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BB2W
02-20-2006, 04:47 PM
Although there has been no formal contract proposal yet, the Pittsburgh Steelers have made verbal overtures aimed at retaining Chris Hope and will try to keep their starting free safety off the unrestricted market.

"They've told us that Chris is one of their top targets [to re-sign]," agent Braylon Bennett told ESPN.com on Monday, "and we're taking them at their word. The thing is, without an extension [to the collective bargaining agreement], doing business will be hard. So we'll see what happens. No matter what, our feeling is that Chris will be the top free-agent safety."

Bennett and Hope met Monday to discuss the player's potential options.

A four-year veteran and a starter each of the last two seasons, Hope is one of three defenders who started for the Steelers in Super Bowl XL and is eligible for unrestricted free agency. He is likely the player among those three, it seems, that Pittsburgh will try the hardest to retain.

Defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen, 35, is a 12-year veteran and there is a sense the younger Brett Keisel, who is also eligible for free agency and a priority for the Steelers, might be ready to supplant him in the starting lineup. Versatile cornerback Deshea Townsend is arguably the team's best coverage defender and Pittsburgh would also like to have him back, but the progress made by rookie Bryant McFadden in 2005 could propel him into the lineup as well.

Team officials reiterated at the Super Bowl that retaining Hope is a priority.


link: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2337375

Stlrs4Life
02-20-2006, 05:27 PM
Hope we can do this. No pun intended.

FisherMOM
02-20-2006, 05:30 PM
Hope we can do this. No pun intended.


I HOPE so too! :)

RoethlisBURGHer
02-20-2006, 05:33 PM
I really Hope we can keep him,pun intended.

We gotta keep Ike,he's the best cover corner on the team.

Atlanta Dan
02-20-2006, 05:49 PM
Sounds like the absence of a CBA is complicating these negotiations as well. It would seem the absence of a new agreement hurts teams that are trying to retain their FAs more than teams trying to sign up other teams' FAs. The Steelers goal is to lock up Hope (assuming they really want to do so) before FA season starts; hard to do that when you do not know the cap amount and the period over which bonuses can be amortized. Teams wanting to sign Hope can just sit tight, as can Hope.

Note there is no discussion of retaining Randle El being a big Steeler goal.

BB2W
02-20-2006, 05:56 PM
I also like hearing that re-signing Brett Keisel may be a priority. :cool:

TasmanianTroy271
02-20-2006, 06:25 PM
I'd rather sign Kiesel and El before Hope... This is a big draft and FA for safeties, and he can be easily replaced. I think he only looks good because of his surroundings, and I can think of several times throughout the year where he's blown huge plays...

Atlanta Dan
02-20-2006, 06:52 PM
I'd rather sign Kiesel and El before Hope... This is a big draft and FA for safeties, and he can be easily replaced. I think he only looks good because of his surroundings, and I can think of several times throughout the year where he's blown huge plays...

I agree. Not so much down on Hope as the fact that signing Keisel is essential.

OX1947
02-20-2006, 07:26 PM
Keisel, Hope, Ike are priorities 1,2,3. I think hartings takes a pay cut, same as Kimo. We draft a center, groom him after hartings retires more then likely after 2006 season. Kimo goes one more year, taking half the snaps with Keisel and Keisel becomes full time in 2007.

If El gets 3 mil, he's gone. Townsend would have to take less to stay, probably wont happen, but McFaddden will fill in there.

The ultimate senerio would be to get Carpenter at at 1, Nance at 2 and Raiola at 3. If there is a way to trade our extra picks for another #2 or high 3 OR even a TJ Duckett and drop Staley, then cool. I think this senerio makes us unstoppable if we stay healthy next year.

Koopa
02-20-2006, 08:26 PM
hell no, i'd rather resign hope, he knows the system and he's young no point in getting an older saftey in fa or a younger one in the draft when you can keep a good one that won't have to go through the learning prossess. ARE is probably the most replaceable "big name" that we have

BlackNGold203
02-20-2006, 08:31 PM
I'd rather sign Kiesel and El before Hope... This is a big draft and FA for safeties, and he can be easily replaced. I think he only looks good because of his surroundings, and I can think of several times throughout the year where he's blown huge plays...

I disagree...he's often on an island...letting Troy do his thing...he and Troy have synergy..it will take at least a full season for a new safety to come up to speed.

Sign him...NOW

melroseplace
02-20-2006, 09:28 PM
I think it should be Keisel then hope then El...altho I think most of us are thinking El is as good as gone

OX1947
02-20-2006, 09:41 PM
Troy 25, Hope 25, McFadden 25, Taylor 24 years old going into the 2006 season. You do not, I MEAN do not break that up. this crew will be the best in the biz in no time and with our linebacker clinic that we keep spitting out and the depth at DL from guys like Hoke and Keisel, our defense will get better and better.

OX1947
02-20-2006, 09:57 PM
I've just started really learning a little about the NFL's salary cap and how it works. According to estimates for 2006, if a new CBA is settled, the cap will go up to 94 million. According to this site: http://burghsportsguys.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=76&Itemid=47

We will be a couple million under the cap and thats with guys like bettis and maddox and staley on there.

SteelerMurf
02-20-2006, 10:27 PM
Keisel should be an easy signing...he is unknown to the rest of the league, but will be a monster like A. Smith for years to come.

Next we gotta keep Hope so that we do not have 2 new starters in the secondary. And Hope is young, which is what the Steelers like in signing their own.

We can find a replacement for El (Wilson for instance). And Townsend can be replaced by McFadden.

But nobody is on our roster to replace a safety or DE. I mean we could resign Kimo for a year, but the next year we are left without a DE. But we don't even have a stop gap at safety. And we can't expect a FA to come in and be affective in this system the first year.

here is to Hope and Keisel.

Petesburgh66
02-21-2006, 01:04 AM
hell no, i'd rather resign hope, he knows the system and he's young no point in getting an older saftey in fa or a younger one in the draft when you can keep a good one that won't have to go through the learning prossess.

Agreed. It took a while to replace the dead weight of Alexander and Washington back in the secondary. No point in re-doing it again this soon. Lock up Troy and Chris for a while.

Rotorhead
02-21-2006, 01:40 AM
I definately agree we need to lock up Hope and Ike. We will be in contention every year our secondary is together. Keisel should be no problem to lock up, and Kimo for 1 more year. I think Staley will be fine next year so that leave a replacement center we can pickup in the draft, along with a safety to back Hope up. We can let Townsend go (although I would like to keep him) and ARE is as good as gone IMO. We are deep enough in all the other positions to be fine for the next few years.