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Galax Steeler
05-16-2010, 07:29 AM
A byproduct of the coming capless season might make it impossible for the team to sign their Pro Bowl linebacker to a long-term deal.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
The uncertain NFL labor future may cost the Steelers Lamarr Woodley, who will likely deserve more in a contract than the team will be allowed to offer.

The Steelers and the agent for LaMarr Woodley face what appear to be insurmountable obstacles to negotiate a long-term deal for the young Pro Bowl linebacker. Unless there is a new collective bargaining agreement soon, it would be near impossible for them to do a multi-year contract.

Written into the current CBA is what is called the 30 percent rule, which went into effect this year. Any new contract cannot contain salaries more than 30 percent above a player's 2009 salary each year.

Woodley earned $460,000 in 2009 as part of the four-year contract he signed in 2007 and will expire after the 2010 season. For the Steelers to negotiate a new long-term contract, his 2010 salary could increase only 30 percent, or $138,000, to $598,000. For each year of Woodley's new deal, he could not earn in salary more than $138,000 over the previous year. In 2011, his salary could only go to $736,000, in 2012 to $874,000 and, in 2013, he would finally hit seven figures at $1,012,000.

Those are woefully low for a player of the status of Woodley, who led the team with 13.5 sacks last season after his 11.5 (plus six more in the postseason) in 2008.

Woodley could expect a five-year contract for at least $40 million, probably more. The Steelers signed linebacker James Harrison to a six-year, $51.75 million contract last year.

With the 30 percent rule, the Steelers could only give Woodley $4.37 million of that in salaries over a five-year contract. The rest would have to come in a signing bonus of more than $35 million. That's not going to happen. Under the 30 percent rule, roster bonuses count as salary, so they could not get around it by using roster bonuses spread out over the five-year contract.

There is no way around it. Unless there is a new CBA by March, the Steelers will have to wait and either make Woodley their franchise player or he could become restricted if this year's non-cap rules carry over to 2011. Both of those would be somewhat of a gamble, particularly if the NFL negotiates a new CBA on, say, March 5 that does not include franchise tags. Woodley could become an instant unrestricted free agent.

The 49ers did negotiate a contract extension for their outstanding linebacker, Patrick Willis. He was taken by them 11th overall in the same draft as Woodley, 2007. But Willis received much higher salaries in his new deal because they were based on his 2009 salary of $2,540,000. That's a lot easier to work with than Woodley's salary of $460,000, which was based on him being a second-round pick, the 46th overall player taken.

Jeff Reed finds himself in a good spot for the Steelers being able to negotiate a contract with him. The kicker does not fall into the 30 percent rule because his contract expired after the 2009 season and they then made him their franchise player. They can start at any base salary with Reed they want.

That also is the case with tackle Willie Colon, who is a restricted free agent for the second year. So far, however, the team has chosen not to negotiate a multi-year contract with Colon.
Good choice, wrong Hall

Art Rooney Jr. was inducted a few weeks ago into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He headed some of the best drafts in NFL history with the Steelers, including the best of them all, 1974, which produced four Hall of Famers (Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster) among other stars.

Men like Rooney, who is Dan Rooney's brother, and longtime Steelers scout Bill Nunn should be considered more seriously for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both have been nominated multiple times. At least, there should be a special wing honoring the contributions of scouts and personnel men in pro football and on-field officials.

The Hall also should consider recognizing some of the black pioneers of the game. Not enough attention has been paid to the league's unofficial banning of black players from 1934 until 1946, when re-integration resumed sporadically and at a slow pace. The Steelers had one of only two black players in the NFL in 1933 on their roster, Ray Kemp. He supposedly quit after that season to go into coaching, but by 1934 there were no blacks in the league and none for the next dozen years.

Baseball, which had banned blacks for a much longer period, at least found a way to try to make amends and induct many into its Hall of Fame.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10136/1058529-66.stm#ixzz0o5heNdQV

wootawnee
05-16-2010, 11:45 AM
I feel a new contract will be structured before training camp............Lamar has earned it, and we want him.............

solardave
05-16-2010, 11:52 AM
I feel a new contract will be structured before training camp............Lamar has earned it, and we want him.............

Not going to happen. They can't throw 35mil at him in bonus money. They should have extended his contract last year but who knew how he would play after only one real good season? Everyone wondered why so many LBs were drafted. This is why!

Steely McSmash
05-16-2010, 12:08 PM
Why does everyone assume the contract has to be 5 years long? Why not extend him one year with a 8 Mil bonus and negotiate long term next season? It's essentially pre-franchising him so you can use the tag on someone else.

It's win win. Steelers keep him off the FA market next year and Woodley gets some financial security in case he gets injured before his first payday. Woodley also gets to negotiate his third contract still presumably in his prime.:noidea:

If you throw him a 15 Mil bonus and extend him 2 years that might be smarter. It's a risk but I think it might be worth it. You're obviously risking that he'll get hurt and the bonus will be wasted. But if he re-signs next year, his signing bonus will be in that same ballpark anyway so you're essentially taking the same risk.

The team might be in a tough spot down the road deciding if they can keep Harrison and Woodley. In 2 years Harrison might be losing a step and we might have a young buck in the wings. If you extend Woodley now, then you can re-sign him then instead of Harrison in what might be an easy choice. If you don't extend him now, there's a decent chance he'll be a cap casualty or unaffordable next year - you might have that hard choice next year.

Steely McSmash
05-16-2010, 12:13 PM
Also who is going to visit the hall of FAME to look at a bust of Bill Nunn? Maybe they can put scouts names on some bricks in a courtyard or something.

No disrespect to jobs well done but it's called behind the scenes for a reason. I'd bet that for most teams, less than 5% of fans can name a single scout the organization ever had.

polamalubeast
05-16-2010, 12:23 PM
If the steelers leave from Woodley, I'll be really disgust after the steelers.

It's will put the tag on Woodley.

I was already angry and shocked when they let go Santonio Holmes, who was one of my favorite players.

It would be shocking if the steelers let him go Lamarr Woodley.:banging::banging::banging::banging::bangi ng::mad:

solardave
05-16-2010, 12:51 PM
2 years would probably still require about 20 mil bonus while one would be 10. I'd love to see him get locked up for the next two. The best thing to happen is a new CBA that does away with this BS rule.

Steely McSmash
05-16-2010, 01:25 PM
2 years would probably still require about 20 mil bonus while one would be 10. I'd love to see him get locked up for the next two. The best thing to happen is a new CBA that does away with this BS rule.

Agreed on the CBA --get that thing done.

For what it's worth I took the 8mil / year figure that EB pulled out of his can as my basis for my figures.

Throwing it all in the signing bonus should cause the amount to be discounted also since it's guaranteed money and not signing bonus + roster bonus + salary.

I didn't really discount it so it's a good deal for Woodley.

pete74
05-16-2010, 01:34 PM
there not going to sign him to a 1 year deal and there definatly not going to give him 30+ million up front. if no new CBA is reached this year they will franchise him next season and sign him as soon as a new one is in place

Tone's Toes
05-16-2010, 02:07 PM
Calm down! If there's no new CBA, Wood is getting tagged. We drafted OLB's for depth, special teams and the fact that Deebo is getting old.

pete74
05-16-2010, 02:30 PM
Calm down! If there's no new CBA, Wood is getting tagged. We drafted OLB's for depth, special teams and the fact that Deebo is getting old.

and we drafted them to replace harrison. if one of them comes along quick and harrison dosnt have a terrific year he will probably be cut after this season. eitherway he will not be here past 2 more seasons

HughC
05-16-2010, 03:18 PM
While a one or two year deal sounds good to us, players at this point in their careers don't do that. The first contract after a player's original rookie contract is his best chance to cash in. This is when a player can get a long term contract with the most financial security.

If a player signs a one or two year deal, he's putting himself at risk of an injury from ever seeing that really big payday. Fringe players and players at the end of their careers take one or two year deals - not players in Woodley's situation. That's why NFL players don't like being franchised; the high salary for one year is not worth the risk of injury that would prevent them from a receiving a big signing bonus that accompanies a four or five year deal.

86WARD
05-16-2010, 09:56 PM
He's not going anywhere for a while...

chucoblack&gold
05-16-2010, 11:35 PM
the Wood has earned his keep, hope the numbers line up for him.

Steely McSmash
05-17-2010, 12:33 PM
While a one or two year deal sounds good to us, players at this point in their careers don't do that. The first contract after a player's original rookie contract is his best chance to cash in. This is when a player can get a long term contract with the most financial security.

If a player signs a one or two year deal, he's putting himself at risk of an injury from ever seeing that really big payday. Fringe players and players at the end of their careers take one or two year deals - not players in Woodley's situation. That's why NFL players don't like being franchised; the high salary for one year is not worth the risk of injury that would prevent them from a receiving a big signing bonus that accompanies a four or five year deal.

I agree with what you're saying for the most part. Except that the decision to sign blue chip players to longer deals benefits the team versus the player. You may recall that this is one of the reasons BMAC spend a year in the wilderness. His agent told him to try for a 2 year deal so he'd have the opportunity to negotiate 2 contracts in his prime.

You mentioned Woodley's financial security. Right now Woodley has zero financial security in the event of career ending injury, but if he pulls in a 15 Mil bonus for a 2 yr contract he does -- instantly.

From the article, you can see that a long term deal that is allowed under current rules would not be acceptable to both parties. In light of that, I'm suggesting doing something mutually beneficial that CAN be done with current rules.

Just because you can't so the normal thing, it doesn't mean you can't do anything.

Also, i believe that if there is no CBA, Woodley will still be a RFA. If the team feels that a CBA won't get done, that's a reason to leave him unsigned this year. EB seems to indicate this may or may not be the case.:noidea: