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Old 03-08-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
Dylan
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Default Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, March 8, 2008

Finding quality offensive linemen is difficult.
Costly, too.

Look what former Steelers left guard Alan Faneca commanded on the open market. Thanks to the generosity of the New York Jets, Faneca, 31, is now the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL.

Now consider that left tackle Marvel Smith, Faneca's former teammate and on-field neighbor, could break Faneca's record.

Smith, who turns 30 in August, will be a free agent after next season. As the salary cap continues to rise, so will players' salaries.
Starting left tackles such as Smith, who has won a Super Bowl and played in a Pro Bowl, rarely hit the free-agent market. Their teams won't allow it.

Will the Steelers break a league-wide trend and allow Smith to become a free agent? Will they permit him to break the bank with another team?

The Steelers, who just awarded quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a franchise-record $102 million contract, can't plead poverty when attempting to re-sign Smith for fear of appearing hypocritical. Not that the Steelers care what you or I think.

But consider that the Steelers are willing to overpay for tackle Max Starks.

Starks is considered an average player. He became a starter late last season only after Smith suffered a back injury.

Starks had previously lost his starting right tackle job to Willie Colon. Yet Steelers management freely admitted to everyone how difficult it is to find good linemen by making Starks a transition free agent.

That's absurd.

The Steelers are prepared to give Starks nearly $7 million next season.

For a backup!

That's more than the average salary per year that Dallas recently paid to retain its free-agent Pro Bowl left tackle, Flozell Adams.

If Faneca got $8 million a season from the Jets, what can a good left tackle command?

Adams didn't want to leave Dallas. The Cowboys probably got a "hometown discount" because Adams wanted to stay. He could have tested the market and gotten more than $6.5 million a season.

If the Steelers made their backup tackle a transition free agent, what does that tell you about what Smith -- who's working out again following back surgery -- is worth?

Eight million dollars a year will seem like a discount.

If the Steelers aren't careful, they could face the same situation with Smith next year that they experienced with Faneca.

Maybe the Steelers will repeat their strategy and allow Smith to become an unrestricted free agent.

Maybe they feel Smith is getting up in age and that his best football is behind him.

Maybe they'll select a left tackle in the upcoming draft as his potential replacement.

That's a whole lot of maybes for a team that loves dealing in absolutes and likes losing even less.


Hope not from the steelers. if we dont pay faneca why would we pay him
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

That is a terrible article and John Harris is either not educated about the situation or just trying to make a headline and fill a deadline by writing something that is exaggerated.

The Steelers are not prepared to pay Max Starks $7 mil a season. They only tagged him so they can at least have first right of refusal. He will never get $7mil this season and the Steelers will pull the offer before he gets a chance to sign it.

Marvel Smith will be a 30 year old LT, 9 year veteran, on his 3rd contract with a history of back issues and they will not overpay him. If they wouldnt give a big payday to other vets with similar tenure like Porter, Wayne Gandy, John Jackson or Faneca, why would they do it for Smith....especially when there are around 8 OT prospects this year gonna be drafted in the first 2 rounds.

Smith will play out this season, as Faneca did and then hit the FA market unless he can be signed for reasonable $$, but most likely this is the last season in B&G for a really good LT.

Pretty sad what counts for journalism. This article belongs more in the gossip rags than a newspaper. Mark Madden probably thinks this guy is exaggerating just to get his article read.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_556125.html

Last edited by El-Gonzo Jackson; 03-08-2008 at 10:28 AM. Reason: add link to article
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
That is a terrible article and John Harris is either not educated about the situation or just trying to make a headline and fill a deadline by writing something that is exaggerated.

The Steelers are not prepared to pay Max Starks $7 mil a season. They only tagged him so they can at least have first right of refusal. He will never get $7mil this season and the Steelers will pull the offer before he gets a chance to sign it.

Marvel Smith will be a 30 year old LT, 9 year veteran, on his 3rd contract with a history of back issues and they will not overpay him. If they wouldnt give a big payday to other vets with similar tenure like Porter, Wayne Gandy, John Jackson or Faneca, why would they do it for Smith....especially when there are around 8 OT prospects this year gonna be drafted in the first 2 rounds.

Smith will play out this season, as Faneca did and then hit the FA market unless he can be signed for reasonable $$, but most likely this is the last season in B&G for a really good LT.

Pretty sad what counts for journalism. This article belongs more in the gossip rags than a newspaper. Mark Madden probably thinks this guy is exaggerating just to get his article read.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_556125.html
My impression as well on this article. This article is so innacurate that it sounds like someone wrote this who follows the Steelers only on a very casual basis.

I would be very upset if we locked up Smith to a long term deal. He may have a great year this year, but his injury history over the past 3 seasons indicates that he is nearing the end of his career. He was a good one, but it's time to get someone younger at that position.
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

I want to see smith released this year, not let go. we got nothing out of losing alan faneca, i would like to see a 2nd or 1st draft pick maybe even more picks along with those. apparently we have 2 of the best LT LG tandems in the NFL yet our offensive line allows 600 sacks....I truly believe that smith is an overrated guy in which starks could pay off better, and we could resign starks to a reasonable deal like a 5 yr 25 or 30 million dollar contract, which would be less than marvel smith, who is getting 6.5 this year.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

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I want to see smith released this year, not let go. we got nothing out of losing alan faneca, i would like to see a 2nd or 1st draft pick maybe even more picks along with those. apparently we have 2 of the best LT LG tandems in the NFL yet our offensive line allows 600 sacks....I truly believe that smith is an overrated guy in which starks could pay off better, and we could resign starks to a reasonable deal like a 5 yr 25 or 30 million dollar contract, which would be less than marvel smith, who is getting 6.5 this year.

Are you saying trade Smith so we get something for him?? It will not be much more than a 3rd or 4th round pick if that.

I think if Smith is healthy we will get a great last year out of him because he wants to cash in on his last contract in the NFL in free agency. He is technically sound and a great LT when he is healthy.

Drafting a rookie like Clady, Otah, Williams(who is soft in the run game), Cherilus, Albert to start will never happen and is a mistake anyways. They will get drafted to be a starter at RT in their 2nd season when Smith leaves in Free Agency.

I think Starks can be a good LT, but unfortunately not as good as Smith has been when he is healthy. The best option is still to sign Starks to be Smiths successor in 1 year.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

Sorry if i misled anyone to think that i dont like or think that marvel smith isnt good but i dont want to give up a guy who we built up from ground zero to leave us with no penalty like alan faneca. Even if all we can get is a 3rd or 4th round pick that could be the next Max Starks or Ike Taylor or even Hines Ward, you never really know..
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

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Sorry if i misled anyone to think that i dont like or think that marvel smith isnt good but i dont want to give up a guy who we built up from ground zero to leave us with no penalty like alan faneca. Even if all we can get is a 3rd or 4th round pick that could be the next Max Starks or Ike Taylor or even Hines Ward, you never really know..

I think we get a compensatory pick for Faneca, don't we?
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

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I think we get a compensatory pick for Faneca, don't we?
We dont get that until the 2009 draft.
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

Yeah, I'd rather let Smith go and get a compensatory pick after he hits free agency than trade him this season for a similar pick.

At least you get one extra season from him and the pick, where all you get from the trade is a pick and no line depth this season.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday

we we get a tackle to groom then there would be no reason to keep smith... it depends on who we draft if he gets re-sign or not...
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