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Galax Steeler
05-14-2010, 03:37 AM
INSIDE SLANT

The Steelers find themselves in a predicament as Pro Bowl linebacker LaMarr Woodley(notes) enters the fourth and final year of the contract he signed after the team selected him on the second round in 2007.

The “30 percent rule” that went into effect this year means the Steelers must tie any salaries on a contract extension for Woodley to his 2009 salary of $460,000. That means each annual salary could climb by only $138,000, starting with $598,000 in 2010 (his salary for this year under the current deal is $550,000). In 2011, it could only go to $736,000, etc.


The Steelers signed linebacker James Harrison(notes) to a six-year, $51.75 million contract last year. To give Woodley even a five-year contract that would come close to Harrison’s in value, the Steelers would have to give him a signing bonus of $40 million or so because all they could give him in salaries over five years would be $4.37 million.

The Steelers won’t be giving out signing bonuses anywhere near that. So, what do they do? Woodley surpassed Harrison to lead the team with 13.5 sacks last season, after hanging up 11.5 the previous season playing the left or strong side outside linebacker position for them. He’s young and on the come and with Harrison at 32 and inside linebacker James Farrior(notes) at 35, they need to keep Woodley for the long run. They cannot give it to him in roster bonuses because those count under the 30 percent rule.

They do have one or two choices, and both involve not signing him this year. They can make him their franchise player next year, or if there is no new CBA by then, he will be a restricted free agent. They take a chance that way but as it stands now, it’s impossible for the Steelers to sign Woodley to a contract extension.

Kicker Jeff Reed’s(notes) situation is quite different and the Steelers continue to talk to his agent about a multi-year deal. Reed does not fall into the “30 percent” rule because his contract expired after the 2009 calendar year and he was named their franchise player. Only players with contracts that were in effect in 2009 and 2010 are affected.

The same holds true for offensive tackle Willie Colon(notes), who is a restricted free agent for the second straight year because the rules changed in this non-cap year in which a player now must have six years in before he can become a UFA and Colon has only four. The Steelers, however, are not negotiating with his agent to try to get a multi-year deal.

Cornerback Ike Taylor(notes), also entering the final year of his contract, would be free to leave after it expires unless they would name him their franchise player, which is unlikely. There are no contract talks involving him either.

NOTES, QUOTES

• The Steelers placed wide receiver Limas Sweed(notes) on their injured reserve list after he cleared waivers. They signed another player to replace him on a roster that stands at 90. Sweed had surgery on his Achilles tendon after it was ruptured on the final day of the team’s minicamp May 2.

They signed first-year WR Isaiah Williams(notes), who signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie from Maryland last year and was released before the season.

• Starting C Justin Hartwig(notes) should see more and more time as OTA practices resume. He had shoulder cleanup surgery after the season. He practiced at minicamp but did not participate in 11-on-11 drills.

“It was a prescribed part of his process coming off of his surgery,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “As the offseason continues to roll on, we will continue to just work him more and more, and get him up to speed. He’s done a nice job with the rehabilitation. He’s starting to get his weight back; he’s really doing well.”

• There will be an adjustment for the wide receivers to make as they switch back and forth between Ben Roethlisberger(notes) and Byron Leftwich(notes).

“It’s different because they throw so much different,” WR Mike Wallace(notes) said. “Ben’s is just soft. Byron has a canon, he’s letting it rip. It’s different how their balls come out spinning.”

“Regardless of the quarterback situation, I’ve caught balls from all of them so I feel comfortable with whoever’s in the ballgame,” said Hines Ward(notes)

Quote To Note: “Ask me on the 18th. Matter of fact, just see if he’s here or not.”—Coach Mike Tomlin on whether S Troy Polamalu(notes) will continue to work out with the team when OTAs continue Tuesday.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=teamreports-2010-nfl-pit

Kaeg
05-14-2010, 05:53 AM
I'm not sure I understand the 30% rule entirely. We can't give him more than that, I understand, but does that mean he can go anywhere else and get whatever he wants? If that's the case, doesn't this rule make it very difficult for teams to hold onto players in that situation, but then let any other team throw what they want at him? It's not very conducive to keeping a team intact. Can someone please tell me if I have this right?
Thx.

Fire Haley
05-14-2010, 09:53 AM
steelers.com


Updating a previous item, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin now says he'll decide on his Week 1 starting quarterback by the time training camp opens in late July.

"Really, it's not a three-man quarterback competition at this point," Tomlin said. "We know what all three men are capable of doing."

While Tomlin plans to have his pecking order settled by training camp, he suggested that he may not make the decision public.

Byron Leftwich opened the previous minicamp with the starters, but Dennis Dixon's talent advantage may be too much for Tomlin to ignore.

Galax Steeler
05-15-2010, 04:03 AM
steelers.com


Updating a previous item, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin now says he'll decide on his Week 1 starting quarterback by the time training camp opens in late July.

"Really, it's not a three-man quarterback competition at this point," Tomlin said. "We know what all three men are capable of doing."

While Tomlin plans to have his pecking order settled by training camp, he suggested that he may not make the decision public.

Byron Leftwich opened the previous minicamp with the starters, but Dennis Dixon's talent advantage may be too much for Tomlin to ignore.

I would say Batch don't have a chance for the starting job. To me it is a coin toss between Dixon and Leftwitch. Advantage Leftwich because of his experience but the only way Dixon is ever going to learn is to get in there and get his experience as well.

pete74
05-15-2010, 04:10 AM
I'm not sure I understand the 30% rule entirely. We can't give him more than that, I understand, but does that mean he can go anywhere else and get whatever he wants? If that's the case, doesn't this rule make it very difficult for teams to hold onto players in that situation, but then let any other team throw what they want at him? It's not very conducive to keeping a team intact. Can someone please tell me if I have this right?
Thx.

correct. players like woodley can not be paid more then 30% more then they made the previous season. its there to keep teams from throwing out millions to sign a bunch of up and coming stars.

with that said im sure woodley will be franchised and resigned next season

solardave
05-15-2010, 05:40 AM
correct. players like woodley can not be paid more then 30% more then they made the previous season. its there to keep teams from throwing out millions to sign a bunch of up and coming stars.

with that said im sure woodley will be franchised and resigned next season

I'm thinking the same thing. we can't afford to just hand him 40 mil in a signing bonus so franchise him and sign him next year. All this depends on a new CBA as well.

markymarc
05-17-2010, 06:48 PM
with that said im sure woodley will be franchised and resigned next season

That is the plan I see happening as well especially if no CBA is signed prior to the 2010 season beginning. I don't see the front office letting Lamar go. Just pay the man when they can :tt02: