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Galax Steeler
01-28-2010, 05:06 AM
Willie Colon has not complained, his agent has not complained, and the Steelers have said nothing to him or his agent about it, but they have their starting right tackle over a unique barrel.

Under usual circumstances, Colon would become an unrestricted free agent March 5, four years after he signed his first contract as a fourth-round draft choice. As a three-year starter at right tackle, about to turn 27 years old and acclaimed by his own coaches to be among the best tackles in the NFL, Colon could hit the jackpot.

The average compensation of the top five offensive linemen in the NFL one year ago was $8,451,000; the average of the top 10 was $7,744,000.

Fourth-round draft choices do not make much money on their first contract, relatively speaking, of course. Colon averaged $454,500 annually for those three years. He then became a restricted free agent last year, and the Steelers tendered him a contract of about $2.2 million to keep him. That was a nice jump in pay for Colon, but nothing like what he could experience this year as an unrestricted free agent.

Instead, he will remain a restricted free agent because the rules will change as, almost everyone in the business expects, the NFL heads into the unfamiliar waters of an uncapped year in 2010. The rule that impacts Colon and more than 200 other players changes the number years of service to become unrestricted from four to six.

Colon, then, would become a restricted free agent again March 5. If no contract is negotiated this year and the Steelers tender him a deal under the restricted free agent rules, he again would be restricted in 2011 if no collective bargaining agreement is negotiated a year from now.

Some refer to these players as "notch babies." Tight end Heath Miller also would have been in that spot, but he signed a long-term contract last summer.

Colon would make around $2.5 million this year if the Steelers tender him a contract. While that is good money, it cannot compare to what, for example, left tackle Max Starks received from the Steelers. They signed Starks to a four-year, $26.3 million contract in June. That averages to about $6.6 million per year.

Assuming Colon (who took Starks' starting job in 2006 and kept it) could get the same if he were free, he would lose nearly $8 million over the next two seasons under the new rules that keep him a restricted free agent.

No one from the Steelers approached Colon's agent, Joe Linta, about a long-term deal last year, and the Steelers have said nothing to him yet about it since the season ended.

"The Steelers at this point have chosen not to pursue Willie on a long-term contract," Linta said. "Willie would love to stay and hopes he fits in their plans but to this point that hasn't occurred."

Restricted free agents are permitted to shop themselves to other teams and to sign a contract with someone else. His current team is permitted to match any offer and keep him. However, if the team decides not to match, it receives compensation in return. The salary depends on which tender the team issues the player. If another team signed Colon last year and the Steelers did not match, they would have received a first-round draft pick in return. They can put a higher tender on him that would bring draft picks in the first and third rounds.

Good offensive tackles are hard to find, and perhaps there might be a team willing to give up a first-round draft pick to sign Colon, particularly if it is a low pick in the round. The only pure tackle on the team besides Starks and Colon is Tony Hills, a fourth-round draft choice in 2008 who has not played a snap in two seasons. Undrafted rookie Ramon Foster, who played tackle at the University of Tennessee, was converted to guard by the Steelers.

"The Steelers are watching the same films I am and it's pretty obvious he's in the top three players at his position in the league," Linta said, "and they will make their decision accordingly.

"There is no animosity. They're playing by the rules. It's not like they're doing anything wrong, immoral or unethical. Willie is like, 'They're going to do what they're going to do. I'll just go out and play ball.' "

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10028/1031627-66.stm

solardave
01-28-2010, 05:56 AM
This is what I mean when I say the FO looks for character,not characters.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-28-2010, 09:12 AM
My personal dream is that the STeelers tender Colon a 1 year deal, then draft Anthony Davis at #18. Then in 2011 they trade Starks with 2 years left on his deal and offer Essex another contract.

That way in 2011, they go forward with Anthony Davis and Essex at LT, with the ability to give Colon the over $6million that they were paying Starks. Davis and Colon at the OT spots, with Essex backing them up, or playing guard.

supa_fly_steeler
01-28-2010, 11:29 AM
i wish we never drafted kraig urbik such a waste of space

dcsteel5804
01-28-2010, 11:45 AM
"The Steelers are watching the same films I am and it's pretty obvious he's in the top three players at his position in the league,"


LO FREAKING L !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HHUnjan
01-28-2010, 12:01 PM
i hate willie colon, he should get cut. SO MANY FALSE STARTS!!

Tone's Toes
01-28-2010, 01:16 PM
I think Colon's better than people think. No offensive tackle will have a low number of sacks allowed as long as Ben's the QB. The only real problem I have with Colon is that he takes too many stupid penalties.

Atranox
01-28-2010, 01:27 PM
The Steelers are watching the same films I am and it's pretty obvious he's in the top three players at his position in the league," Linta said]

:noidea:

What is this guy smoking? I barely consider him to be a top 3 player on our own line, let alone in the entire league.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-28-2010, 03:29 PM
i wish we never drafted kraig urbik such a waste of space

Yeah, many said that of Mendenhall his 1st year with the Steelers. :blah:

I wouldnt count him out yet. He just may end up starting at RG next season.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-28-2010, 03:33 PM
:noidea:

What is this guy smoking? I barely consider him to be a top 3 player on our own line, let alone in the entire league.

You consider him barely top 3 on the O line, because you know nothing about O line play. The guy is our best offensive lineman, but not nearly one of the top 3 RT's in the NFL.

Colon has strength, quickness, run blocks with a nasty streak and finishes his blocks. The only issue is he lacks height and long arms to be a top flite pass protector and makes up with sheer hustle, but I think is just average in that aspect.

Colon will make $6-7million a year when he hits free agency, because the rest of the league recognizes his ability.

Psyychoward86
01-28-2010, 03:37 PM
Wow you guys are ignorant. Colon was easily top 8-10 in the league as a pass blocker. Dont let the penalties fool you (he's picked up less, btw, than last year), he's been the best pass blocker by FAR for us, and he is very good at it, not just compared to the rest of our O-line, but to the rest of the NFL. Some of you need to stop going by reputation and instead learn to understand the actual skill level of our players by watching them. He was our best run blocker too, other than Kemo, and Kemo was phenomenal. But yes, the redzone penalties need to go away. That's the only downside to him at the moment.


And dear lord, dont slam rookies as busts until they've been given a fair oppurtunity to prove themselves

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-28-2010, 04:04 PM
Wow you guys are ignorant. Colon was easily top 8-10 in the league as a pass blocker. Dont let the penalties fool you (he's picked up less, btw, than last year), he's been the best pass blocker by FAR for us, and he is very good at it, not just compared to the rest of our O-line, but to the rest of the NFL. Some of you need to stop going by reputation and instead learn to understand the actual skill level of our players by watching them. He was our best run blocker too, other than Kemo, and Kemo was phenomenal. But yes, the redzone penalties need to go away. That's the only downside to him at the moment.


And dear lord, dont slam rookies as busts until they've been given a fair oppurtunity to prove themselves

:applaudit: Phsyychoward86......your recognition of solid offensive line play and not just reputation/contract importance is admirable. :bowdown:

MasterOfPuppets
01-28-2010, 06:40 PM
i was one of the biggest colon haters there was his first 2 years starting, but i must say his overall performance increased big time. he cut the penalties and his pass blocking went from terrible to satisfactory.. i wouldn't go so far as to say it was a probowl year for him, but if he can improve on last years performance yet again he could be a top tier RT in the NFL. i think his play warrants a new contract. if they could team him up with an upgrade at guard or move him to guard and get a solid tackle then the right side could be very formidable.

Chidi29
01-28-2010, 07:00 PM
i hate willie colon, he should get cut. SO MANY FALSE STARTS!!

He only had four false starts and just six penalties total this year. Like others have said, he's cut back.

I agree with those who have said he played well this year. Better than well, excellent. You never hear people talk about him because he doesn't do anything that makes you angry. He's goot good feet and rarely gets beat off the edge. Solid run blocker as well. He was Pro Bowl talent until he faded a bit down the stretch but he's arguably our best lineman.

markymarc
02-02-2010, 03:34 PM
There is no doubt in my mind that Willie Colon is our BEST OL player. It would be nice if the FO could lock up Colon long term. If players like Kemo, Starks and Hartwig got nice extensions, then there is no excuse to lock up your best OL player long term!

I still think Kraig Urbik can play at this level. I can't wait to see how 1 year in the Steelers system has helped him develop. Plus I think getting Sean Kugler will really benefit players like Urbik, Foster and Hills.

truesteelerfan
02-02-2010, 04:17 PM
Colon is improving, and had a good year in comparision to 2008 (didn't he lead the league in sacks given up...or was that in 2007?).....With that being said, its nice to have the opportunity to get him at a deal for one more year....I'd like to see him improve again over another season to prove last year wasn't a fluke....Better in his false starts...and I love his mean streak he has a reputation for...but I want to see another year before we give him a Starks kind of contract, we already have Max making big money...we probably can't afford to pay them both that kind of salary....and trades don't happen often for those thinking Max can be dealt.

Psyychoward86
02-02-2010, 04:25 PM
Id rather have Colon than Max. That's an easy decision. Max's inconsistency drives me craaaaaazy. How do you shut down Jared Allen and Elvis Dumervil, and then get destroyed by pass rushers nobody's ever heard of?

markymarc
02-03-2010, 10:49 AM
Id rather have Colon than Max. That's an easy decision. Max's inconsistency drives me craaaaaazy. How do you shut down Jared Allen and Elvis Dumervil, and then get destroyed by pass rushers nobody's ever heard of?

I would definitely take Willie Colon over Max Starks!

The Duke
02-06-2010, 05:07 PM
Id rather have Colon than Max. That's an easy decision. Max's inconsistency drives me craaaaaazy. How do you shut down Jared Allen and Elvis Dumervil, and then get destroyed by pass rushers nobody's ever heard of?

Puzzles me too. Max could be SO much better than Colon. he could

there's just something missing with him

I hope Colon gets a long contract this offseason. If he has another great season under a one year contract he may be gone from the steelers price range

markymarc
02-09-2010, 07:53 PM
It only makes sense to lock up your best OL player long term. Do the right thing FO and extend Willie Colon.