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Old 01-30-2010, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_664811.html#
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, January 30, 2010

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Steelers want Casey Hampton, an unrestricted free agent, to return to the team. The Pro Bowl nose tackle wants to stay in Pittsburgh.

How the two sides arrive at that common ground is where it gets a little complicated and potentially messy.

Hampton said Friday "it will be a problem" if the Steelers use a franchise tag and offer him a one-year contract instead of signing the accomplished veteran to a multi-year deal.

"You say we're family, and you'll take care of me. All I've done for this organization, and I feel like that's a slap in my face if you franchise me," Hampton told the Tribune-Review following a Pro Bowl practice at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. "That's not right. You don't do business like that. I want to be treated fair, and I think franchising me is not fair."

A franchise tag would essentially prevent Hampton from hitting the open market when the free agent signing period begins March 5.

Hampton didn't elaborate when asked if he would skip offseason practices — most of which are voluntary — or hold out of training camp should the Steelers use a franchise tag on him.

"It will be an issue," he said. "I told (the Steelers) that."

If the Steelers tag the 32-year-old Hampton, they have to offer him a one-year contract that's the average of the top five salaries made by defensive linemen in 2009. That figure will be released next week by the NFL Players' Association.

Hampton, who signed a five-year contract with the Steelers in 2005, made just more than $4 million last season.

The Steelers used a franchise tag on offensive tackle Max Starks last February to extend their negotiating period with him. They signed Starks to a four-year contract in June.

Hampton said he doesn't want the Steelers to take the same approach with him.

If the two sides can't reach an agreement on a long-term contract before early March, Hampton said, the organization should let the player known as "Big Snack" shop his services elsewhere.

"I believe they're going to try to get something done. But at the end of the day, if the two sides don't come to terms, let me see what's out there," said Hampton, a five-time Pro Bowler. "Don't hold me back because you didn't want to sign me before the (2009) season. It's your time to make it right. That's how I see it."

The Steelers declined comment yesterday, citing their policy of not talking about contract negotiations.

The Steelers traditionally don't sign players in their 30s to long-term deals, though they have made exceptions in recent years with linebackers James Harrison and James Farrior.

The organization is in a delicate situation with Hampton. His backup, Chris Hoke, is less than a year younger than Hampton, and finding a capable replacement for the 6-foot-1, 325-pounder in this year's draft is not exactly a sound contingency plan.

"Everybody wants one, but there is just not a lot to go around," ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay said of nose tackles. "That's the one spot that's so hard to find a guy that's big and is a good football player."

Hampton has been both since the Steelers took him with the 19th overall pick of the 2001 draft.

The former Texas star has been a vital part of their 3-4 defense because of his ability to occupy multiple blockers and stand his ground at the line of scrimmage.

Hampton is coming off one of his better seasons — he had 42 tackles and a career-high 2.5 sacks in 2009 — and he said he has plenty of good years left provided he stays healthy.

Nose tackle is a critical if unsung position in the base defense the Steelers play. Enhancing Hampton's value is the trend that has seen more teams switch to the 3-4 alignment that the Steelers use.

"He's definitely one of the top nose tackles in this league," said Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff, who also will play Sunday in the Pro Bowl. "I watch him, and I learn from him. A guy that size you don't expect him to move the way he does."

Hampton said he isn't in a hurry to leave the Steelers. But, he added, it comes down to the Steelers showing him the same commitment he has given them.

"I love the organization. I love the owners. I love the coaches. But this is all about being fair and doing what's right, and I'm big on that," Hampton said. "I want to be in Pittsburgh. There's no question about that.

"Can we make it right? That's what it's going to boil down to."

Note: The Steelers hired Jerry Olsavsky yesterday to be their defensive quality control coach. Olsavsky fills the spot on Mike Tomlin's staff left by Lou Spanos' departure. Spanos recently became the Washington Redskins' linebackers coach. Olsavsky played linebacker for the Steelers from 1989-1997. A former Pitt star, Olsavsky coached at Youngstown State last season.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag


View From The Press Box

http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-t...ss+Box+Blog%29


Hampton speaks out
January 30th, 2010

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton talked to the Tribune-Review following a Pro Bowl practice Friday about his future with the team.

Hampton is an unrestricted free agent, but the Steelers can essentially lock him up for another season by using a franchise tag on him.

If the Steelers, who want to bring Hampton back, go in that direction they will have to offer the ninth-year veteran a one-year contract worth the average of the top five salaries paid to defensive linemen in 2009.

Hampton said during the season that he didn’t want the Steelers to tag him. The five-time Pro Bowler reiterated that stance with some pointed comments and elaborated on why he is so against the Steelers using a franchise tag on him.

Here is a transcript of Hampton's chat with the Tribune-Review:

Do you think you’re coming back?

“I hope so. It’s on them. It’s out of my hands now. It’s all about them doing the right thing and making it right and then we can go from there.”

You’ve said you don’t want the Steelers to use a franchise tag on you. Why is that?

“Why franchise me? You didn’t feel that strong about signing me before the season so why is it such a big issue for you to try to keep me now? That’s how I look at it.”

It’s a fairness issue in your mind?

“You say we’re family and you’ll take care of me, all I’ve done for this organization, and I feel like that’s a slap in my face if you franchise me. That’s just not right. You don’t do business like that.”

If the Steelers take that route …

“It will be an issue, I told them that. It’s going be a problem if I get franchised.”

As in holdout?

“As in it’s going to be a problem. I strongly disagree with that.”

What if they franchise you with the idea that it will buy them more time to negotiate a long-term deal?

“I don’t want none of that. If (no contract before March 5) then let me do what I’m going to do. I believe they’re going to try to get something done. But at the end of the day, if the two sides don’t come to terms. let me see what’s out there. Don’t hold me back because you didn’t want to sign me before the (2009) season. Don’t try to hold me back now off of something you did earlier. I didn’t have nothing to do with that. I came in and played every year, so it’s your time to make it right. That’s how I see it.”

Was it tough watching a handful of your teammates get new contracts last year?

“It’s not tough on me at all because I know what I can do and I know what I’m capable of doing. I’m big on not worrying about what other guys are getting and what other guys are doing. I’m worried about me, and I feel like I didn’t get signed before the season, and I think they know I wasn’t too happy about that. I went through all last season with no security, so I feel like you’ve got to make right by getting the deal done and taking care of me or letting me see what it’s going to be.”

Did you stick it to the Steelers by having the kind of season you did in 2009?

“No, man. I love the Steelers. I love the organization, I love the owners, I love the coaches. I love everything about Pittsburgh, but it’s all about being fair and doing what’s right and I’m big on that. I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do since I’ve been here, so don’t stick me in the end and try to do me bad by trying to hold me (back) because you didn’t get the deal done before the (2009) season. I don’t think that’s right.”

Do you have an idea of how many good years you have left?

“As long as I stay healthy, I’m good. That’s the main thing. I don’t hurt when I walk around or nothing like that. It’s just staying healthy. I want to be in Pittsburgh. There’s no question about that. Can we make it right? That’s what it’s going to boil down to.”

Do you want to retire as a Steeler?

“No question but I want to be treated fair and I think franchising me is not fair. They say we’re going to get (a deal) done so we’ll see.”
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

OK ... so on the one hand, you've made it pretty clear you want to press your leverage as far as you can to get more money. On the other hand, you don't think other people should use their leverage on you. Hey, I wish the world worked that way for me too, so I could demand to be paid whatever I want.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

wow....fat snack kinda sounds just like faneca did...

they always say its nothing personal, just business. his attitude kinda makes it sound like its personal.

the interviewer should have asked if its fair to the steelers when he reports to camp out of shape and leaving them to wonder about his committment to the team and football.

if they aren't planning on retaining fat snack, why not tag him and try to trade him ? it seems to work with other teams... if they can't get a trade done, pull the tag off him and let the greedy bastard go....
god firbid the poor bastard should have to play for a season for a measily 6 or 7 mill ...3 or 4 buffets and he'd be broke...

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Old 01-30-2010, 02:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterOfPuppets View Post
if they can't get a trade done, pull the tag off him and let the greedy bastard go....
god firbid the poor bastard should have to play for a season for a measily 6 or 7 mill ...3 or 4 buffets and he'd be broke...
Sounds very much like Faneca. If that is the way he thinks then I am guessing he has outpriced himself for the steelers. I can read between the lines and he wants to be paid a cheque like Haynesworth got from the skins.

That works out to be 9 years service (max) with the steelers so he would still earn a 3rd round compensation pick next year. (better than nothing - which could happen if it was played tough)

It hurts me to say this but - Let him go, thank him very much for his year of service and move forward in the draft.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

See ya Casey if that is how it is . Go and be like all the others who chase the dollar and leave the Burgh. I sure remember alot of players leaving the steel city and doin jack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

I just want to let it be known that if they put the franchise tag on me when my contract here is up I won't object. I mean, sure I might get more elsewhere, but, hey, I'm not greedy.
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

sounds like has gone then.

stupid asshole the Steelers do everything right, if we franchise you, you can play or can cry in the corner, you dont so much money anymore how much have u earned casey the past 10 years was there not enough mcdonalds visits???????? did you want to buy the franchise out.

geeze he sounds like Faneca a few years back. next year i hope mendenhall slips past him in the endzone to send us the super bowl. I bet he wish he would of taken that tag then
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

Sounds to me like Hampton needs some cheese to go with that whine.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: NT Hampton doesn't want the franchise tag

Wow. I shouldn't say that I'm shocked at Snacker's attitude, but I am. As others have said, he sounds eerily familiar to Faneca.

You have two options Casey my man. Be a professional, take the tag and continue to try to come to terms with the Steelers or take a hike.
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