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  1. #1
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    Free Agent Follies

    By Dale Lolley
    For SteelCityInsider.com
    Posted Mar 12, 2007

    It's been a perfect storm for free agents this year as teams have spent record amounts of money on players who are average at best.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have largely sat out this free agency period, though that is nothing new for them.

    But this year more than ever, that's been the smart play.

    When this 2007 free agent period is finished, it may be viewed as one that sent the NFL down a road toward ruin.

    Why is that?

    In the past couple of weeks weíve seen average player after average player signed to big money deals Ė deals that were made for no other reason than because those player were available.

    Thatís why weíve seen the likes of tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, wide receiver Kelley Washington and offensive tackle Tony Pashos find themselves in a whole new tax bracket in a matter of days.

    Not to pick on those particular players, but Shiancoe was given a deal for five years at $18.2 million Ė with $7 million guaranteed Ė Washington got a five-year deal that could be worth as much as $22 million and Pashos was handed $24 million over five years.

    And these are players with a combined 52 career starts in a combined 12 NFL seasons, an average of less than five starts per year per player. None of them have ever been or likely will ever be a star in this league. But they sure are making star-quality money now.

    Certainly one teamís trash could be considered another teamís treasure, but this is ridiculous.

    And those three players are hardly the only ones who have been given outrageous deals since free agency began earlier this month.

    Heck, thatís why the always outspoken Joey Porter didnít rip into the Steelers for releasing him on the eve of free agency. Instead of the $5 million or so in salary Porter would have earned from the Steelers in 2007, Porter walked into a five-year, $32-million deal with Miami that included a $12-million signing bonus. With that kind of money, Porter figures the Steelers did him a favor by releasing him.

    But do you think there will be some unhappy veterans reporting - or not - to mini-camps this spring?

    And do you think those veterans will be wanting their teams to pony up more cash to them?

    When these veterans go into meetings with team officials, theyíre not going to want to hear that their respective teams canít afford to give them more money when those teams went out and spent this offseason like they were sailors on leave. They are not going to want to hear about the team's salary structure.

    This was a lackluster crop of free agents who walked into the perfect storm. Thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement and more TV money than ever before, NFL teams had record levels of cap space available. Somebody should have told them they didnít have to spend it all in one place.
    I agree that most of the free agents this year have been grossly overpaid. C'mon have you seen the interview with Nate Clements? He sounds like he is trying to convince himself that he is worth 80 mil! Overall these teams with a lack of fiscal responsibility are sending the league spiraling toward ruination! When the real stars see what the mediocre role players are getting why would they want to sign with their old teams?

    Lets see......behind door 1 is continued employment with a little more money than last time.

    OR

    Behind door 2 is a windfall of cash that is exponentially greater than what I had been getting and will NEVER have this opportunity for a payday like this again!

    (key in the final jeopardy melody)

    hmmmm.......should I take the 80 mil or the 20 mil? Can I talk this over with my family? This is so difficult! Be rich or be filthy rich.........

    Which player would you rather have on your team? Nate Clements or Troy Polamalu? Kinda scary isn't it?
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_082009/home.parcoltop11.35513.ImageFile.jpg

  2. #2
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    This whole free agency this season has been one to stratch your head over with some mediocre names getting some big time financial boost. I just can't understand the reasoning behind this. STUPIDITY at its finest.

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    Even mediocre linemen have been getting the big benjamins all because they are there. Its gotten crazy this year, you can point fingers at everybody. The owners for not understanding how spending ridiculous amounts of money on untalented players will make talented players green with envy. The players for not sacrificing in the name of the team concept. Yeah I know they have to feed their family but how much is enough? when a player makes even just 1 mil a year to me and you that should be enough right? Well hell, I forgot we're talkin about the mentality of today, where money talks and winning back to back championships is a thing of the past. I agree all this money being thrown around like it just came off the printer will put the NFL in a serious bind in the near future.


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    I wonder if Last years CBA and the extra Cap space doesn't have something to do with everyone getting overpaid I'm sure this will come back to haunt alot of teams IO'm just glad it won't be The Steelers
    "It is hard to wait around for something that you know may never happen;but it's even harder to let go when it's everything you want"
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    It effects everybody

    Quote Originally Posted by Captcoolhand View Post
    I wonder if Last years CBA and the extra Cap space doesn't have something to do with everyone getting overpaid I'm sure this will come back to haunt alot of teams IO'm just glad it won't be The Steelers
    Even though we haven't dished out any of this money, our stars are not blind to what players of lesser talent are getting. That hurts our chances of resigning some of our own!
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_082009/home.parcoltop11.35513.ImageFile.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGold4vr View Post
    Even though we haven't dished out any of this money, our stars are not blind to what players of lesser talent are getting. That hurts our chances of resigning some of our own!
    The one thing in our favor is the fact that we have players that understand the team concept. Hopefully that will stick with a lot of players who realize what it means to play for a franchise like the Steelers. We don't change our philosophies or our way of doing business to meet anyone elses expectations. The Steelers have always done business a certain way and that way has us almost always fielding a competitive team. My question is this: What would you rather have a 3 million dollar contract with a SB ring to go along with it? or a 10-15 million dollar contract and thats it?


    If you donít stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!


    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
    --Joe Greene

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    We will see in coming years how our players answer that question!

    Quote Originally Posted by DIESELMAN View Post
    The one thing in our favor is the fact that we have players that understand the team concept. Hopefully that will stick with a lot of players who realize what it means to play for a franchise like the Steelers. We don't change our philosophies or our way of doing business to meet anyone elses expectations. The Steelers have always done business a certain way and that way has us almost always fielding a competitive team. My question is this: What would you rather have a 3 million dollar contract with a SB ring to go along with it? or a 10-15 million dollar contract and thats it?
    Me personally I would want the ring. But you can't guarantee that a player gets one staying with us any sooner than he might getting the 10-15 million with somebody else. Alan Faneca is going into his 10th season, how many rings does he have? You can't guarantee him another ring by taking a contract well below what his fair market value would be on the free market. Can you? Undoubtedly these contracts are going to cause problems and dissention in the teams who are dishing out this mad money. I heard Mike Nolan already had a players meeting to quash any money grumbling amongst his players after the Clements contract was announced. Impossible to pay 10-15 percent of your salary cap money on one player and not expect other players to resent that player.

    Just look at the internal problems A-Rods money has caused for the Yankees! How many championships have they won with A-Rod? I believe its a big fat zero. When you pay a player Super Star money he damn well better perform like one or your whole team will implode!
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_082009/home.parcoltop11.35513.ImageFile.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGold4vr View Post
    Me personally I would want the ring. But you can't guarantee that a player gets one staying with us any sooner than he might getting the 10-15 million with somebody else. Alan Faneca is going into his 10th season, how many rings does he have? You can't guarantee him another ring by taking a contract well below what his fair market value would be on the free market. Can you? Undoubtedly these contracts are going to cause problems and dissention in the teams who are dishing out this mad money. I heard Mike Nolan already had a players meeting to quash any money grumbling amongst his players after the Clements contract was announced. Impossible to pay 10-15 percent of your salary cap money on one player and not expect other players to resent that player.
    I hear ya bro....I would want the ring also, theres no guarantees in anything in this world. Fair market value is one thing but going way over board like in the case of Clements and most of the OL being signed thats a whole different animal. Theres also a diifference in a player knowing what hes actually worth compared to what he wants to get paid based on someone elses contract. It doesn't matter as long as there are owners out there willing to pay these crazy contracts, who's to blame the players for taking it. Its a no win situation that could've been avoided a long time ago. Had the owners quit caving into extreme asking prices the players would've had 2 choices. Take what is fair not ridiculous and play ball or take their *** somewhere else. As far as Clements goes, he better have one helluva year.


    If you donít stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!


    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
    --Joe Greene

  9. #9
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    The teams that are overplaying all these players right now have spent the last several years purging their roster of all types of high priced talent, so now they have all this cap room and all this money to blow and they want a quick fix so they go out and get all these FA's but history tells us that you can't buy a championship.

  10. #10
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    Great points everyone

    Not really much to add

    Except i'd take a few million less to have a better shot at that ring
    Just hope alot of our key players see that & they really wanna stick with tomlin

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