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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Starks signs, Bryant retires

Little did I know when I posted the blurb about the Steelers still trying to get a deal done with Max Starks yesterday that it would happen so soon.

But the Steelers have signed Starks to a four-year contract worth $26.3 million. The deal includes a $10 million in guaranteed money and gives the team a considerable amount of cap relief.

It was a win-win situation for both parties.

Starks, despite being guaranteed a salary of $8.45 million this season as the Steelers' franchise player, gets some long-term stability. And the Steelers get $3 million in salary cap relief.

The son of a former NFL player, Starks wasn't looking to break the bank. He just wanted some long-term security instead of continuing to get slapped with the franchise tag every year.

© In other news Tuesday, cornerback Fernando Bryant apparently saw the writing on the wall with the Steelers' offseason additions and announced his retirement.

Bryant was signed by the Steelers last season when both Deshea Townsend and Bryant McFadden were out with injuries and re-signed with the team during the offseason.

But the selection of two corners in the draft and addition of veteran Keiwan Ratliff likely meant Bryant was biding his time until his release in training camp.


Patrick said...

if they get Heath Miller done and possibly Hampton, it might be one of the best Offseasons they've had in a long time. They were facing a lot of tough negotiations and decisions and they got the majority of them done.

I also think Keiwan Ratliff will be a nice signing for them.

Todd said...

I really don't think the ownership will sign the big snack to an extension. Their history some what proves this.

Dale what do you think about Hampton getting an extension?

Anonymous said...

I think they should just franchise Hampton next year

Oh and I just thought of something. Won't Heath Miller be a RFA ? He doesn't have 6 seasons, and he's only played one contract. I believe under the expiring CBA that would make him RFA.

Viz-Burgh said...

Miller would be a RFA if there's no CBA by the end of next season. But if the league & union do reach an agreement Heath will be an Unrestricted Free Agent. Do you want to bank Heath's future with the team on the animosity between the league & union?

Getting Heath done is the next priority IMO. Big Hamp? I don't think he gets a deal before they see how he shows up to camp. Even then I don't knowhow much Tomlin likes him ("I'll tolerate you until I can replace you."). We don't have Hampton's replacement on the roster right now (long-term) but I don't think they rush to sign him. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Get a grip. No one said he shouldn't get an offer. It's a question. Sounds you are a bit grumpy-get a life and you will feel better.

Didn't see anyone say Miller wasn't a great player.

Let's hope this blog isn't turning into one of those girlie ones where you can't say anything without getting a whiney or rude response. lol

Viz-Burgh said...

Your copy and paste answer from the last posting actually says more about you than me. My response was neither whiny nor rude - merely factual.

Do you think the players will be happy to be treated as RFAs by teams when in any other season they would have earned the right to be true free agents? The Steelers don't have a history of treating players like that. Look at their very infrequent use of the franchise tag as exhibit #1 & their reluctance to trade players vs. releasing them & allowing them to choose who they play for as exhibit #2. I do not see the Steelers treating Heath's situation in that manner even if they knew that there would be no new CBA agreement. And that's why I think that he's the next priority.

Girlie enough for you?

Dale Lolley said...

The Steelers are going to operate as if there will be a CBA next season. If it goes uncapped, so be it. But they're going to do things working under the assumption something will get done.

But if it does go uncapped, yes, Miller would be restricted.

As for Hampton, I'd wait until the end of the season to do something with him. Nose tackles can go downhill fast and they've still got a very good backup in Chris Hoke.

Ben said...

Dale, everything I know about 3-4 d-linemen has me believing that Ziggy Hood is destined to play defensive end, but everything I've been hearing has him as the eventual replacement at NT. Is this just the result of ignorant reporters assuming he will play the same position he played in college, or is there something to it? He seems too tall, too long, to play NT. I suppose I'm used to the short, fat, prototypical Hampton, and that other body types can anchor a 3-4 line.

Tim said...

Ziggy's a DE. He might take Hampton's spot on obvious passing downs, but he'll be a DE.

$6.5 million per year is still way too much for Starks, but I guess if we're getting the cap room it's better than nothing. I think it's time to draft a tackle, move Max back to the right and let Willie go (or try him at guard). Unless of course Hills works out, but I'm not holding my breath.

Ben said...

I'm actually pretty content with Starks' contract numbers. They locked up a solid LT for 4 years without breaking the bank. He might not be an All-Pro, but he can handle the job. He's also pretty young, and will only get better as he grows into the position.

The cap space freed up helps a lot, too.

Anonymous said...

Is this just the result of ignorant reporters.....

That's pretty much it. JH has quickly distinguished himself as the biggest dumbass of the beat writers. No minor accomplishment. The quotes he used in his article were misleading, out of context and two months old. They were from post-draft interviews back in April. The coaches talked about DE being hard to learn, and dampened expectations of Hood coming in right away and getting p/t at DE. Said that he is and will be a DE, but that since NT is easier to learn and since DEs need to know the NT responsibilities as well as their own he could get some interim snaps at NT until he's ready at DE. Particularly on passing sets.

Harris took liberty and attached his own interpretation to what Tomlin said about Hampton, then dug through old post-draft quotes and pieced together a misleading article with his faulty interpretation as the bridge between two unrelated topics.

Anonymous said...

this is a great deal. good job front office and kudos to starks.

obviously, miller is next in line. some have questioned his value to the team, but his ability to block and catch is essential. he's worth every dollar.

this is the year for spaeth to come on line with the rest of the team. if he can be even an average blocker, then our offense will have another dimension to defend. because, we will then be able to have both miller and spaeth in the game and run to spaeth's side confidently.

if a few young guys improve on this team it could be another very special year.

Dale Lolley said...

They actually took Sonny Harris with the idea of him being an inside guy with the ability to play outside if needed.

I see Max Starks as somebody who's capable at left tackle. He's cut from the same cloth as John Jackson and Marvel Smith - not a star, but decent.

As for John Harris - I'm assuming that's the JH you're speaking of - he's a columnist, not a beat reporter - even though his most regular assignment is the Steelers.