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Captcoolhand
05-17-2009, 12:22 PM
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers have their salary-cap savings from Larry Foote, Hines Ward and Ike Taylor. So, what will they do with their new found money and cap room?
Don't be surprised if it turns out they do little.


They have nine starters entering the final year of their contracts: tight end Heath Miller, halfback Willie Parker, nose tackle Casey Hampton, defensive end Brett Keisel, tackles Max Starks and Willie Colon, free safety Ryan Clark, center Justin Hartwig and kicker Jeff Reed.


Most of those will finish the 2009 season without a contract extension and become free agents in March, and perhaps none will sign a new deal.


While the Steelers created more room with their recent moves, and the salary cap for each NFL team rose nearly $12 million since last season to $128 million, most of that cap room already has been gobbled up by higher salaries for 2009 to the point the Steelers were barely under the NFL cap before the draft. They also have their draft choices to sign.


One reason they don't have much wiggle room is the large increase in Ben Roethlisberger's cap figure. It was nearly $8 million last year, the first of his contract extension; it rises to more than $13.2 million this year. Other increases, although not as dramatic, include Keisel's climb of nearly $2 million to almost $5 million.
The Steelers have done a good job remaining not only competitive but winning two Super Bowls while managing the cap without wounding their future. They will be tested anew this year and next. They have paved the way to keep 20 of their 22 starters intact, but they may not be able to hold onto many or any of those nine who have one year left.


Kevin Colbert publicly proclaimed their desire to sign Starks to a contract extension, and Starks is open to a long-term deal. But with a guarantee of nearly $8.5 million this season as their franchise player, it does not seem plausible. The signing bonus alone would have to be enormous, in the $15 million range, for Starks to begin to entertain an extension. They tried last year after they guaranteed Starks a contract of nearly $8 million and could not do it. Why would anyone think they could pull it off this season?


They most likely will try to sign Miller and Reed to extensions as priorities, and perhaps Clark. They have no one behind either of those three who can measure up. Whether they can do so or not is another matter. The others may have to wait until after the season.


The unknown is whether a new collective bargaining agreement will occur before free agency in March. If not, players such as Miller and Colon will be restricted free agents rather than unrestricted, and each NFL team can tag two franchise players instead of one. That would, for instance, allow them to virtually keep four potential free agents -- Miller, Colon and two franchise players.
I know that this has been beat to death.....:deadhorse:
Giving Starks all that money really is going to hurt us come next off season....
The guy starts 4 games and they give him 7+million to start 11 more the following season. Then,turn around and give him 8+ million again. what's he going to do this season? Say thanks for an easy 16+ million for being a 6'8" 345lb average Joe. :duh:
They should have sent him walking and gave that money to a guy who is by far better at his position, Heath Miller. At least then the money could be justified.

I like what was said in this article. The only ones I would like to see coming back after this season is Miller, Reed, Hampton and Clark. We drafted players this year to possibly start next season to bother keeping those other guys.:crossfingers: :imho:

Black@Gold Forever32
05-17-2009, 12:38 PM
If the Steelers had let Starks walk.......Then who would start at LT?.......An unproven Tony Hills or some FA LT off the street that they would have to over pay for anyway.....Starks doesn't deserve anywhere close to that 8 million a year tag....Personally I'm glad they kept Starks instead of over paying some FA from another team....At least we know what have in Max Starks....

cmerrifield
05-17-2009, 02:34 PM
Yeah, I agree, I am glad they kept Starks, however, we are going into the season with both our tackles in the final year of their contract, which is where we were this year and caused us to Franchise Starks. If they dont get a long term deal with Starks, I really hope Hills and Essex have breakout seasons for us. Otherwise, we will be franchising a OT again next year. Personally, I think Starks could be the starting LT for the next 4-5 years and be good if he will just agree to a contract to keep here that long.

K Train
05-17-2009, 10:18 PM
i would have rather paid top dollar to jordan gross or someone than starks....starks is just not a good player. average at best and not worth the cash at all. letting him go might have provided some urgency to move up and get oher rather than watching the ravens do it.

starks is a bum, i was hoping the jets would offer kemo big money but that didnt happen. whatever, same guys, same **** line for another year. we will have this line until ben gets IR'd one day and the steelers bomb the season and have to finally address the lack of any quality linemen

DIESELMAN
05-17-2009, 10:24 PM
Starks should be telling his agent and the FO that he wants to negotiate a contract even if its 2-3 years, at least that would help the Steelers as far as the cap goes. A few vets have already done so, why hasn't Starks? Business? selfish? He got paid very well last season, must be nice to get paid and not have to earn that money.

BlitzburghRockCity
05-18-2009, 03:20 PM
They have nine starters entering the final year of their contracts: tight end Heath Miller, halfback Willie Parker, nose tackle Casey Hampton, defensive end Brett Keisel, tackles Max Starks and Willie Colon, free safety Ryan Clark, center Justin Hartwig and kicker Jeff Reed.

Priorities to get re-signed: Keisel, Clark, Reed, Miller, & Parker. Hampton if he will stay for a decent price. Don't even both with Starks anymore, just cut him loose after this year if he won't sign a more cap friendly contract. Hartwig is a decent Center but I wouldn't break the bank on him. Let Colon go. It's time to start doing something positive with this line except putting bandaids on it.

HUNT4SEVEN
05-18-2009, 03:24 PM
Big snack will stay, we need to keep Miller, Kiesel,I would like to keep Clark, we need Reed the rest i say see yaw an wouldn't want to be yaw:lol: An if Starks signs an long term deal i say we should keep him also.

K Train
05-18-2009, 04:07 PM
hampton will almost certainly not stay

JensK
05-18-2009, 04:55 PM
hampton will almost certainly not stay

I concur. He is going to demand way more money than they are willing to give him, which sucks since i have to admit that i don't see any valid back-up. Hoke is decent, but not an everydown player, and not a future solution.

K Train
05-18-2009, 05:03 PM
we are like 13-0 with hoke starting and hampton out...just sayin

but hey if ben ends up on IR due to our lack of addressing the oline then we will bomb the season and could grab mount cody

JensK
05-18-2009, 06:33 PM
we are like 13-0 with hoke starting and hampton out...just sayin

but hey if ben ends up on IR due to our lack of addressing the oline then we will bomb the season and could grab mount cody

Yeah i know that our numbers with hoke are impressive, but i still don't think he is an every down player, and he is 33, so he is not getting any younger at all. That is why im saying he is not a future option.