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Old 02-27-2008, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Restricted free agents in spotlight

Restricted free agents in spotlight
Thursday, February 28, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Free agency begins tomorrow in the NFL, and, in a different twist, the Steelers' most interesting cases involve several restricted free agents.

The deadline is today for teams to tender offers to their RFAs -- players whose contracts have expired but have only three years experience and not the four required to become an unrestricted free agent.

The Steelers yesterday were debating what tenders to issue to their most important RFAs. They include guard Chris Kemoeatu, wide receiver Nate Washington and offensive tackle Trai Essex. Their other two RFAs are linebacker Andre Frazier and long-snapper Greg Warren.

Unrestricted free agents -- guard Alan Faneca, for example -- become free tomorrow to sign with any team without the Steelers having the right to match the offer or receive compensation in return if they do not.

Restricted free agents are different. Depending on how much the Steelers offer each of their RFAs, they not only maintain their rights to match other offers but they could receive compensation in the form of a draft pick if they did not.

The lowest tender is $927,000 or a 10 percent increase in the player's 2007 salary, whichever is higher. If the RFA would sign elsewhere after receiving that offer and the Steelers did not match it, they would receive a draft pick in the same round the player was originally drafted.

The scale goes up from there. A tender of $1,417,000 would bring them a second-round pick if the player signed elsewhere and the Steelers did not match; a $2,017,000 tender would bring a first-round pick, and a tender of $2,562,000 would bring draft picks in the first and third rounds.

Essex was drafted in the third round, Kemoeatu in the sixth and Washington was not drafted. Thus, Washington would bring them nothing if they tendered him the lower offer and he signed elsewhere.

Essex, because he would bring a third anyway, probably would receive the lower tender from the Steelers. Kemoeatu likely would receive a $1,417,000 tender because he is the heir apparent to Faneca at left guard and because they can't afford to lose another offensive lineman.

Washington, their No. 3 wide receiver, is the most intriguing decision. Do they give him $1,417,000, which would be more than double what starter Santonio Holmes will earn this year at his $600,000 salary? Or do they give him the lower tender and risk losing him for nothing, provided they do not match?

It's possible no tenders will be issued to Warren or Frazier.

The Steelers last week put the transition tag on offensive tackle Max Starks. If he does not sign that $6,895,000, one-year offer, he can solicit offers from other teams in free agency starting at midnight tonight. If he signs elsewhere, the Steelers have seven days to match the deal and keep him; if they do not, they receive no reparation.

Their players who become unrestricted free agents at midnight tonight are linebackers Clark Haggans and Marquis Cooper, fullback Dan Kreider, defensive end Nick Eason, running back Verron Haynes and quarterback Brian St. Pierre.

Sources say St. Pierre, the Steelers' No. 3 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch, will sign elsewhere to have a chance to compete for at least a No. 2 job.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08059/861104-66.stm
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Restricted free agents in spotlight

Bye bye pierre no love lost here.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Restricted free agents in spotlight

Don't sign Washington to more money.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Restricted free agents in spotlight

it's going to be a shame to lose bsp.. :(.. he was such a good 3rd string qb... if he thinks he is gonna be a #2 qb with the age he is at he might want to go to a qb challenged team b4 he gets too old and retires..
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Restricted free agents in spotlight

If BSP can keep boucing around holding a clipboard he can qualify for a decent NFL pension. Nice gig if you can get it.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Restricted free agents in spotlight

The ratbirds are probably looking to get a copy of the updated playbook again.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Restricted free agents in spotlight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino 5 Rings View Post
Don't sign Washington to more money.
idk i kind of like nate's potential just has to get the hands a little better he has made some really nice receptions for us but he has also dropped a few gimmies
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelreserve View Post
We've been talking about Washington's "potential" for 3 or 4 years. If he was going to be the next Jerry Rice, we'd know by now.

He can be pretty good, but there are a million other receivers just like him. No sense giving him a hefty pay raise when he's easily replaced.
Maybe not a million, but I agree. We can find a tall skinny guy who drops the ball a lot off the waiver wire.
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Restricted free agents in spotlight

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelreserve View Post
We've been talking about Washington's "potential" for 3 or 4 years. If he was going to be the next Jerry Rice, we'd know by now.

He can be pretty good, but there are a million other receivers just like him. No sense giving him a hefty pay raise when he's easily replaced.
First off, we've been talking about or questioning Nate's potential for 2yrs., last year was his 3rd with the team. He was signed as a UDFA, so I'm pretty sure noone expected him to be Jerry Rice. Now you can definetly question, how much has he improved?

The team should probably tender an offer so they do'nt lose him for nothing. But, what offer and considering the fact there are a number of WRs on the market, maybe they do'nt need to. They should try and work a deal out with him for about what Holmes is making if they would like him to stay. That would be about $300K less than the minimum (according to the article) and we could move on.
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Restricted free agents in spotlight

Nate had 29 receptions and 5TD's and his YPC is 15.5(second only to Holmes). Thats 4th behind Ward, Holmes, Miller.......pretty much what you expect from your #3 WR.

He can get deep, but occasionally drops some balls he should catch. I still like him and think he should get tendered an offer so he doesnt leave without getting the Steelers compensated. Oops, just saw he needs the higher tender and it looks like that is a lot of $$ to offer him.....maybe offer Nate a fair tender and if he leaves, then Wilson becomes the solid #3 for his final season and still easy to restock a #3-5 WR in draft of FA.

Still room on the roster for 2 more WR behind Ward, Holmes and Washington.
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