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Old 03-27-2009, 09:39 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Yahoo Steelers Team Report


Steelers Team Report

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_yl...pe=team_report
Yahoo! Sports 7 hours, 43 minutes ago

Inside Slant

Pittsburgh is finished with free agency without signing another team’s player.

Oh, the Steelers may ultimately sign someone who played somewhere else last season, but they are done actively looking for anyone and have turned their attention to the draft.

They have signed nine of their own free agents in one form or another.

“To us, it’s a productive off season, keeping our own players,” said Kevin Colbert, Steelers director of football operations. “The dollars we have invested in our own, I think will match up. You’re not really in an arms race as far as spending dollars, but we’ve made significant investments in our own, and we’re not done. We still have some things we want to accomplish internally.”

They are now focused on signing linebacker James Harrison and offensive tackle Max Starks to long-term contracts. Harrison, the NFL’s defensive player of the year, has one season left on his contract. Starks signed a one-year tender as a franchise player.

Two unrestricted free agents from elsewhere, Chris Carr and Joey Galloway, paid them a visit two weeks ago and they wound up signing with other teams.

The Steelers have never gone an offseason without signing a veteran free agent from another team. But they have no one scheduled to visit next week other than college prospects. Their interest in free agents now might be more about those who are cut between now and the summer than the available list at the moment.

“We’re never done because throughout the spring teams may still be subtracting players as they sign other free agents or they draft somebody,” Colbert said. “So, I wouldn’t’ say we wouldn’t add anybody, but really right now we’re really shifting toward our draft preparation.”

The Steelers were hurt by two losses in free agency, wide receiver Nate Washington and cornerback Bryant McFadden. They tried hardest to keep McFadden, but he turned down their long-term deal and they felt the two-year, $10 million contract he signed with Arizona was too cap-heavy.

Washington was a good No. 3 receiver for them, and while they would have liked Galloway to give them depth at the position, they now will count on Limas Sweed, their second-round draft pick last year, to handle that job. They are not interested in former Ram Torry Holt because he does not have the speed they are looking for there.

Notes, Quotes


• Mike Tomlin picked Baltimore to win the AFC North Division in 2009. The Steelers swept the Ravens in three games last season, all close, including the AFC championship at Heinz Field.

“You have to like Baltimore,” Tomlin said. “They won 11 games last year with a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback. They have a good football team. They have a great defense, they have a quarterback who proved he’s their quarterback of the future, he’s a guy on the rise. You have to respect that.”

• Two Steelers linemen were among the top 16 recipients of the NFL’s performance-based pay awards. Guard Darnell Stapleton received $311,220 extra in pay, ninth most in the league. Tackle Willie Colon received an extra $267,442, 16th among players getting the boost in salary.

• Hall of Fame receiver John Stallworth is among three new partners approved by the NFL in the Steelers’ ownership restructuring. The others are Chicago’s Bruce V. Rauner, Chairman of GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, and the Varischetti family of Brockway, Pa. Stallworth will become one of only four minority owners in the NFL.

• The Steelers will open the NFL’s 2009 schedule with the traditional Thursday night home game that starts Kickoff Weekend, against Tennessee at Heinz Field Sept. 10.

Quote To Note: “Bring it on! It comes with the territory. I’d rather have that problem than the opposite.”—Coach Mike Tomlin, on his team being a target in 2009 as Super Bowl champ.

Strategy And Personnel

The Steelers received a fifth-round draft choice as a compensatory pick from the NFL. They thought they might receive a third-round pick for, essentially, the loss of Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca in free agency last year. However, one of the rules for doling out compensatory picks is no 10-year veteran can bring higher than a fifth-round pick.

They also signed cornerback Anthony Madison to his one-year tender for $1.01 million.

The Steelers lost three free agents since free agency began - wide receiver Nate Washington, cornerback Bryant McFadden and safety Anthony Smith. They have signed no free agents other than their own. They signed eight free agents in one form or another including four offensive linemen: Max Starks, Chris Kemoeatu, Willie Colon and Trai Essex. They also kept tight end/fullback Sean McHugh, cornerback Fernando Bryant and linebackers Andre Frazier and Arnold Harrison. They’d like to ultimately sign a free agent wide receiver to compete with Limas Sweed for the No. 3 spot and add depth.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Offensive Linemen: While they kept Starks, Kemoeatu and tendered Colon, they have little depth and no one to push their starters. They need a young tackle and/or guard.

2. Defensive Linemen: They have good players, better than most, but they’re also getting old. Five of their top six defensive linemen are over 30.

3. Wide receivers: Losing UFA Nate Washington to the Titans means they have two experienced players at the position, Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward, who turns 33 in March. Limas Sweed, who played little as a rookie, moves up to No. 3.

Medical Watch: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: OT Max Starks: Tendered at $8.451M; signed tender Feb. 23.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• QB Charlie Batch wants to return as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup. The team wants him back.

• P Mitch Berger punted poorly and will not receive an offer because Daniel Sepulveda will return from injury.

• LB Keyaron Fox was a valuable special teams player they would like to re-sign.

• QB Byron Leftwich did a nice job and is now ready to compete somewhere else to start.

• DE Orpheus Roye completed his 13th season by mainly being inactive on game day and he likely will not be re-signed.

• OT Marvel Smith, their longtime starter on the left side, played only the first five games and then had his second back surgery in one calendar year. He is seeing if there is a market for his services.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)

• TE Jon Dekker (not tendered as ERFA) was on injured reserve.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

• G Jeremy Parquet was a backup who played little.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• CB Fernando Bryant: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• OT Willie Colon: RFA; $2.198M/1 yr.

• FB Carey Davis: ERFA; terms unknown.

• OT Trai Essex: UFA; $1.94M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB.

• LB Andre Frazier: UFA; $1.375M/2 yrs, $125,000 SB; 2009 cap: $687,500.

• LB Arnold Harrison: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• OG Chris Kemoeatu: UFA; $20M/5 yrs, $3.885M SB/$6M guaranteed.

• CB Anthony Madison: RFA; $1.01M/1 yr.

• TE/FB Sean McHugh; RFA; (tendered at $1.01M with seventh-round pick as compensation); $2.57M/3 yrs, $390,000 SB.

• OT Max Starks: FFA; $8.451M/1 yr.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• RB Stefan Logan: FA CFL; terms unknown.

• WR Brandon Williams: FA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• LB Mike Humpal (released/failed physical).

• CB Bryant McFadden: UFA Cardinals; $10M/2 yrs, $1M RB/$5M guaranteed.

• OG Kendall Simmons (released/failed physical).

• S Anthony Smith: Not tendered as RFA/Packers; $1.485M/2 yrs, $100,000 RB.

• WR Nate Washington: UFA Titans; terms unknown.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Yahoo Steelers Team Report

The fact that we didn't sign anyone doesn't matter to me. We didn't need impact players anywhere on the roster and the cheapest depth we can find is through the draft. I would've liked a veteran WR to compete with Sweed for #3 but that isn't a big deal.

Almost our entire SB team is intact, and that's the most important thing. After XL we lost 3 impact players: Randle El, Bettis, and Hope, all of whom started. This year we lost Mcfadden (#3 CB, arguably #2), Simmons (IR), and Nate, who was a solid #3 (I don't count Anthony Smith. He got his ring, he has no worth).
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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Haha Mesa i like your sales pitch for fantasy baseball at the end of this thread
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:19 AM   #4
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The two things i really want to see happen soon is , 1. sign harrison to an extension so he can beast it for us another 4-5 years. 2. Sign Leftwich back so we have a secure number 2 QB.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Yahoo Steelers Team Report

With Smith being signed away as a RFA...does that mean we get any of the Packers picks this or next season?
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Yahoo Steelers Team Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pi Kapp Steeler View Post
Haha Mesa i like your sales pitch for fantasy baseball at the end of this thread
Actually I did not even notice it or I would have trimmed it off. I'm even a fantasy fan of the NFL let alone MLB. But if it brightened your day so much the better.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truesteelerfan View Post
With Smith being signed away as a RFA...does that mean we get any of the Packers picks this or next season?
No, for some reason, I think it means someone has to give another first-round pick to the Patriots. League bylaw.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Yahoo Steelers Team Report

• QB Charlie Batch wants to return as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup. The team wants him back.

Yahoo can blow me.





That is all.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truesteelerfan View Post
With Smith being signed away as a RFA...does that mean we get any of the Packers picks this or next season?
I'm pretty sure no tender was offered, so nothing is owed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer View Post
• QB Charlie Batch wants to return as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup. The team wants him back.
but If nothing happens with this,
Quote:
• QB Byron Leftwich did a nice job and is now ready to compete somewhere else to start.
Then I'd hope they would make him an offer to stay here another year.

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Old 03-27-2009, 07:03 PM   #10
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He's a lean, mean, javelin throwing machine.



Some say even with the sling he gets his passes off faster than when Ben runs around.
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