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Old 08-31-2007, 09:09 AM   #1
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Default Steelers/Simmons talking extension

Steelers Notebook: Steelers, Simmons talking extension
Friday, August 31, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Steelers are trying to sign their starting guard to a contract extension before the end of next week, but it's not Alan Faneca.

Kendall Simmons, their starting right guard since 2002 when they drafted him in the first round from Auburn, has this season left on that rookie contract.

"We've been talking and both sides are trying to get something done before the start of the season,'' said Simmons' agent, Eric Metz.

Simmons supposedly was in competition for his job with backup Chris Kemoeatu, but early in training camp he reasserted himself as the starter and the Steelers decided to try to lock him up for the future.

No serious talks have taken place with Faneca, a six-time Pro Bowler who consistently stated this will be his final season with the club. However, there has been contact between the Steelers and Faneca's agent recently.

The Steelers also have made recent contact with the agent for linebacker Clark Haggans to talk about possibly extending his contract beyond this season.

Club officials long have had a self-imposed deadline of the start of the regular season in order to sign players to new or extended contracts. Once the season starts, they will end all negotiations until the end of the season.

On and off the chopping block

It does not look like a banner year for the Steelers' rookie draft class. Linebacker LaMarr Woodley (second round), cornerback William Gay (fifth) and punter Daniel Sepulveda (fourth) have been the only productive rookie draftees in the preseason. Those three, plus top pick Lawrence Timmons, a linebacker mostly injured since the Steelers picked him in the first round, and tight end Matt Spaeth should make the team when coach Mike Tomlin finishes his cuts.

It appears he will cut another fourth-rounder, defensive end Ryan McBean, who was impressive early in camp but then fell way off. Fifth-rounder Cameron Stephenson, a guard from Rutgers, likely will be cut, as well. His former college teammate, Darnell Stapleton, also a guard, has been more impressive and could make it as an undrafted rookie. Another undrafted rookie with a strong chance of making the cut is running back Gary Russell. Wide receiver Dallas Baker, a seventh-round pick who led Florida in receiving last season and scored 10 touchdowns, might wind up on the practice squad.

Tomlin must cut his roster to 53 by 11 a.m. tomorrow. He's not likely to make any of those cuts today.

St. Pierre on practice squad

After rechecking, the Steelers have determined that quarterback Brian St. Pierre is eligible for the practice squad. Players are eligible unless they've been active for nine games in one season or been on practice squads for three years. St. Pierre had spent time on practice squads for two seasons when the Steelers signed him to their practice squad last year.

However, he only spent one week on the practice squad before he was added to the 53-man roster. It turns out, a player must spend at least three weeks on the practice squad for it to count as one season. That does not mean Mike Tomlin will put him there, but it gives him another option. Tomlin believes in having three quarterbacks. He could have two on the 53-man roster and one on the practice squad in reserve if one of the two are injured. The Steelers would have to release St. Pierre and then sign him to the practice squad, so if anyone else is interested in him they could offer him a contract as part of their 53-man roster.

Injury report

Hines Ward, who had surgery Tuesday to repair his nose, broken last Sunday in a game against Philadelphia, did not suit up last night. Also not suiting up for the Steelers: tight ends Heath Miller (shoulder) and Jerame Tuman (back), and defensive end Travis Kirschke (back). ... Center Marvin Philip left in the second quarter with what was described as a turned right ankle. Either Philip or Chukky Okobi will be the backup to starter Sean Mahan. ... Linebacker Marquis Cooper also left with a hamstring injury, and St. Pierre left in the fourth quarter with a toe injury.

Quick hits

The start of the game was delayed until 8:20 p.m. because of the threat of a thunderstorm. ... The Cardinals signed punter Mike Barr after the Steelers released him last week.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07243/813693-66.stm
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

Signing a starting G with a good reputation can be an expensive thing these days - I wonder if Simmons agent is looking to try and cash in on the crazy money given to these guys earlier this year.

I just can't imagine the Steelers forking out huge money to a guy who had some question marks over his ability to start this year (Kemoeatu).

lets have some guesses about the size of the contract?

6 years 32 million?
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

I hope this gets done Simmons has worked really hard this preseason.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

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Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post
Signing a starting G with a good reputation can be an expensive thing these days - I wonder if Simmons agent is looking to try and cash in on the crazy money given to these guys earlier this year.

I just can't imagine the Steelers forking out huge money to a guy who had some question marks over his ability to start this year (Kemoeatu).

lets have some guesses about the size of the contract?

6 years 32 million?
the rooneys wont let the crazy inflated spending of ralph wilson and jerry jones dictate the market. just like they wont let mike holmgrens paycheck dictate what they pay their head coach.

simmons contract offer will probably be something similar to that of s. mayhan.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

I am sure Faneca thought it was bad enough when he had to grit his teeth and say how happy he was Troy got his deal - I am certain he will be thrilled if Simmons gets a renewal
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
the rooneys wont let the crazy inflated spending of ralph wilson and jerry jones dictate the market. just like they wont let mike holmgrens paycheck dictate what they pay their head coach.

simmons contract offer will probably be something similar to that of s. mayhan.
So i'll put you down for something along the lines of 5 years $17million/ 6 years $20million then?

That sounds a little low to me.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

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Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post
So i'll put you down for something along the lines of 5 years $17million/ 6 years $20million then?

That sounds a little low to me.
Quote:
I just can't imagine the Steelers forking out huge money to a guy who had some question marks over his ability to start this year (Kemoeatu).
i was thinking more along the lines of around 4 mil/year for 4-5 years. i wouldnt be suprised if it was a little more or a little less. i think hes a good player. the fact that theyre talking to him and not starks says alot, despite people thinking he sucks. simmons definitely wasnt the problem on the right side last year. he was bookended by a player that was too old and another who was too fat.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

Look at it this way. If Simmons looks like he's returned to form, it'd be really smart for the Steelers to sign him to a fairly modest raise BEFORE he has a killer season. If he performs this year, and it's noticeable (meaning the Steelers have a great season), it will most likely over-inflate his value. The fact that they are talking at all indicates to me that he has, in the Steelers eyes, merited being resigned. I say sign him now.
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
i was thinking more along the lines of around 4 mil/year for 4-5 years. i wouldnt be suprised if it was a little more or a little less. i think hes a good player. the fact that theyre talking to him and not starks says alot, despite people thinking he sucks. simmons definitely wasnt the problem on the right side last year. he was bookended by a player that was too old and another who was too fat.
i was thinking maybe 4 years 16 mill or maybe 5 at 18 mill
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers/Simmons talking extension

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
i was thinking more along the lines of around 4 mil/year for 4-5 years. i wouldnt be suprised if it was a little more or a little less. i think hes a good player. the fact that theyre talking to him and not starks says alot, despite people thinking he sucks. simmons definitely wasnt the problem on the right side last year. he was bookended by a player that was too old and another who was too fat.
Not only that but Simmons has battled health issues the past few years...From a torn ACL in training camp 2004 to battling adult diabetes..........Now it seems Simmons finally is 100 percent healthy and again will show why he was a first round pick in the 2002 draft.....So I think resigning Simmons is a good move.....
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