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Old 09-11-2009, 07:06 AM   #1
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Default Steelers halt contract talks for season

Steelers halt contract talks for season
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_642595.html#
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, September 11, 2009

The start of the regular season Thursday night also marked the end of the period in which the Steelers engage in contract negotiations.

Starters in the final year of their contracts include free safety Ryan Clark, right tackle Willie Colon, nose tackle Casey Hampton, running back Willie Parker and kicker Jeff Reed.

All will become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season with the possible exception of Colon. If the players and owners don't reach a new collective bargaining agreement before next March, Colon will only be a restricted free agent.

"It's in the back of my mind but I've got to do my best to get it out (of there)," Hampton said earlier this week about not getting a new deal. "I will play for many more years. There ain't no question about that. Hopefully it's here. At the end of the day, it's a business and you have to treat it as such."

Reed said he will kick through a nagging ankle injury this season. His left ankle, Reed added, has been bothering him for the last couple of years.

"This is the worst it's been," said Reed, who didn't kick in the Steelers' third preseason game because of a bad ankle, "but at this point I want to be a part of the team as much as you possibly can be."

Reed said he won't use his ankle as an excuse if he makes a bad kick and shrugged off the possibility that it will affect his play.

"Play through some pain," he said, "just like everybody else does."

Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons didn't play in the opener because of a sprained left ankle. Keyaron Fox replaced Timmons at right inside linebacker and made his first start as a Steeler and the fifth one of his career. Joining Timmons on the Steelers' inactives list were cornerback Joe Burnett and Keiwan Ratliff, wide receiver Shaun McDonald, defensive end Nick Eason, offensive tackle Tony Hills and guard Kraig Urbik. Dennis Dixon served as the Steelers' No. 3 quarterback.

Wide receiver Nate Washington started against this former team despite a hamstring injury that had put his status for the game in question. Washington signed with the Titans last March after spending the first five years of his career with the Steelers. Tight end Jared Cook didn't play last night because of an ankle injury. Also inactive for the Titans were cornerback Ryan Mouton, running back Chris Henry, offensive lineman Troy Kropog, wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks and defensive end Dave Ball. Patrick Ramsey was Tennessee's No. 3 quarterback.

Rod Woodson stumped for the inclusion of Dick LeBeau in the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the former's induction speech in Canton last month. To say Woodson is elated that LeBeau now has a good chance of making it into the Hall of Fame might be an understatement. The Steelers defensive coordinator, who is in his 51st NFL season as a player or coach, was recently nominated to the Hall of Fame by the NFL Veterans Committee. LeBeau and Floyd Little will be voted on along with other Hall of Fame nominees the day before the Super Bowl in February.

"Normally these senior committee members do go in," Woodson said. "Hopefully they do the right thing and put Dick in."

Digits

163 -- Regular-season games in which Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has made at least one catch, which is a team record.

5 -- Times the defending Super Bowl champion has played the team it last lost against on the opening weekend of NFL play.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

Clark, Big Snack and Skippy are MUST signings at the end of the season, imho. My jury is still out on Colon, however.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
Clark, Big Snack and Skippy are MUST signings at the end of the season, imho. My jury is still out on Colon, however.
I think Skippy gets franchised. I hope Clark is signed, but I am confident. "Big Snack" has been one of my favorite Steelers in recent memory, but I would have to pause at the prospect of the Steelers giving him a 5 year 30+ million contract at this point in his career. He certainly isn't going to play for less. I wonder how much he would freak if he were franchised as well? Colon will likely be back because without a CBA, he doesn't have the years of service to become a UFA.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

to be honest last night on more than one occasion big snack wasnt himself and hoke was a much better beast. @ NT i know it is a long season , but im keeping my eye on him this year more than ever i think skippy gets tagged and colon who looked good last night will sign a deal with the steelers. i hope ryan stays and retires a steeler.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

From what I have been seeing Colon is a must sign. He is the best and most consistent player on that line. If he could only stop with the mental mistakes... he would be invaluable.

After last night, I am a bit more anxious to see Hampton. the fact he actually was getting pushed back scared me. Right now I am glad he doesn't have a contract. There is time at the end of this year before FA to get it done.

Reed--is Reed. He will be signed.

Clark has to show IMO, that he is healthy enough to be signed. His heart is big enough... but has his body taken too much wear and tear? Like Hampton, we will have time before FA to get it done.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

Quote:
• Reed said he will kick through a nagging ankle injury this season. His left ankle, Reed added, has been bothering him for the last couple of years.

"This is the worst it's been," said Reed, who didn't kick in the Steelers' third preseason game because of a bad ankle, "but at this point I want to be a part of the team as much as you possibly can be."

Reed said he won't use his ankle as an excuse if he makes a bad kick and shrugged off the possibility that it will affect his play.

"Play through some pain," he said, "just like everybody else does."
The reason the Steelers are playing "wait and see"?
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

"Steelers voluntarily give themselves $5 million in dead money"

I fixed the headline, at least if they decide to stick to tradition and do nothing.

Seriously, are they going to sit on that much cap space and let one or two of their key guys walk at the end of the year because they were too stubborn? Screw that; go sign Clark or Reed NOW instead of letting that money go to waste. That would just be stupid.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

or save that money for next year when there might not be a cap
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preacher View Post

Clark has to show IMO, that he is healthy enough to be signed. His heart is big enough... but has his body taken too much wear and tear?.
couldnt the same have been said about troy? imo he is more of an injury risk than clark. anyways i think clark can earn top 10 safety money. dont think the steelers can afford that.

maybe hampton should put back on the 40 lbs he supposedly lost since last year.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers halt contract talks for season

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couldnt the same have been said about troy? imo he is more of an injury risk than clark. anyways i think clark can earn top 10 safety money. dont think the steelers can afford that.

maybe hampton should put back on the 40 lbs he supposedly lost since last year.
No. I don't While troy does get injured, its different. Clark gets injured PRECISELY because of how he plays.

Troy's injuries are a byproduct. For instance. Last night, Troy's knee happened simply because he was there. Anyone else there would have probably been injured the same way. However, Clark's injuries last year usually came BECAUSE he was tackling people the way he does... his hard hits. So as a result, I think he has a much better chance of knocking himself out of the game and season with an injury.
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