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Old 02-27-2008, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, February 28, 2008

He throws around money like it is confetti.

And given that frugal is among the few things he hasn't been called, Daniel Snyder would appear to be as poised as any NFL owner to spend liberally during the free-agent signing period, which starts Friday at 12:01 a.m.

Or is he?

"I don't think Dan's plane is going to be fired up ready to go," Washington vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said in regard to the Redskins courting free agents. "I just think it's going to be a relatively quiet start of free agency for us."

Unless director of football operations Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin put out a major smokescreen at the recent NFL Scouting Combine, the Steelers will also be among the many teams that dip their toe into what is a shallow free-agent pool but not jump right into it.

The raising of the salary cap from $109 million to $116 million this year allowed many teams to invest in their own veterans before they hit the open market, making the free-agent crop anything but bumper.

The Colts, for example, agreed to contract extensions with safety Bob Sanders, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, tight end Dallas Clark and guard Ryan Lilja.

"I think we had a heck of a free-agency period," Colts president Bill Polian said. "Let's see, we got Dallas Clark, we got Ryan Lilja ... Bob Sanders. That's a pretty good free-agency crop by any measure."

Teams that weren't able to reach long-term contract agreements with key free-agents-to-be used the franchise tag on them. The 11 teams that used the franchise designation essentially bought themselves more time to negotiate with the players they tagged.

Those players can still field offers on the open market, but their team has the right to match any offer made to them. Also, the cost for signing a franchise player is so prohibitive (a team must surrender a pair of first-round draft picks) that using the tag almost guarantees teams that they will have that player for at least one more season.

"If you're looking to secure more talent in free agency, which we're not a big part of anyway, it's probably not good," Colbert said of the free-agent class. "Free agency's changed so much over the years because teams are doing a better job of keeping and signing their own talent to long-term deals, so that takes so many players off the market."

That has the effect of driving up the price for those players that do hit the open market simply because of supply and demand.

That won't stop teams from throwing big money at the handful of marquee players that are in this year's class, though history has shown that winning during the free-agent signing period does not always translate into winning during the regular season.

Take the San Francisco 49ers last year.

No team was more active in free agency than the 49ers, who signed cornerback Nate Clements and safety Michael Lewis, among others. Yet after going 7-9 in 2006, San Francisco stumbled to 5-11 last season.

"I don't think that's how you build your team," Tennessee Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said of free agency, "but I think there are some (free agents) that can help you."

The Steelers have had success signing free agents -- center Jeff Hartings and linebacker James Farrior are among the most notable examples -- but they didn't get much return on the investment they made in Sean Mahan last May.

The Steelers lured Mahan to Pittsburgh with a four-year deal worth as much as $17.5 million -- that was the only significant free-agent signing they made last year -- and he was a disappointment after taking over for the retired Hartings at center.

Few, if any, NFL executives will argue that the best method for securing top talent is drafting quality players, developing them and signing them before they test the open market.

"If you draft the guys in the third and fourth round and get them locked in for three- or four-year deals, the amount of money you spend on them is much less than in free agency," 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said. "In free agency, you always overspend."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_554586.html
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

Nothing new here. The Steelers have always bare players in free agency.

Here comes the doom and gloom.
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

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Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool
And in other earthshaking news....

Water is wet. Fire is hot. The sun will rise in the east and set in the west. And the Pittsburgh media will publish yet another annual obligatory article about how the Steelers won't be a big player in FA. No sh*t. The only thing surprising about this article is that it doesn't mention the Pens' deal for Hossa and whine about how the Steelers should be "risk takers" like the Pens.

Quote:
Daniel Snyder would appear to be as poised as any NFL owner to spend liberally during the free-agent signing period, which starts Friday at 12:01 a.m.

Or is he?

"I don't think Dan's plane is going to be fired up ready to go," Washington vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said in regard to the Redskins courting free agents. "I just think it's going to be a relatively quiet start of free agency for us."
Gee, ya don't think the fact that the 'Skins are already $15-20 million over the cap with only 45 players currently under contract has anything to do with that, do ya? The Rooneys really need to "get with the program" in regards to FA like the billionaire dotcom geek has.

Last edited by fansince'76; 02-28-2008 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

The Rooney's are cheap




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Old 02-28-2008, 03:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

Nothing new here we know that we won't do much in free agency.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

Man this just really SUCKS! I'm so tired of my Steelers being so-freaking LAZY during free agency periods.

I want Justin Smith, I want Matt Jones, and oh yeah, I want that FS from Minnesota, Smith I believe his name is. Uhmmm, it seems as if I'm forgetting one or two others but whatever, I want them ALL.

I Thank God that the Steelers ownership operates in the fashion that they do. Could you imagine the Steelers ownership operating like Daniel Snyder during free agency period? Why the city of Pittsburgh residents would run the Ronney's out of town but only after they subjected them to a public stoning.

Free agency/Pittsburgh Steelers
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

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The Rooney's are cheap




they arent cheap..lol. they just spend their money wisely..
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

If nothing else Scott Brown gives hope to the young kids who want to grow up and be in the newspaper biz.

This article shows us that just about anyone could be a writer for the Tribune.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

I'm happy the Steelers take care of their own the way that they do.

As Joey used to say "We do what we do"
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers not likely to dive into free-agent pool

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If nothing else Scott Brown gives hope to the young kids who want to grow up and be in the newspaper biz.

This article shows us that just about anyone could be a writer for the Tribune.
Maybe he reads a number of Steeler MBs on the net and witnesses a good number of Steeler fans posting "(insert player name) is a free agent, let's sign him!!" threads every single freakin' day, so he decided to bring them back down to earth? God knows there's enough of them this time of year.

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