Steelers' Jeff Reed kicking up a fuss over contract
Sunday, August 01, 2010
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jeff Reed arrived at camp already an unhappy camper when it came to his contract.
Jeff Reed will have to wait at least another year before possibly signing a long-term contract that would keep him with the Steelers until his career is over. And he is not happy about it.
Reed, who will earn $2,814,000 in 2010 after signing a one-year franchise tender, said he is "extremely" disappointed that the Steelers did not sign him to a longer contract before the start of training camp.
What's more, he believes he was misled by unspecified members of the organization about their intention of wanting to sign him to a multi-year deal.
"I'm not going to point anyone out or any statement out, but, yeah, I was told one thing and another thing happened," Reed said Saturday after practice at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. "I understand business moves, but I'm not a big fan of lying."
Reed, who converted 87 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2009 (27 for 31) and 83.3 percent in his eight-year career, said he was told by team president Art Rooney II on Friday that the Steelers would not be able to complete a long-term deal with him before the start of the 2010 regular season.
Part of the problem is that the Steelers had to sign tackle Flozell Adams to a two-year, $7.5 million contract after the season-ending injury to right tackle Willie Colon.
"I'm really disappointed ... extremely ... little bit bitter," Reed said. "That's probably not a good choice of words. I'm not here to burn bridges. I got to play football. I'm not happy, but I'm happy to be with all these guys and be a part of the organization.
"It's one of those things, life is not really fair. I've experienced that a few times in this league. I honestly feel that if you perform, no matter if you kick at Heinz field or a dome, as a kicker, you deserve to get compensated for it."
Reed was designated the team's franchise player in February, meaning he would earn the average of the top five kickers and punters in the National Football League in 2010. At the time, Rooney and director of football operations Kevin Colbert indicated they would like to sign Reed to a long-term deal that would allow him to finish his career with the Steelers, the only team for whom he has played.
Colbert said Saturday it is the team's policy to not publicly discuss a player's contract status.
"I've talked to guys in the organization personally, one on one, about how I feel; that's the best way to do it," Reed said. "To get my business out in the media, out in public, is not the best way to portray yourself. But it hurts. I want to retire here. There's a possibility I still can retire here. But it looks like it's getting tougher."
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