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Hawaii 5-0
11-11-2012, 01:40 AM
Second half could settle contract issues

By Alan Robinson
Published: Saturday, November 10, 2012

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Steelers receiver Mike Wallace beats the Giants' Jayron Hosley en route to a fourth-quarter touchdown on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Think it’s difficult balancing the family checkbook? Try balancing Omar Khan’s.

Khan, the director of business and football administration for the Steelers, is responsible for making sure the team stays under the salary cap, which is $121 million this season. He is so skilled at a job whose duties include negotiating contracts, he has been contacted about multiple NFL general managers’ jobs.

Just like an overly expensive trip to Costco can ruin a monthly budget, so can a poorly done contract, and thanks to Khan and GM Kevin Colbert, the Steelers haven’t had nearly as many of those as some franchises.

The Steelers are projected to be about $12 million to $15 million over the cap once the 2012 season ends, and it will take some mathematical manipulations by Khan to balance it all out. Until then, current-roster performances will be evaluated, the free-agent market assessed, the college talent pool scouted.

And don’t think those players whose contracts are ending aren’t thinking about the next one — or if there will be a next one.

“(The contract issue) is never going to go away,” wide receiver Mike Wallace said. “Good or bad, it’s always going to be out there.”

With Wallace due to become a free agent, the Steelers’ options are to try to sign him to a long-term deal (which they will do) or make him their franchise player (which they almost certainly won’t do).

Here’s who will be thinking contract during the second half of the season, which begins Monday night against Kansas City:

Wallace: Ben Roethlisberger will be lobbying hard to bring him back. But can the Steelers afford him after giving a $42.5 million deal to Antonio Brown?

Rashard Mendenhall: Free agent; virtually no chance of him returning, especially if Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer keep producing.

Redman, Dwyer, Steve McLendon, Emmanuel Sanders, Stevenson Sylvester: Can become restricted free agents; the Steelers can retain them by making tender offers. Sylvester is the least likely to return.

Larry Foote: Free agent; has handled the post-James Farrior leadership role well, but he grades fourth from the bottom among NFL 3-4 inside linebackers by profootballfocus.com. He’ll be 33 next season, and the Steelers will probably let him walk.

Ramon Foster: One of the NFL’s best bargains; has made 34 career starts but is earning only $1.26 million. He’ll make more elsewhere in 2013, when David DeCastro starts at right guard.

Casey Hampton: Free agent; accepted restructured $2.8 million deal to play this season. McLendon probably takes his job next season.

James Harrison: Due $6.57 million in 2013, with a cap value of $10 million.

“That ain’t happening. That ain’t happening. That ain’t happening,” NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes said. “I can promise you that. One way or another — if they part ways or if they restructure — they’re not paying him $10 million.”

Brett Keisel: Due $2.85 million; Steelers must decide if he’s worth bringing back for much less money.

Keenan Lewis: Free agent; played this season for $1.26 million tender. Do the Steelers give him a multiyear deal or look for an affordable replacement in free agency or the draft?

Ryan Mundy: Free agent; unlikely to return.

Troy Polamalu: Due $7.5 million in 2013 and $8.25 million in 2014. Steelers must refinance this mortgage.

Max Starks: Free agent. Steelers keep bringing him back and bringing him back. The way he’s playing this season, it might cost some money to do it again.

Ben Roethlisberger: Will make $11.6 million in 2013; Steelers could rework to transform most of the money into a signing bonus that can be spread out over multiple seasons.

Ike Taylor: Due $6 million in 2013. Steelers must decide if he’s worth it.

Lawrence Timmons: Owed $7.875 million. Candidate for restructuring.

LaMarr Woodley: Owed $9 million. Candidate for restructuring.

Greg Warren: Free agent. Steelers must decide if one of the NFL’s most dependable long snappers fits their budget.

http://triblive.com/mobile/m/msports/msteelers/2904694-96/million-steelers-free-agent-season-2013-due-nfl-wallace-contract

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-11-2012, 11:01 AM
Khan will juggle like he does every season. Hampton, Foote, Mundy likely gone. I still think Mendenhall will get a mid level offer. Harrison, Timmons, Woodley, Troy, Ben will all restructure to save some $$.

Wallace is still the wild card. I still think somebody else will pay him more than the Steelers can and he will be gone.

67 calsteel
11-11-2012, 11:14 AM
Need to add Heath to the list.Salary cap hit 2013 $ 7,958,500 2014 $ 7,966,500.I add him to the list not because he is not producing but to create cap space.Give him a contract extension (extra year)and convert most of his salary to signing bonus.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-11-2012, 12:30 PM
Need to add Heath to the list.Salary cap hit 2013 $ 7,958,500 2014 $ 7,966,500.I add him to the list not because he is not producing but to create cap space.Give him a contract extension (extra year)and convert most of his salary to signing bonus.

Good catch. One could argue that Heath Miller is more important to the Steelers offense than Mike Wallace is.

austinfrench76
11-11-2012, 01:37 PM
I agree about Heath but I would say he is more important to Haley's offense. As we have seen, Heath can be extremely under utilized if aloud to be (ARIANS!). Need alot of these guys on this list but restructuring will be the order of the day.

SteeleReign
11-12-2012, 08:31 AM
Sounds like we're gonna have a LB & DB problem. Who replaces Foote? Spence?

I don't see us parting ways with both Ike and Keenan - no depth behind them. As much as I appreciate what Ike has done for the team, I'd prefer to let him walk & give a deal to Lewis.

maddog78
11-12-2012, 09:26 AM
Wallace: Ben Roethlisberger will be lobbying hard to bring him back. But can the Steelers afford him after giving a $42.5 million deal to Antonio Brown?


Personally, the way Sanders is stepping up, I think giving Wallace huge money could cripple this team financially by putting so much money in the position.


Rashard Mendenhall: Free agent; virtually no chance of him returning, especially if Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer keep producing.

Agreed. He's still our best back, but he's got miles and now serious injuries on his body.


Redman, Dwyer, Steve McLendon, Emmanuel Sanders, Stevenson Sylvester: Can become restricted free agents; the Steelers can retain them by making tender offers. Sylvester is the least likely to return.

Sly has been a disappointment, mainly because of injuries. Would like to see him get a reasonable offer.


Larry Foote: Free agent; has handled the post-James Farrior leadership role well, but he grades fourth from the bottom among NFL 3-4 inside linebackers by profootballfocus.com. He’ll be 33 next season, and the Steelers will probably let him walk.

Yeah, outside of a few splash plays, he's been below the line. If he's a starter on this defense next year, we have real problems at ILB.


Ramon Foster: One of the NFL’s best bargains; has made 34 career starts but is earning only $1.26 million. He’ll make more elsewhere in 2013, when David DeCastro starts at right guard.

Quietly having a very good year but I'd rather see Colon and DD flanking Pouncey.


Casey Hampton: Free agent; accepted restructured $2.8 million deal to play this season. McLendon probably takes his job next season.

McLendon is weak against the run, but better rushing the passer. Casey is gone, I think.


James Harrison: Due $6.57 million in 2013, with a cap value of $10 million.


Needs to restructure. He's got leverage, though, as there appears to not be an adequate replacement on the roster.



Brett Keisel: Due $2.85 million; Steelers must decide if he’s worth bringing back for much less money.

Gone. It has to be Heyward next year.


Keenan Lewis: Free agent; played this season for $1.26 million tender. Do the Steelers give him a multiyear deal or look for an affordable replacement in free agency or the draft?

Keeper. Have to sign this guy.


Ryan Mundy: Free agent; unlikely to return.


Easy decision.


Troy Polamalu: Due $7.5 million in 2013 and $8.25 million in 2014. Steelers must refinance this mortgage.


Unless he hangs it up, need to restructure.

Max Starks: Free agent. Steelers keep bringing him back and bringing him back. The way he’s playing this season, it might cost some money to do it again.

Hope they sign him to a reasonable extension. If Adams can play LT and Gilbert RT, Max becomes the best backup swing tackle in the league.


Ben Roethlisberger: Will make $11.6 million in 2013; Steelers could rework to transform most of the money into a signing bonus that can be spread out over multiple seasons.

Restructure.


Ike Taylor: Due $6 million in 2013. Steelers must decide if he’s worth it.

Time for Brown/Allen to emerge as a replacement.


Lawrence Timmons: Owed $7.875 million. Candidate for restructuring.

Agreed.


LaMarr Woodley: Owed $9 million. Candidate for restructuring.

Agreed.

lloydwoodson
11-13-2012, 03:26 AM
Sounds like we're gonna have a LB & DB problem. Who replaces Foote? Spence?

I don't see us parting ways with both Ike and Keenan - no depth behind them. As much as I appreciate what Ike has done for the team, I'd prefer to let him walk & give a deal to Lewis.

Timmons should move over and take Foote's spot next year and Spence can have his spot. Alternatively, Sylvester takes over Foote's spot and Timmons stays where he is. Either way I think that will be a great tandem. I am a bit surprised that even in LeBeau's vet heavy defense that Sylvester hasn't been given a shot. Sylvester is an amazing playmaker in the open field and I think would be very solid in coverage.

Terminator
11-13-2012, 07:27 AM
I honestly wouldn't feel bad seeing Harrison cut at this point. He has done virtually nothing this year, and did very little last year. The problem is, our backups have not stepped up to the plate when called. Worilds and Carter are nothing to write home about.

steelfury02
11-13-2012, 08:01 AM
We are 9 games in. If Troy isn't ready to go for the next 3, probably most critical stretch of games I can remember in recent memory - I think it is really time for them to find the replacement, and, possibly trade up for it if there is one that has that type of game-changing potential

TRH
11-13-2012, 08:26 AM
I've never been big on Mendenhall - and i don't think he's one of the better backs in the league - we'll be absolutely fine without him. We don't need to spend any money here.

The defensive backfield and linebacking core will be the tricky part of this. My guess is that there will be at least one huge, bigtime surprise leaving or released. We can't keep everybody even though everyone wants to. It's going to be a helluva lot more than Mundy. Decisions will have to be made on Troy and Harrison.