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Old 02-20-2006, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Steelers will try to keep Hope

Although there has been no formal contract proposal yet, the Pittsburgh Steelers have made verbal overtures aimed at retaining Chris Hope and will try to keep their starting free safety off the unrestricted market.

"They've told us that Chris is one of their top targets [to re-sign]," agent Braylon Bennett told ESPN.com on Monday, "and we're taking them at their word. The thing is, without an extension [to the collective bargaining agreement], doing business will be hard. So we'll see what happens. No matter what, our feeling is that Chris will be the top free-agent safety."

Bennett and Hope met Monday to discuss the player's potential options.

A four-year veteran and a starter each of the last two seasons, Hope is one of three defenders who started for the Steelers in Super Bowl XL and is eligible for unrestricted free agency. He is likely the player among those three, it seems, that Pittsburgh will try the hardest to retain.

Defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen, 35, is a 12-year veteran and there is a sense the younger Brett Keisel, who is also eligible for free agency and a priority for the Steelers, might be ready to supplant him in the starting lineup. Versatile cornerback Deshea Townsend is arguably the team's best coverage defender and Pittsburgh would also like to have him back, but the progress made by rookie Bryant McFadden in 2005 could propel him into the lineup as well.

Team officials reiterated at the Super Bowl that retaining Hope is a priority.


link: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2337375
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

Hope we can do this. No pun intended.
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

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Hope we can do this. No pun intended.

I HOPE so too! :)
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

I really Hope we can keep him,pun intended.

We gotta keep Ike,he's the best cover corner on the team.
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

Sounds like the absence of a CBA is complicating these negotiations as well. It would seem the absence of a new agreement hurts teams that are trying to retain their FAs more than teams trying to sign up other teams' FAs. The Steelers goal is to lock up Hope (assuming they really want to do so) before FA season starts; hard to do that when you do not know the cap amount and the period over which bonuses can be amortized. Teams wanting to sign Hope can just sit tight, as can Hope.

Note there is no discussion of retaining Randle El being a big Steeler goal.
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

I also like hearing that re-signing Brett Keisel may be a priority.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

I'd rather sign Kiesel and El before Hope... This is a big draft and FA for safeties, and he can be easily replaced. I think he only looks good because of his surroundings, and I can think of several times throughout the year where he's blown huge plays...
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

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I'd rather sign Kiesel and El before Hope... This is a big draft and FA for safeties, and he can be easily replaced. I think he only looks good because of his surroundings, and I can think of several times throughout the year where he's blown huge plays...
I agree. Not so much down on Hope as the fact that signing Keisel is essential.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

Keisel, Hope, Ike are priorities 1,2,3. I think hartings takes a pay cut, same as Kimo. We draft a center, groom him after hartings retires more then likely after 2006 season. Kimo goes one more year, taking half the snaps with Keisel and Keisel becomes full time in 2007.

If El gets 3 mil, he's gone. Townsend would have to take less to stay, probably wont happen, but McFaddden will fill in there.

The ultimate senerio would be to get Carpenter at at 1, Nance at 2 and Raiola at 3. If there is a way to trade our extra picks for another #2 or high 3 OR even a TJ Duckett and drop Staley, then cool. I think this senerio makes us unstoppable if we stay healthy next year.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers will try to keep Hope

hell no, i'd rather resign hope, he knows the system and he's young no point in getting an older saftey in fa or a younger one in the draft when you can keep a good one that won't have to go through the learning prossess. ARE is probably the most replaceable "big name" that we have
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