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Old 03-08-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...0649658921.txt

By John Steigerwald, Times Sports Correspondent
Published: Saturday, March 7, 2009 11:23 PM EST

Imagine that you are James Harrison.

You are the reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Year. You figure that means that a lot of smart people looked at a lot of games and saw a lot of great defensive players from September to February and decided that nobody was better than you.

You wake up one day and read that Albert Haynesworth, a defensive tackle, just signed a $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins, $41 million of which is guaranteed.

Aren’t you saying, “Wow. I’m going into the last year of my contract. Boy, am I about to break the bank?”

Maybe that was James’ initial reaction.

Not long after that he probably slapped himself in the forehead and said, “Oh, I work for Dan Rooney. No way he’s guaranteeing anybody $41 million. Especially a linebacker who’s going to turn 31 in a couple of months.”

Harrison deserves to be rewarded for his last two seasons and should be paid some very large bucks in the form of a signing bonus. But he should be paid with the assumption that he has two, maybe three potential superstar years left.

Chances are pretty good that Harrison’s feelings are going to be hurt if they haven’t been already.

If he’s insulted by Rooney’s offer, he has every right to come into camp in July, play like a maniac and put himself on the market as an unrestricted free agent a year from now.

He could try to imagine Danny Snyder without a salary cap. Snyder owns the Washington Redskins and he likes to throw ridiculous amounts of money at players despite the salary cap that’s now in place.

The cap could be gone in 2010.

Go for it, James, if you don’t like the Steelers’ offer. But, please, no whining and no holdouts. Neither will get you an extra dime.

- Did you have a happy Valentine’s Day? It was suggested in this space last month that it would be a good idea for Penguins fans to wait until Valentine’s Day before panicking over the Penguins’ place in the playoff picture. Valentine’s Day wasn’t pretty. The Penguins blew a 2-0 lead and lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2. The head coach, Michel Therrien, was fired the next day. Since that time they have one regulation loss in nine games. Coming into this weekend they were four points out of second place. They had the same number of wins as the Philadelphia Flyers.

It’s all about the 82.

Just as in baseball, it’s all about the 162.

It’s your final number at the end of the regular season and whether you made it to the postseason. The Penguins aren’t there yet but it would be a major shock now if they are not in the playoffs. Is it the new coach, whose record as an NHL coach is now 5-1-1?

Maybe.

But the calendar had as much to do with the turnaround as Dan Bylsma. Therrien’s firing lit a spark but the players’ realization that they were running out of time also played a major role.

The Penguins are a much better team than they were a month ago. Some of it is because their new coach has taken a more aggressive approach but most of it is because they have better players.

Sergei Gonchar, Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz make them as good as anybody in the Eastern Conference. In case you hadn’t noticed, coming into this weekend, only two teams, Boston and New Jersey, had more wins.

- Somebody needs to tell the announcing crew that worked the Penguins-Lightning game on Versus to shut up and call the game.

- Don’t the Kansas City Chiefs remember Scott Mitchell? He came off the Dolphins bench in 1993 and threw for 1,773 yards and 12 touchdowns in 13 games just as he was about to become a free agent. The Lions threw a huge contract at him and watched him play like a backup for a few seasons. The Chiefs recently gave up a second-round pick to get Matt Cassell from the New England Patriots.

Cassell, who hadn’t started a game since high school, did an amazingly good job filling in for Tom Brady last season. Brady is a great quarterback but he’s also benefited from playing on a team and in a system that makes it easy for any better-than-average quarterback to put up great numbers. Chiefs fans probably shouldn’t be expecting Cassell to look too much like Brady next season.

- Apparently, a lot of Ravens fans let it be known that they no longer have any use for Ray Lewis after he tried to sell himself to the highest bidder. Lewis ended up re-signing with the Ravens but I wonder if there were as many fans in Baltimore who wrote Lewis off when he obstructed justice in that still unsolved murder case a few years back. I’m guessing probably not.

- Call me crazy but Albert Haynesworth doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy to whom I would like to guarantee $41 million of my money.

John Steigerwald’s column appears on Sunday.

(Harrison has pressure to sign as well. Say he does not sign and plays for his current contract. Then if he gets injured his value in free agency could potentially drop to zero depending on the severity of the injury. If he wants the big signing bonus he has to sign now. - mesa)
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

We all know total contract value is BS. The guarantee is what really matters. Ben is guaranteed $36M. Troy is guaranteed $15.5M (yeah, they stole him). So, would the Rooney's offer high "middle ground" and would Harrison accept it? Say $30M guaranteed?

The problem is the @$$hole that owns the Skins. The Fat Albert deal really screws this up for James. Also recall that LeRon Landry signed a rookie contract worth more than Troy's and Troy was still happy with his deal. "I'm very happy to get this done. The Rooneys were very fair and I think both sides are very happy to get this done very peacefully and without any feelings hurt at all," Polamalu said, referring to team owner Dan Rooney and president Art Rooney II. Unbelievable!!

Do we luck out with Harrison too?
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
We all know total contract value is BS. The guarantee is what really matters. Ben is guaranteed $36M. Troy is guaranteed $15.5M (yeah, they stole him). So, would the Rooney's offer high "middle ground" and would Harrison accept it? Say $30M guaranteed?

The problem is the @$$hole that owns the Skins. The Fat Albert deal really screws this up for James. Also recall that LeRon Landry signed a rookie contract worth more than Troy's and Troy was still happy with his deal. "I'm very happy to get this done. The Rooneys were very fair and I think both sides are very happy to get this done very peacefully and without any feelings hurt at all," Polamalu said, referring to team owner Dan Rooney and president Art Rooney II. Unbelievable!!

Do we luck out with Harrison too?
We were very lucky that Troy truly isn't all about the Benjamins. Not sure we'll be as lucky with James.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

I love Silverback and watching him play is simply a treat but we all know the Steelers will not break the bank for him. He is 31 he has some great years left in him but we know the Steelers will shake his hand and wish him well on his journey. I just hope he plays lights out for us next year and helps himself and the team out to another ring for the 09 season.

This is business and smart business means not breaking the bank for any one player. The Steelers will draft a solid OLB or DE and get him trained up to their brand of football and replace him just like always. Honestly we may already have a Harrison replacement with our current crop of backups just waiting for their chance to show their worth.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

No, they wont overpay him in a big contract.......probably just tag him next year like they did Starks.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
We all know total contract value is BS. The guarantee is what really matters. Ben is guaranteed $36M. Troy is guaranteed $15.5M (yeah, they stole him). So, would the Rooney's offer high "middle ground" and would Harrison accept it? Say $30M guaranteed?

The problem is the @$$hole that owns the Skins. The Fat Albert deal really screws this up for James. Also recall that LeRon Landry signed a rookie contract worth more than Troy's and Troy was still happy with his deal. "I'm very happy to get this done. The Rooneys were very fair and I think both sides are very happy to get this done very peacefully and without any feelings hurt at all," Polamalu said, referring to team owner Dan Rooney and president Art Rooney II. Unbelievable!!

Do we luck out with Harrison too?
Sorry, that is true.

For many teams, yes. But the Steelers ownership usually allows MOST players to play out contracts. I can only think of two, Simmons and Smith, that isn't true for. Peezy opened his mouth about skipping camp and was cut.

Otherwise, look at players like Anthony Smith, who should have been shown the door last year. Very little hit on the cap, yet he was allowed to stay. Why? Because the Rooney's honor contracts.

So Ben's 100-Mill really is going to be 100 Mill. Sure, they might restructure it in the last year or two, but they won't be taken a lot of money off the table.

That is the underlying problem here. When the Rooney's sign a contract, it is a true contract. When others sign it.. well it MAY be true.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
We all know total contract value is BS. The guarantee is what really matters. Ben is guaranteed $36M. Troy is guaranteed $15.5M (yeah, they stole him). So, would the Rooney's offer high "middle ground" and would Harrison accept it? Say $30M guaranteed?

The problem is the @$$hole that owns the Skins. The Fat Albert deal really screws this up for James. Also recall that LeRon Landry signed a rookie contract worth more than Troy's and Troy was still happy with his deal. "I'm very happy to get this done. The Rooneys were very fair and I think both sides are very happy to get this done very peacefully and without any feelings hurt at all," Polamalu said, referring to team owner Dan Rooney and president Art Rooney II. Unbelievable!!

Do we luck out with Harrison too?
The quality of character is often times measured by appreciating "what you have" and not "how much more you could have." This is personfied by two men , Troy vis a vis Haynesworth. The franchises the Redskins versus the Steelers. Who do you judge as the more sucessful man and certainly no judgement is required as to who the most sucessful franchise is owned by.

It is going to be very interesting to see where Harrison ends up. I just hope Harrison takes the legacy that is certain to be his if he remains with the Steelers with acceptance and appreciation for what he has gained. I have a feeling this is going to work out.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

The still think that the Steelers hold all the cards. He plays this year out, gets franchised next year and the year after. He's then 34 and that's that. I hope he signs but worst comes to worst that is a viable option.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

i think that with harrison playing football late is hurting him... he has only been i the league like 5 yrs and he is going to be 31!?!?!?

he prob will only have 2-3 yrs left.. and u don't know if the success he has had is b/c of him or part of the def scheme and the d-line that is in front of him
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steigerwald: Steelers won't overpay for Harrison

Did we ever find out if we can tag a player with no CBA in place? Did that part of th epast deal survive?
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