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Old 07-22-2005, 04:25 AM   #1
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Default Steelers closing on signing one of its seventh-round picks

Steelers closing on signing one of its seventh-round picks
By Mike Prisuta
Friday, July 22, 2005

The Steelers made enough progress during negotiations with No. 7a draft pick Shaun Nua on Thursday that an agreement is anticipated by the close of business today.

Nua, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive end from Brigham Young, was the 228th overall selection in the NFL Draft.

He would become the fourth Steelers draft choice to agree to terms, following No. 4 pick Fred Gibson (wide receiver, Georgia), No. 5 Rian Wallace (linebacker, Temple) and No. 6 Chris Kemoeatu (guard, Utah).

No. 1 pick Heath Miller (tight end, Virginia), No. 2 Bryant McFadden (cornerback, Florida State), No. 3 Trai Essex (offensive tackle, Northwestern) and No. 7b Noah Heron (running back, Northwestern) are unsigned.

Negotiations began this week with Miller's representation, but agent Tom Condon said Thursday it's still uncertain as to whether his client will sign in time to report to St. Vincent College on July 31 for the opening of training camp.

"I couldn't tell you," Condon said. "We're always working toward that, but I don't know. I wouldn't be able to characterize it.

"I would expect we'll continue to talk daily from here on in. Heath feel's great, he's 100 percent and he's looking forward to getting in and getting going."

As of yesterday afternoon only five players taken on the first day of the draft (rounds one through three) had agreed to contracts (two second-round picks and three third-rounders).

Some NFL executives are anticipating numerous holdouts as camps begin to open next week, but Condon doesn't consider the pace of negotiations across the league anything out of the ordinary.

"It's always late," he said. "It's always getting rushed at the end. I would say it's more typical than anything else."

The Steelers also consider investigating the possibility of signing wide receiver Hines Ward to a contract extension prior to the opening of camp a priority.

The Steelers opened negotiations with Ward in late April but no talks are currently being conducted.

Ward is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2005 season.

Also entering the final year of their contracts among starters are wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, nose tackle Casey Hampton, free safety Chris Hope, defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen, cornerback Deshea Townsend and tight end Jerame Tuman.

Link: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_355890.html

Okay this line bothers me "The Steelers opened negotiations with Ward in late April but no talks are currently being conducted." Seems a little strange that no talks are being conducted.
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