be moved to Guard... and Essex to replace Starks. But that is just wishing.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-08-2009, 05:20 PM
Because he can ONLY block at the point of attack. He lets LB's slip right by him. Saw him juked out of his jockstrap on a spin move. (and no, it wasn't Kemo's assignment... Hartwig just whiffed).

.

But, you also saw Carey Davis make every block asked of him in the preseason. So, seeing Hartwig wiff on 1 block is pretty much expected. After all, its OK for a QB to throw 15 INT's, but if a O lineman gets 8 penalties a season (like Willie Colon) he "jumps offsides all the time".

Hartwig is no pro bowler, but ever since the 2nd game of preseason 2008, it was clear that he was a solid center for the Steelers. This is a good signing and frees the Steelers up in 2010 to draft a NT or OT or even an ILB in the 1st round.

OneForTheToe
09-08-2009, 07:20 PM
Because he can ONLY block at the point of attack. He lets LB's slip right by him. Saw him juked out of his jockstrap on a spin move. (and no, it wasn't Kemo's assignment... Hartwig just whiffed).

This move surprised me quite a bit. I guess in hindsight, they are probably preparing for a non-cap two or three years. Better to keep who you have and not bankrupt the team in uncapped years.

But yeah, that does say a lot about Parker, Hampton, and Clark.

I am still hoping for Hartwig to be moved to Guard... and Essex to replace Starks. But that is just wishing.


Well just consider who he had opposite him at the point of attack last season:

Haloti Ngata three times.

Jamal Williams twice

Shaun rogers twice

Vince Wilfork once

So, I'd say if he is good at the point of attack that makes him a pretty good (not great) center.

SunshineMan21
09-08-2009, 07:26 PM
Good signing at a reasonable price--Hartwig is no star, but he's definitely a competent center.

Kinda surprised it wasn't Hampton or Clark, though. Much as I love Clark it seems increasingly likely that someone like Mundy may be replacing him at the end of the season.

And IMO FWP will probably be gone at the end of the season--not that he's bad, it just doesn't make sense to offer him the kind of contract he'd deserve with the RBs we have behind him.

Psyychoward86
09-08-2009, 07:36 PM
Uh.....Level importance= Hartwig> Clark or Reed???? :screwy:


huh

Psyychoward86
09-08-2009, 07:38 PM
Well just consider who he had opposite him at the point of attack last season:

Haloti Ngata three times.

Jamal Williams twice

Shaun rogers twice

Vince Wilfork once

So, I'd say if he is good at the point of attack that makes him a pretty good (not great) center.

And actually imo, he HANDLED Jamal Williams. Both times, especially the second time in the playoffs, that's not too bad i guess. But im still shocked that someone that nobody really expected to get an extension, got one, especially ahead of Clark, Reed, Hampton, and FWP

tony hipchest
09-08-2009, 07:43 PM
Uh.....Level importance= Hartwig> Clark or Reed???? :screwy:


huhi was initially shocked a bit. i figured he would be negotiated with after this season.

but, if we did extend him for 2.5 mil/year we got a bargain with little downside. if he had a decent year, he would easily command 4 mil/year on the open market (plus he did not cost a first round pick like many were hoping we would spend on the position in this years draft).

looking at urbick, i think its safe to say mack or wood (or any 1st round center we may draft) would be sitting the bench for a year anyway.

fansince'76
09-08-2009, 07:46 PM
Uh.....Level importance= Hartwig> Clark or Reed???? :screwy:


huh

We're negotiating with all 3 of them at the same time. Reed just turned down an offer, from what I understand. Hartwig accepted the offer he was made.

Psyychoward86
09-08-2009, 07:48 PM
We're negotiating with all 3 of them at the same time. Reed just turned down an offer, from what I understand. Hartwig accepted the offer he was made.

oh i see.

Preacher
09-08-2009, 08:12 PM
Well just consider who he had opposite him at the point of attack last season:

Haloti Ngata three times.

Jamal Williams twice

Shaun rogers twice

Vince Wilfork once

So, I'd say if he is good at the point of attack that makes him a pretty good (not great) center.

No... I say he is average at best. That is all. Matter of fact, IMO, he is equal to what Carey Davis was. He got the job done, but not much else. In this case, I have to wonder... I saw the numbers, and that makes this contract make more sense. I still doubt he is the starting center after next year. I think Leg. pushes him. This could very well be a signing to make sure we have depth for the next 4 years.

And THAT is why, regardless of whether I like a player or not, I always trust the FO. Because they understand the ins and outs much better than anyone of us...

oh yeah.... and who here thinks this was influenced by next season's no cap?

The Duke
09-08-2009, 08:39 PM
Great we just signed the 32nd ranked starting center and who gave up the most sacks by a center.

:blah: :blah:

Sacks allowed is no the way to rank a lineman. Hartwig is solid, and I'm sure the steelers know what they ar doing

I must admit I was shocked he was resigned, but I welcome him on board for the next 3 years :tt03:

KeiselPower99
09-08-2009, 10:48 PM
4 yrs 10 million. I say it was an issue more of the fact that this next season could be uncapped. Lock up a decent guy cheap and ya wont have to overpay for him in the spring.

HometownGal
09-08-2009, 11:12 PM
Comparing Hartwig to Mahan makes him look like an all-pro

I wouldn't go that far, as I still believe Hartwig is only a gnat's pubic hair better than Mahan. Comparing Hartwig to the centers we've been blessed to have on our roster over the years (Iron Mike, Dirt, Hartings) makes him look like a pee wee leaguer.

I'm not overjoyed about this, but as always - I believe the FO and Coach T know best.

markymarc
09-09-2009, 03:34 PM
I think this is a very good deal for both sides. While I would love to see our FO dedicated to improving our OL, I have no issues with Hartwig being around another 4 seasons.

Steel Head
09-09-2009, 03:52 PM
No... I say he is average at best. That is all. Matter of fact, IMO, he is equal to what Carey Davis was. He got the job done, but not much else.

Carey Davis didn't get any job done except on special teams. He sucked and was cut just like Mahan who even sucked more.

Hartwig was our most consistent offensive lineman last year by far, he did a good job especially considering he was stuck playing with 2 new guards that have never started an NFL game before. This is something people overlook. Mahan was next to all-pro future hall of famer Faneca and still sucked

Comparing Hartwig to Carey Davis is moronic

steelreserve
09-09-2009, 04:46 PM
And actually imo, he HANDLED Jamal Williams. Both times, especially the second time in the playoffs, that's not too bad i guess. But im still shocked that someone that nobody really expected to get an extension, got one, especially ahead of Clark, Reed, Hampton, and FWP

A big part of it was that he re-signed for essentially the same salary, so it didn't really affect our salary cap. I think his cap hit for this year was going to be something like $2.3 million anyway, so why not lock him in at that price, given what could happen next year.

We've still got enough room to work on Clark/Reed/Hampton. And my bet is that Parker's situation is going to actually help us -- as in, we'll be able to redistribute his salary to guys we actually need to keep, because he's outta here.

Preacher
09-09-2009, 04:55 PM
Carey Davis didn't get any job done except on special teams. He sucked and was cut just like Mahan who even sucked more.

Hartwig was our most consistent offensive lineman last year by far, he did a good job especially considering he was stuck playing with 2 new guards that have never started an NFL game before. This is something people overlook. Mahan was next to all-pro future hall of famer Faneca and still sucked

Comparing Hartwig to Carey Davis is moronic

No. Our most consistant lineman last year was Colon. Except for his pre-snap penalties... he was the best lineman on the field.

And my problem with Hartwig is not the gaps where he covers for the guards. it is when his assigned man shoots right passed him, and he completely wiffs because he is not fast enough to take on the ILB's.

Hartwig to Davis is a perfect example. They are average in their position. Neither will ever do much there, and if something better comes along, they are expendable, or do you really think we were going after a Center in the first round this year just because we wanted to waste a draft pick? No, if we got our center, this signing does not happen.