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Friday, June 12, 2009

Steelers sign three draft picks

The Steelers signed rookie cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett, and running back Frank Summers to contracts Friday, the first of their three draft picks to sign with the team.

Lewis (6-0, 2008) was the third of the Steelers’ three third round selections (96th overall) in this year’s draft out of Oregon State. In 48 career starts Lewis recorded 117 tackles (81 solo), one sack and seven interceptions. Lewis was named Academic All-Pac 10 and All-Pac 10 honorable mention at cornerback as a senior.

Burnett (5-10, 192) was the first of the Steelers’ two fifth round selections (168th overall) in this year’s draft out of Central Florida. A four-year starter, Burnett was a first-team All-Conference USA selection at cornerback, punt returner and kickoff returner as a senior. Burnett finished his career with 16 interceptions and five returns (three punts, two kickoffs) for scores.

Summers (5-10, 240) was the second of the Steelers’ two fifth round selections (169th overall) in this year’s draft out of UNLV. A two-year starter, Summers led the Rebels in 2008 with 740 yards on 183 attempts (4.0 avg.) with eight touchdowns. Summers became the only player in UNLV history to lead the team in both rushing touchdowns (six) and receiving touchdowns (four) during the 2007 season.

n In another move, the team released punter Dirk Johnson, showing that it feels Daniel Sepulveda is completely healed from the torn ACL that cost him the 2008 season.


alexrkirby said...

You don't mention the short terms of these contracts. 3 year deals for everyone. I looked around and at least the Patriots were giving 4th rounders 4 year deals. Shouldn't we want to lock up draftees for cheap rookie deals that are longer?

These 3 year deals make no sense to me unless we have no faith in these picks.

Patrick said...

alex i dont know what will happen with the new CBA but most times, even if you sign a 3 year deal, year 4 you are a Restricted Free Agent.

IMO, RFA is a good deal, lock them up for a mil or so and if not you get good compensation

We might be better off with 3 year deals, but that coud change with a new CBA

Anonymous said...

It doesn't make much diff. Shorter terms saves a bit on signing bonus. Plus, the team owns the players Year 4 rights regardless of whether he's signed for 3 or 4 years. And they can exercise that right going into Y4 with a league determined tender ( diff levels/payouts, depending on comp protection). Longer terms (four years is the max beyond R1 anyways), you end up saving a little bit over the length of the contract. That 4th year is cheap compared to any tender, particularly the higher ones. However, if you're hitting on 50% of your Day 2 picks, then it's probably about a wash, so might as well save up front and pay a little extra on the tender if the player comes good.

Those are the present rules anyways. If a new CBA isn't hammered out, then the team owns the player thru year six, rather than year 4. Either way, it's not a big deal.

alexrkirby said...

Could the shorter deals be in preparation for a possible lockout?

Patrick said...

yeh thats true about 4 year deals, year 4 is cheaper than a RFA tender, but by year 4 you should have an idea of whether or not you like the guy. If you don't, goodbye and if so, you can lock them up for a little more money. It gives you options in my opinion and I think thats what the Steelers like to do. Colon is a good example.

and Alex, thats possible but I don't think anyone is "preparing" for a lockout. Nobody wants that to happen.

Anonymous said...

True. Tho you really have the same option going into year 4 either way. Retain him or not.

The difference is as much with the players you don't keep as with the players keep. So you have to look at the draft class as a whole. If you give all your non-R1/2 players 4 year deals along with the bigger signing bonuses, you end up with more dead money with the 4 or so players you end up cutting along the way. With 4 year deals you have to add the cheaper Y4 salaries of the two or so players who stick with the dead money of the 4 or so players who don't. Then compare it with the three year approach by adding the tender values of the 2 or so players who stick along with the lesser dead money of the player's who don't. It's close to a wash. You're a little better off with 4 year deals, but it's nfl couch-cushion money. Obviously, the better you draft Day 2, the better off you are with 4 year deals.

Still, all that said, whether it's an RFA tender or Y4 of a four year contract, if you're a good player that 4th year gets ripped and rolled into an extension. Colbert seems to like using the tender amounts as a basis for Y1 cap hits on extensions (amort signing bonus + minimum salary = tender amount), so maybe that's why he prefers 3 year deals. Or maybe it's because he's less than stellar on Day 2 picks.

Dale Lolley said...

That's just what they always do. The later round guys are always three-year deals.
It doesn't indicate anything.

Jared - Atlanta said...

I am glad Sepulveda is back, but why didn't they keep an extra punter just for camp?

Dale Lolley said...

Piotr Czech kicks field goals and punts.

Viz-Burgh said...

I'd personally prefer that they lock guys into 4 year deals, but they've always gone the 3 year route past Rd. 2. And it makes more sense when you look at how many of our draft picks get cut after camp & signed to the PS.

At the point they're cut their full Signing Bonus counts against the cap & we re-sign them to the PS under a new contract. And on a vet team like this, if you're not a first rounder (maybe a second) you're no lock to make the 53 man roster. Why commit that cap room to a "maybe" guy when you're always up against the cap anyway?