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TarlsQtr
01-16-2014, 02:41 PM
An interesting dilemma. The new CBA has a team option for a 5th year but it must be exercised before the 4th season (May 3rd). If we exercise the option, it means Heyward is guaranteed approximately $8.5 million for 2015 (a lot for a 3-4 DE) even if injured. Not exercising it means he goes on the open market after the 2014 season, which includes its own obvious risks, especially if he goes in beast mode this year. The team needs to make a decision very soon. I would work to extend him this year if possible. I also highlighted another little factoid in the article below. ;-)


Robinson: Steelers can add fifth year onto Heyward’s contract — but it will cost them
January 14, 2014 by Alan Robinson

Defensive end Cam Heyward experienced exactly the kind of season the Steelers envisioned him playing when they made him a first-round draft pick in 2011.

Now, the question is whether Heyward’s breakthrough season will convince them to pick up an option on his contract that would give him another season in Pittsburgh without going through negotiations.

The rookie wage scale adopted in 2011 mandated that all draft picks be signed to four-year contracts. But, for all first-round picks, a fifth year can be added by the team.

Heyward, the former Ohio State star, was the 31st pick on the first round in 2011.

The Steelers have until May 3 to pick up the option — but it’s not likely they would do so until that date because, once the option is exercised, a player’s fifth-year salary becomes guaranteed even if he is injured during offseason workouts.

For players taken in the top 10, the amount owed in the fifth season must be equal to the transition player tender for his position. Heyward falls into the group of picks No. 11-32, so the Steelers must pay him the average of the top 25 players at his position, with the top three salaries excluded, or Nos. 4-25.

The Steelers already have Heyward under contract for 2014, and exercising the option would commit him to playing for them in 2015, as well. However, it would come at a cost; the average salary for a Top 25 defensive end in 2013 was approximately $8.5 million.

That’s far above the Steelers’ pay scale for a defensive end; Brett Keisel, for example, made $3.9 million in 2013. Heyward’s contract calls for him to make $1.3 million in 2014, with the pro-rated share of his signing bonus driving his cap value up to $2.13 million.

The Steelers could choose to ignore the fifth-year option and attempt to lock up Heyward to a new contract before the 2014 season begins. But premium defensive ends command big salaries and, if the Steelers don’t work out a new contract or pick up the option, they risk losing Heyward to a team willing to pay the going rate for a disruptive defensive end.

They took the same risk a year ago with cornerback Keenan Lewis, and ended up being an impact player after signing with his hometown Saints for $26 million. With Lewis gone, the Steelers’ cornerbacks struggled for much of the season.

Heyward, a part-time player until this season, played 845 of a possible 1,093 snaps and had five sacks, seven quarterback hurries, a team-high 34 quarterback hits and five batted passes, plus 59 tackles.

Pro Football Focus graded him at 11.4, the second-highest ranking on the Steelers defense to Troy Polamalu’s 12.2. Heyward and outside linebacker Jason Worilds were the only players on the Steelers’ defense to grade above average as both a pass rusher and a run defender. Heyward ranked 18th overall among all NFL 3-4 defensive ends.

Heyward graded out at 6.8 in 2012, but he played only 267 snaps, or only about one-quarter of all the snaps played by the Steelers


Read more: http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/2014/01/14/robinson-steelers-can-add-fifth-year-onto-heywards-contract-but-it-will-cost-them/#ixzz2qaWFQWai
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Big T
01-16-2014, 02:49 PM
They need to lock him up this offseason.

Stupid Troy and his "adequate" top 5 safety play this season. If it wasn't for him, we'd be in the playoffs.

NeilPatrickBanana
01-16-2014, 02:57 PM
Yea, I made this case in one of my "offseason plan" threads... they would be smart to do the same with Cortez... and avoid a Worrilds situation.

TarlsQtr
01-16-2014, 02:59 PM
They need to lock him up this offseason.

Stupid Troy and his "adequate" top 5 safety play this season. If it wasn't for him, we'd be in the playoffs.

I wonder if we cut Kiesel, if his salary (~$4 million) would be adequate for Heyward. I love Kiesel, but Cam is definitely a priority. Perhaps even a full swap. I would even offer Kiesel Cam's $1.3 million or slightly more.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-16-2014, 03:38 PM
Heyward is a BEAST.....I love the beard and really for a former 7th round pick Keisel had a great Steeler career but lock up the future and time to move on from the past.....I just wonder if 4 million per year would be enough for Heyward......

K Train
01-16-2014, 04:06 PM
They cant be paying heyward 8.5 million for a 5th year option. Sign his *** for 5 years

NeilPatrickBanana
01-16-2014, 04:09 PM
I wonder if we cut Kiesel, if his salary (~$4 million) would be adequate for Heyward. I love Kiesel, but Cam is definitely a priority. Perhaps even a full swap. I would even offer Kiesel Cam's $1.3 million or slightly more.

Keisel is not under contract. He's a free agent.

TarlsQtr
01-16-2014, 04:13 PM
Keisel is not under contract. He's a free agent.

Thanks, my mistake. My bigger point though is that I would use the ~$4 million we have been spending on Kiesel for Heyward and perhaps flipping the $1.3 million we have been paying Heyward over to Kiesel. Obviously, Kiesel would have to accept the paycut and Heyward would need to be happy with $4 million. I am not sure either would happen though.

Big T
01-16-2014, 04:28 PM
Thanks, my mistake. My bigger point though is that I would use the ~$4 million we have been spending on Kiesel for Heyward and perhaps flipping the $1.3 million we have been paying Heyward over to Kiesel. Obviously, Kiesel would have to accept the paycut and Heyward would need to be happy with $4 million. I am not sure either would happen though.

I honestly believe that Keisel would come back for a sort of home town discount. I really don't see there being a lot of demand for a 36 year old 3-4 DE, and he probably doesnt want to leave Pittsburgh.

JollyRob68
01-16-2014, 05:19 PM
I honestly believe that Keisel would come back for a sort of home town discount. I really don't see there being a lot of demand for a 36 year old 3-4 DE, and he probably doesnt want to leave Pittsburgh.

Time to move on and let the next wave of young stars emerge.

Real Deal Steel
01-16-2014, 05:48 PM
They need to lock him up this offseason.

Stupid Troy and his "adequate" top 5 safety play this season. If it wasn't for him, we'd be in the playoffs.

Well, as soon as they free some of the money up from Troy's @ss, then we'll be able to take care of our up and coming talent like Heyward. But I'd sure like to get it done and out the way.

TarlsQtr
01-16-2014, 06:17 PM
Time to move on and let the next wave of young stars emerge.

If we had another Heyward, then I would agree. Keisel is a solid and proven commodity. He sure beats Hood.

steelchamp204
01-16-2014, 06:29 PM
Well, as soon as they free some of the money up from Troy's @ss, then we'll be able to take care of our up and coming talent like Heyward. But I'd sure like to get it done and out the way.

And have NO safeties this season, let's get rid of a 2013 Pro Bowl player who was a top 5 safety in the league. Makes sense.

I believe Troy restructures this offseason anyway.

Real Deal Steel
01-16-2014, 07:13 PM
That's what I mean.

I know they are not going to get rid of Troy this year. Restructuring will free some money up.

K Train
01-16-2014, 10:21 PM
It's cut or extend for Troy No middle ground

polamalu43
01-17-2014, 01:29 AM
Keisel will come back to us for virtually nothing. Question is do we want him? Troy extends 2 yrs

Nolrog
01-17-2014, 08:04 AM
I believe Troy restructures this offseason anyway.

This is the last year of Troy's contract. He can either take a pay cut, or they would need to extend him.

Nolrog
01-17-2014, 08:05 AM
Keisel will come back to us for virtually nothing. Question is do we want him?

I'd say yes. He is still productive, and would be a good deal at a vet min. Plus, that would help the transition to whoever is the new DE (assuming Hood is not resigned.)

TarlsQtr
01-17-2014, 08:27 AM
I'd say yes. He is still productive, and would be a good deal at a vet min. Plus, that would help the transition to whoever is the new DE (assuming Hood is not resigned.)

Exactly. When looking at personnel, you cannot just look at the player (although Keisel is still effective). You have to look at what is behind him. If cheap enough, he is the best option. Hood needs to go and K is better anyway. Even if we draft someone, they likely will not be ready to start day one.

It is just like the Troy argument. Those who say Troy sucks (wrong) or he makes too much money (closer to right) need to step back and ask who will replace him. You do not make the playoffs by replacing the entire backside of the D in one season with Clark going too.

ChucktownSteeler
01-18-2014, 04:00 PM
I am not sure you get rid of Clark and Troy the same year. Troy will be back, Clark won't.

HUNT4SEVEN
01-27-2014, 08:08 PM
They cant be paying heyward 8.5 million for a 5th year option. Sign his *** for 5 years

AGREED

KoffeeHobson
01-28-2014, 04:26 PM
They need to extend him this year. Point blank period.

Nolrog
01-29-2014, 09:58 AM
I believe Troy restructures this offseason anyway.

Troy only has 1 year left on his deal, so you cannot restructure. You'd have to do this in as part of an extension.