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Old 03-02-2007, 03:56 PM   #1
alittlejazzbird
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Default Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

Former Steelers LB Porter will let market develop
Posted: Friday March 2, 2007 4:15PM; Updated: Friday March 2, 2007 4:30PM

Joey Porter had a team-best seven sacks and two interceptions in just 14 games for Pittsburgh last season.

Though he belatedly joined this year's free-agent class -- upon being released by Pittsburgh in a Thursday afternoon salary cap move -- it didn't take Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter long to generate interest on the open market.

According to a source close to Porter, at least seven teams have made contact to inquire about the three-time Pro Bowl selection, and they read like a who's who of the NFL's 3-4 defensive formation stalwarts: New England, the Jets, Baltimore, San Francisco, Dallas, Cleveland and Miami.

Porter has yet to schedule any visits, and probably won't do so until early next week. Having somewhat unexpectedly been granted free agency, after the Steelers investigated trades involving him in recent days, Porter is content to let his market develop over the weekend, knowing that most NFL teams have not yet spent time breaking down his 2006 game films.

Porter's market is also somewhat inter-related to the one that has developed for Baltimore outside linebacker Adalius Thomas, one of the two most sought-after prospects in this year's free-agent crop. The teams that are not successful in landing Thomas, who also fits the 3-4 linebacker mold, almost certainly will respond by stepping up their pursuit of Porter. So, while New England, San Francisco and the Jets are considered the most aggressive suitors of Thomas, two of them will likely turn their attention quickly to Porter if the ex-Ravens star signs.

The Jets are known to be one of several teams that talked to the Steelers in recent days about a trade for Porter, and Cleveland head coach Romeo Crennel was quoted Thursday night expressing interest in his former division rival.

Interestingly, in a head-to-head comparison of Thomas and Porter, the ex-Steeler fares quite well. Both players will turn 30 this year, with Porter, a eight-year NFL veteran, reaching the milestone in March, and Thomas, a seven-year pro, in August. Porter owns 60 career sacks and three Pro Bowl berths, to Thomas' 38 1/2 and one all-star appearance, which came after his breakthrough 2006 season, when he totaled a career-best 11 sacks.

Unlike past years in free agency, the size of this year's salary cap ($109 million) is so large that teams are expected to have significant money to spend even after the usual mega-deals are struck in the opening three to five days of the NFL's annual personnel shopping spree. With that in mind, Porter's camp prefers to not "rush the market,'' believing that enough teams will have unmet needs and open coffers throughout all of next week.

Porter was scheduled to receive $4 million in salary this season in Pittsburgh, and was due a $1 million roster bonus in early March. While there was real debate internally within the Steelers front office regarding whether the team should part ways with Porter, it was decided that the team did not want to take the risk of giving the 29-year-old another long-term deal with a potential eight-figure bonus.

Sources say Steelers decision makers had the contract situation of ex-Pittsburgh linebacker Jason Gildon in mind when they made the call on Porter. In 2002, the Steelers gave Gildon, their career sack leader, a five-year, $23 million contract, then released him two years into the deal in a cap move. The idea of re-signing Porter to such a significant contract at a similar point in his career scared some in Pittsburgh's front office.

Last year, Porter asked the Steelers to re-visit his contract situation, but the club rebuffed him, citing its longstanding policy against extending contracts that have more than one year remaining on them. Faced with having Porter enter the final year of his deal in 2007, and aware that former Steelers head coach BillCowher had assured him that his contract situation would be addressed this year, the Steelers felt Porter deserved a chance to reach the free-agent market now.

While some scouts within the league have questioned whether Porter has lost some of the explosiveness that made him one of the league's most dangerous pass rushers throughout this decade, others contend that he remains a premier play-maker whose skills are not in any noticeable decline. Porter had a team-best seven sacks and two interceptions in just 14 games for Pittsburgh last season, a year after tying his career-high with 10? sacks in the Steelers' Super Bowl season of 2005.

Said one league observer: "He's a vocal guy and sometimes controversial, but no one has ever denied that he comes to play every week. Him not being in Pittsburgh any more was not about him not being to play any more.''

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ter/index.html
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Old 03-02-2007, 04:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

no one ever accused porter of being dumb.

Quote:
According to a source close to Porter, at least seven teams have made contact to inquire about the three-time Pro Bowl selection, and they read like a who's who of the NFL's 3-4 defensive formation stalwarts: New England, the Jets, Baltimore, San Francisco, Dallas, Cleveland and Miami.
thats a hell of a list of teams with alot of money. might as well add washington to that list.

all his agent has to do is convince the buyers that porters and thomas's seasons were both a fluke and, porters market value increases greatly. thomas is probably looking for the richest contract for a lb to date. porter may even get top 5 money out of this.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

The "source close to Porter" no doubt is the agent so take that quote with the proper skepticism - everybody is interested in everyone for the right price - Porter will get signed but if it was my team I would load up the contract w/incentives. We all recall not only Porter's rotten 2006 but that he also was having a sketchy 2005 until December.

Speed players about to turn 30 with knee surgeries the last 2 years are not exactly a risk-free investment.
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post

Speed players about to turn 30 with knee surgeries the last 2 years are not exactly a risk-free investment.
I agree, there is plenty of proof for that. Plus, if that player is close to the action like LB and Lineman, you never really can tell when they will have to call a quits. Honestly, I don't think Joey will be around for much longer, of course, I could be wrong.

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Old 03-02-2007, 10:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

Probably cross the Niners off that list...they blew all their money on Clements......
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
The "source close to Porter" no doubt is the agent so take that quote with the proper skepticism - everybody is interested in everyone for the right price - Porter will get signed but if it was my team I would load up the contract w/incentives. We all recall not only Porter's rotten 2006 but that he also was having a sketchy 2005 until December.

Speed players about to turn 30 with knee surgeries the last 2 years are not exactly a risk-free investment.
Yep. You are correct.

Who knows. Maybe he comes back after realizing that he isn't as hot a stock as he thought he was. However. With Cowher gone, Porter leaving may be a very good thing. I wonder how much of a problem it would have been for Porter to respond to another coach.
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

it really sucks to see that all 3 teams in the division sound like the most interested.
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

just about every team that runs a 3-4 (or desperately wants to) will be interrested because he is one of the best and most experienced at his position.

no-one can tell me that for the same price t. bunta cain is gonna get as many looks.
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Old 03-03-2007, 07:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Don Banks/SI: Porter Will Let Market Develop

one thing's for sure...whoever peezy goes to will pay him a lot of money, and if i were him i would let the market develop and get the best deal possible
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