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Old 08-31-2007, 09:14 AM   #1
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Default Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

Ron Cook: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca
Friday, August 31, 2007
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nine days to go.

To when the Steelers open the regular season in Cleveland, sure. But also to management's self-imposed deadline to sign guard Alan Faneca to a new contract.

There's still time to get a deal done, you know?

Both sides owe it to the other to make one final try.

If this extra long preseason -- which ended happily for the Steelers last night because no significant players were injured in their 19-3 win against the Carolina Panthers -- revealed anything, it's that the team still needs Faneca, not just for this season but for beyond. Quite simply, he remains their best offensive lineman. Forget that sack he allowed to Carolina tackle Kris Jenkins in the only series he played. It happens. Actually, it happened exactly the same way two years ago in the final exhibition game; Jenkins blew by Faneca, who was left to pick up quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and tell him he was sorry. Roethlisberger survived. Faneca went on to another Pro Bowl season. The Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl.

It's nice to think the same thing could happen again this season.

There also could have been mitigating circumstances involved in that sack last night. If Faneca's head wasn't in the game, who can blame him? None of the players wanted to play -- their only goal was to get out in one piece so they can get on to the real games -- but he had the added burden of knowing his future with the Steelers is about to be officially determined. The team doesn't negotiate contracts during the season, and Faneca surely will go to the highest bidder if he becomes a free agent after the season.

It doesn't have to go down that way.

Really.

The Steelers need to raise their offer to Faneca. His value to the team only increased this summer, the way new coach Mike Tomlin shuffled linemen in and out of the exhibition games, looking for five starters. It appears center Sean Mahan, right guard Kendall Simmons and right tackle Willie Colon have won jobs, but Tomlin hasn't made it official. Only Faneca at left guard and Marvel Smith at left tackle are rock-solid as starters. That's a bit unsettling, to say the least.

As former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis noted on more than one occasion in his new book, which created so much buzz around town last week, Steelers management not only is hesitant to give big contracts to players older than 30, it starts to look for reasons to get rid of them. Faneca will be 31 before the end of the season, but he's a little different than most older players. For one thing, he's a six-time Pro Bowler, the most-honored guard in franchise history. For another, he's not like a running back or wide receiver or most defensive players. His game isn't based on speed. There is reason to think he still will be effective and able to play at a high level for several seasons. Durability hasn't been a concern to this point; he has missed only two games in his nine NFL seasons, none since 2001.

But Faneca also needs to be reasonable and bring his price down a bit. He can't expect to get the same money now that he would as an unrestricted free agent after the season, not with this year still remaining on his current contract. What he can get, though, is peace of mind and security for his family. If he does a new deal with the Steelers, he won't have to worry about a serious injury sabotaging his future. He'll already have cashed that big signing bonus check and won't have to give a cent back.

There has been much speculation since Faneca's infamous minicamp rant in May that he's too bitter to do a new contract with the Steelers. That's nonsense. The man isn't stupid. He'll forget his bitterness real quickly if the Rooneys offer the right money. For their part, they certainly won't hold a grudge because of anything he said out of frustration.

This isn't personal, it's business.

The Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette is reporting today that the Steelers have stepped up efforts to re-sign Simmons, who also is entering the final season of his contract.

That's fine, but Faneca is the man they should be targeting.

It's not too late.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07243/813691-87.stm
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

And the Steelers need to quit charging for beer at Heinz Field.

Wishing will not make it so Ron.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

Remind me again why Cook isn't employed in the Steelers' F.O.?
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

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And the Steelers need to quit charging for beer at Heinz Field.
Dropping the price from $6.75 to $5.75 for watered down beer would be nice.

I'm sure Faneca can drop the bitterness act if we break the bank on him, but meeting half-way doesn't seem very realistic at this point. I could be wrong....I'm not in the Steelers F.O. nor do I know the exact amount Faneca is looking for, but it seems to me he's looking for break the bank type of cash. IMO, this is a dead issue.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

Quote:
Forget that sack he allowed to Carolina tackle Kris Jenkins in the only series he played. It happens. Actually, it happened exactly the same way two years ago in the final exhibition game; Jenkins blew by Faneca, who was left to pick up quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and tell him he was sorry. Roethlisberger survived.
so we harp on essex or starks when they allow somebody to get a sack, and write doom and gloom articles how horrible the line is, but just give faneca a pass and a boat load of cash?

Quote:
There also could have been mitigating circumstances involved in that sack last night. If Faneca's head wasn't in the game, who can blame him? None of the players wanted to play -- their only goal was to get out in one piece so they can get on to the real games -- but he had the added burden of knowing his future with the Steelers is about to be officially determined.


"added burden"?
didnt want to play?
head not in the game?

bens sack by jenkins couldve led to injury.

Quote:
Steelers management not only is hesitant to give big contracts to players older than 30, it starts to look for reasons to get rid of them.
it took them a microsecond to extend aaron smith.

Quote:
If he does a new deal with the Steelers, he won't have to worry about a serious injury sabotaging his future.
i agree. it would be nice to see him with peace of mind and his head in the game, so i dont have to worry about serious injury sabotaging our quarterbacks future.

Quote:
The Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette is reporting today that the Steelers have stepped up efforts to re-sign Simmons, who also is entering the final season of his contract.
the steelers also had to address the departure of hartings, and the potential departure of m. smith, after simmons and starks. it isnt all about faneca on the o-line.

oh, and theres that franchise qb we need to extend too. maybe cook believes a little too much of jeromes book and an injured ben will help the rooneys with the bottom line, thus making faneca more affordable.

with all that being said, i would welcome faneca back for another 4 years at an affordable price.
unfortunately i think faneca is more about the big payday than he is security for his family and peace of mind.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

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bens sack by jenkins couldve led to injury.
Didn't Cook in so many words say he wanted to see that happen in another one of his recent Pulitzer-worthy articles?

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One day, it will happen to Ben Roethlisberger. Mark it down. Later rather than sooner, hopefully, some defensive lineman or linebacker is going to take out Big Ben's knee with a low hit in the pocket.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07231/810693-87.stm
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

At this point the steelers would have to make an offer Faneca couldn't refuse (excuse the godfather quote). There is no way they will they just don't do that type of thing. The only way for the steelers to sign him is if he comes around and takes what the team wants to offer, I don't see this happening any time soon. Just hope he plays well 1 more season and we can all wish him the best next year.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

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The only way for the steelers to sign him is if he comes around and takes what the team wants to offer, I don't see this happening any time soon.
And I really can't blame Faneca in that regard - why should he take minimum wage when other guards with about 1/3 of his ability are getting $50 million deals? At his age, he has one more big contract coming - it won't be with the Steelers, though.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

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And I really can't blame Faneca in that regard - why should he take minimum wage when other guards with about 1/3 of his ability are getting $50 million deals? At his age, he has one more big contract coming - it won't be with the Steelers, though.
I absolutly agree with you if guys like Leonard Davis are getting paid then a possible future HOFer like Faneca should but I think he burned the contract bridge with the Steelers by being as outspoken as he was during the offseason.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers need to get deal done with Faneca

He's still a player, so the bridge isn't burned. I don't know the writer very well, or have read a lot of his work. I do believe it does deserve another look, despite what many think should be a lost cause. Great player, great team, it deserves a shot!
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