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View Full Version : Steelers' Smith could be in line for major payday



SteelersWoman
03-08-2008, 04:07 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_556125.htmlBy John Harris (jharris@tribweb.com)
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, March 8, 2008



Finding quality offensive linemen is difficult.


Costly, too.

Look what former Steelers left guard Alan Faneca commanded on the open market. Thanks to the generosity of the New York Jets, Faneca, 31, is now the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL.
Now consider that left tackle Marvel Smith, Faneca's former teammate and on-field neighbor, could break Faneca's record.

Smith, who turns 30 in August, will be a free agent after next season. As the salary cap continues to rise, so will players' salaries.


Starting left tackles such as Smith, who has won a Super Bowl and played in a Pro Bowl, rarely hit the free-agent market. Their teams won't allow it.

Will the Steelers break a league-wide trend and allow Smith to become a free agent? Will they permit him to break the bank with another team?

The Steelers, who just awarded quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a franchise-record $102 million contract, can't plead poverty when attempting to re-sign Smith for fear of appearing hypocritical. Not that the Steelers care what you or I think.

But consider that the Steelers are willing to overpay for tackle Max Starks.
Starks is considered an average player. He became a starter late last season only after Smith suffered a back injury.

Starks had previously lost his starting right tackle job to Willie Colon. Yet Steelers management freely admitted to everyone how difficult it is to find good linemen by making Starks a transition free agent.
That's absurd.

The Steelers are prepared to give Starks nearly $7 million next season.
For a backup!

That's more than the average salary per year that Dallas recently paid to retain its free-agent Pro Bowl left tackle, Flozell Adams.

If Faneca got $8 million a season from the Jets, what can a good left tackle command?

Adams didn't want to leave Dallas. The Cowboys probably got a "hometown discount" because Adams wanted to stay. He could have tested the market and gotten more than $6.5 million a season.

If the Steelers made their backup tackle a transition free agent, what does that tell you about what Smith -- who's working out again following back surgery -- is worth?

Eight million dollars a year will seem like a discount.

If the Steelers aren't careful, they could face the same situation with Smith next year that they experienced with Faneca.

Maybe the Steelers will repeat their strategy and allow Smith to become an unrestricted free agent.

Maybe they feel Smith is getting up in age and that his best football is behind him.

Maybe they'll select a left tackle in the upcoming draft as his potential replacement.
That's a whole lot of maybes for a team that loves dealing in absolutes and likes losing even less.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-08-2008, 07:04 AM
They will let Marvel go after this season when his contract runs out, I really don't see them giving him a big day like he can command in FA. Even at 30 teams will still pay him big bucks to come play for them. That's why Tackle is such a huge need this offseason, right now the only true Tackle on our Roster is Essex; Colon is a converted Guard ( who should probably play there again but atleast he's got experience at Tackle). Regardless of what happens with Max this team needs to secure a good LT this offseason. If they can let Faneca walk they'll let Marvel walk.

K Train
03-08-2008, 09:49 AM
smith is solid but hes not special...they will let him walk, especially since early reports suggested he might never play again after his back surgery...which leads me to believe when he does play again hes more of a liabilty than he was. they wont pay starks all that money this year and dont be shocked to see starks lining up at LT at some point this year unless we get chris williams

Black@Gold Forever32
03-08-2008, 11:06 AM
That article is funny....Marvel Smith plays LT by default since he has been the best OT on the Steelers roster the last five years since Wayne Gandy left....Smith has done a solid job at LT but I have always stated he is better suited for RT....Noway he sees that hight pay day from the Steelers....

BlitzburghRockCity
03-08-2008, 12:41 PM
That's why this draft is so important, if we get a LT in this draft then things will be so much better but if we don't we are in deep ****. Marvel will be gone after this year and this line is going to be retooled for 2008 as it is now, and 2009 could lead to more changes depending on what we do or don't do this offseason.

I would hope they are planning on using a high draft pick if Max doesn't sign by the draft.

Black@Gold Forever32
03-08-2008, 12:49 PM
That's why this draft is so important, if we get a LT in this draft then things will be so much better but if we don't we are in deep shiat. Marvel will be gone after this year and this line is going to be retooled for 2008 as it is now, and 2009 could lead to more changes depending on what we do or don't do this offseason.

I would hope they are planning on using a high draft pick if Max doesn't sign by the draft.

I have wanted the Steelers to draft a LT for years....The past two years they could have traded up in the 2nd round of the draft and tried to make a move for Marcus McNeil or Tony Ugoh......Both went in the 2nd round in the past two drafts.......Actually I was hoping the Steelers would have traded down last year and used one of those picks on Ugoh.....Thats why Timmons better pan out...lol **** on Starks...He will never be a consistently good OT in the NFL....He has been inconsistent his whole time with the Steelers....

Steelers should draft a LT this year finally....Ride out this year with Smith.....Then next year draft a RT......

But here is a point...While most fans is moving Colon to OG which I think is the best move...But maybe the Steelers are keeping Colon at OT? Still the Steelers still need to draft a LT this year.....

BlitzburghRockCity
03-08-2008, 12:56 PM
There's been no definitive word that I've heard about Colon being moved to Guard and with Simmons being signed to a long term deal and Kemoeatu slated to move into Fanecas spot it seems now they are content to see if Colon can improve enough to be a solid player. Either that or atleast let him be in competition with whoever we bring in this offseason.

Black@Gold Forever32
03-08-2008, 01:00 PM
There's been no definitive word that I've heard about Colon being moved to Guard and with Simmons being signed to a long term deal and Kemoeatu slated to move into Fanecas spot it seems now they are content to see if Colon can improve enough to be a solid player. Either that or atleast let him be in competition with whoever we bring in this offseason.

Starting Kemoeatu just scares the crap out of me...lol It seems to me he really hasn't caught on to the Pro game yet....I was high on him coming out of Utah.....I remember watching him play when he was at Utah and I thought he was a solid OG and was pumped when the Steelers drafted him in the 5th round (thought he would be a steal).....I think Colon could be a very good OG....I would even try him at center...lol He would be better then Mahan...lol

DIESELMAN
03-08-2008, 01:04 PM
Colon better grow some longer arms if hes going to be a good OT :lol: We need to pickup at least 2 OL in this years draft, by next season, our OL will be close to solid and we can get even more depth in next season's good crop of OL.

Black@Gold Forever32
03-08-2008, 01:12 PM
Colon better grow some longer arms if hes going to be a good OT :lol: We need to pickup at least 2 OL in this years draft, by next season, our OL will be close to solid and we can get even more depth in next season's good crop of OL.

I agree Diesel, Colon isn't an OT....I think he is better suited for OG....But just because we all think Colon will move to OG doesn't mean the coaches will move him....I hope they move him to OG...lol But you never know whats in the brains of Tomlin and company.....

DIESELMAN
03-08-2008, 01:26 PM
I agree Diesel, Colon isn't an OT....I think he is better suited for OG....But just because we all think Colon will move to OG doesn't mean the coaches will move him....I hope they move him to OG...lol But you never know whats in the brains of Tomlin and company.....
I just hope that Zierlein shows us something to why hes a line coach. Granted he didn't have a lot to work with but after seeing Mahan gettin butchered week after week, you would think they would've tried something else at C.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-08-2008, 04:22 PM
Just chalk Mahan up to a reach.......a really BIG reach that didn't work out in the slightest bit. What makes me wonder is if Mahan won the battle for Center against Okobi then how good could Chukkie have really been for us :bluelol:

Stlrs4Life
03-08-2008, 04:40 PM
Just goes to show you how important an OL is. That's amazing! Smith no way deserves more than Faneca.

DIESELMAN
03-08-2008, 06:10 PM
Just chalk Mahan up to a reach.......a really BIG reach that didn't work out in the slightest bit. What makes me wonder is if Mahan won the battle for Center against Okobi then how good could Chukkie have really been for us :bluelol:
How long was he a Cowher Steeler? 6 years? :hilarious:Hell even Grimm didn't want his *** in Arizona, now he's in Houston....backing up another older veteran :greengrin:

BlitzburghRockCity
03-09-2008, 10:47 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08069/863698-66.stm


Sunday, March 09, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
Marvel Smith: Next to the pay window?

Now that Ben Roethlisberger's contract is done and Alan Faneca is gone, the next big deal in the Steelers' future looms this year, whether they do it or do not.

He's not a free agent, but offensive tackle Marvel Smith will become one next year if the Steelers do not sign him to a contract before then. He's in the same place this year as was Faneca last year; Smith has one year left on his contract, and no doubt he'd like an extension before he begins the 2008 season.

Smith is not as heralded at tackle as Faneca was at guard. Smith has made one Pro Bowl in his eight seasons while Faneca made seven in 10. But it can be argued that Smith is more valuable than Faneca because of the position he plays, and surely agent Ken Zuckerman might already being doing that.

No position on a football team might be more important after the quarterback than the left tackle. NFL personnel men say when you build a team, you start with the left tackle. One of the reasons the expansion Houston Texans failed early on was the injuries to left tackle Tony Boselli, and "franchise" quarterback David Carr suffered for it.

Smith has been a good, steady left tackle for the Steelers since he moved there in 2003 after starting his first three seasons at right tackle. He made the Pro Bowl after the '04 season. He's also had injury problems. A pinched nerve in his neck limited his '03 season to six games. He had back surgery in December that ended his season, but that surgery actually might help him in the future. It was minor, as back surgeries go, and relieved the pain he has played through.

Smith will earn a $3.95 million salary in 2008 and his cap number of $6,645,500 ranks fourth on the Steelers. He does not turn 30 until August and presumably has another good three or four years at least.

Can the Steelers keep him, and do they want to? We might find out next month. If the Steelers draft an offensive tackle in the first round and he happens to be a left tackle, chances of them signing Smith to a big-money contract would decrease. However, if they ignore the position on the draft's first day, they might have little choice but to sign Smith.
Love the ones you're with

Those who condemn the Steelers for not taking a more aggressive approach to free agency by signing other team's players might keep in mind what's going on with the New York Jets.

The Jets have filled up their shopping cart with outside players -- Faneca, Damien Woody, Kris Jenkins -- and spent plenty of money on them.

But then comes this:

"You pay guys you don't even know, and the guys in the locker room -- the guys that have your back -- you don't give a damn about them," an unnamed Jets player told Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News. "It shows where the loyalty is."

Faneca aside, the Steelers always have tried to keep their players first by signing them to contract extensions, usually before they become free agents. Roethlisberger is the latest example, but others include Marvel Smith, Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu, Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, Ike Taylor, Willie Parker, Kendall Simmons, James Farrior, Larry Foote and James Harrison, just examples of current starters.

Yes, the Cleveland Browns have been more active signing others in the first week of free agency. But the Browns haven't had to worry about keeping many of their own players because until recently they haven't had many they wanted to keep.