If I'm Alan Faneca, I'd notify Steelers management right away of my willingness to play for the black and gold next season -- if I haven't done so already.
If I'm Steelers management, and I witnessed the Miami Dolphins defense toy with what passed for an NFL offensive line Monday night on the cow pasture disguised as Heinz Field, I'd be all ears.
Surely, Faneca, the six-time Pro Bowl guard, experienced a pang of nostalgia and a hefty dose of reality when he came face-to-face with former teammate and current Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter.
Porter played his first NFL game in Pittsburgh when he wasn't wearing a Steelers uniform. Big contract aside, No. 55 -- who played his best game of the season against his old team -- is a telling example of life away from the Steelers.
A salary cap casualty, Porter has a big, new contract with Miami. He's also still seeking his first win of the season with the 0-11 Dolphins following the Steelers' ugly 3-0 win.
The Dolphins stink -- no matter how hard and inspired they played last night.
As for Porter -- who was known as a leader and a winner with the Steelers -- he may be forced to finish his career playing for a loser.
This isn't the legacy that Porter was anticipating. Nor is it how Faneca envisions his career ending.
An unrestricted free agent, Faneca has indicated on several occasions he wants to finish his career with the Steelers. By most accounts, that's unlikely to occur.
Last spring, Faneca expressed anger and remorse that the Steelers didn't offer him a contract extension at a price tag he believed he deserved. Faneca went so far as to say the offer he received was insulting.
Since that time, however, Faneca has softened his stance and expressed a desire to remain with the Steelers.
That leaves one remaining loophole for Faneca, who needs to find a way to get back in the good graces of Steelers' management.
To do so, he must be willing to accept a contract extension for lesser numbers than he was seeking.
There's no way that management will pay top dollar for an offensive lineman who turns 31 in December -- no way, no how.
Observing Porter upon his return to Heinz Field should have been therapeutic for Faneca.
To be sure, Porter needed to leave the Steelers to obtain the contract he desired, but at what cost?
They say money doesn't buy happiness. In Porter's case, it hasn't bought him a single victory in 2007.
Faneca could potentially face the same dilemma: remain with the Steelers and play for less money, or leave the Steelers for more money and fewer victories.
Going head-to-head against his former teammate last night may have provided Faneca with some insight into his own future.
It just may have shown him that, at least upon first glance, playing with a new team for more money isn't all that it's cracked up to be.