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Saturday, February 20, 2010

2010 Franchise numbers

Here are the 2010 franchise tag salaries. They are arrived at by taking the average of the top five salaries at each position.
It is any wonder why the Steelers are considering franchising Casey Hampton or Jeff Reed?

Dollar values are, of course, in millions.


Anonymous said...

Outside of Reed and Hampton I don't think there's anyone on the team we'd even consider placing a tag on... and even then it's hard to commit to something that expensive. The Max Starks debacle is a clear example of how the tag can get things out of wack. Starks is a good Tackle but I believe he is overpaid because the Steelers couldn't get a better tackle in the draft, they'd all been taken ahead of their pick. So in essence Starks benefited from a tough market, not because of his superior ability.

Dale Lolley said...

Actually, when you look at what the franchise tag for o-linemen now is, the Steelers made out OK on Starks. The franchise tag would have cost them nearly 11 million this year.
Is he a little overpaid? Sure. But he's an average to above-average LT. He'll never be an All-Pro, but neither was John Jackson and the Steelers did OK with him manning that tough spot for a long time.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Thanks for posting these figures, Dale. Considering Sebastian Janikowski's new contract (4 years, $16 million, including $9 million guaranteed), that $2.8 million tag for kickers (Jeff Reed) doesn't look so bad.

On the other hand, Reed's short kickoffs -- just three (?!!!) touchbacks last season, last in the league (correct?) -- are an issue. If I'm not mistaken, didn't the Steelers rank 32nd in the league in average kickoff return and field position on kickoffs? It's an issue, and not one to be discounted.

Off-topic: Might the Steelers consider signing Pariots' free agent right guard (and unrestricted free agent) Stephen Neal? Or, for that matter, LG Logan Mankins (who's a better player but whose price would be prohibitive, presumably)?

Ted said...

The Starks problems last offseason did cost us. The Steelers had so much tied up in his tag that they had no cap space to resign Mcfadden. This turned out to be a disaster for our defense. We did eventually get a deal worked out with Starks but the delay cost us big time. If we had kept Mcfadden last year I say we win one more game and make the playoffs. That is how badly Gay and our secondary played at times.

Anonymous said...

Ted, you must not have suffered watching McFadden get beaten like a rented mule repeatedly for the Cards...

Anonymous said...

Gay held his own in a couple of games. BMac on the other hand was out of position almost every game

Neither is a great corner, but I'd take the cheaper Gay for now

Anonymous said...

9 billion is a lot for a CB ;)

marc said...

i'd take mcfadden. he appears better in run support and to be a better tackler than gay.

yes, mcfadden got beat often with the cards, but he worked well in our defensive system.

wilfork was tagged by the pats. hampton will be next.

Ted said...

Exactly marc, Mcfadden played badly for the Cards, not for us. With a better system around him Mcfadden would have been fine. When Gay and Mcfadden rotating last year opposing offenses could not single him out but this year it was a free for all.

Patrick said...

I'm not losing any sleep over McFadden. Not worth anywhere near what he would have cost.

Keenan Lewis or Joe Burnett needs to be able to start next year or the Steelers need a FA pick up. I don't see a rookie coming in and starting from Day 1 unless his name is Joe Haden and he'll be long gone.

marc said...

patrick, you're not losing any sleep over mcfadden because of his cost in dollar terms. however, the spot he vacated has become the weakest link in our defense.

hindsight is 20/20, but knowing what we know now, paying up for macfadden sure does seem worth it. you've got think his presence would have been a positive for our defense and helped us make the playoffs. we wouldn't be potentially spending another draft pick on a corner this year.

it's like a ripple effect and the cost in dollar terms may well end up being more than if we could have just paid him to begin with.

again, it's 20/20 looking back, but i wish we kept him.

Patrick said...

I disagree mostly because I see him as a very slight upgrade over Gay, but way more pricey.

I do like his physical presence a lot more than Gay's, but he wasn't exactly shutting down his side of the field in AZ.

I don't think our season would have looked remarkably different with McFadden in the line up is my point.

But I think reasonable minds can differ on it, and here we do.

Patrick said...

one last thing: if the Steelers always spent $$$ to keep guys like McFadden, they'd be in a lot of trouble.

More times than not when they let someone hit the market they are for the right reasons and I think McFadden was one they got right.

But just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Yo, the weak spot in the Steelers defense was the one where Polamalu used to be.

When Troy was in the line-up, Gay, Ike, and Clark all played OK. When he was out, not so much.

Dale Lolley said...

They thought Gay would be better than he was. In fact, he played more snaps in 2008 than McFadden did, even after McFadden came back from the forearm injury.
The entire secondary was better with Polamalu out there.

marc said...

i do not think gay was any better with polamalu out there. did he benefit from having polamalu roaming all over the place? - of course.

but, that doesn't mean he played any better. he was still getting beat and he was still suspect on run support and tackling.

again, in hindsight, keeping macfadden, letting gay continue to improve, and not spending 2 picks on corners in the same draft would probably have us better off right now.

Patrick said...

I don't agree they would be better off. But like I said, its debatable and I get where you're coming from.

This is around the time of year I start digging up the mock drafts. The past 7 or 8 I have read all have Iupati being the Steelers pick. So much will change between now and the draft, but I really like the chances of that being the pick.

But if it is, I would expect Rounds 2 and 3 would almost have to be LB/S. (I'm assuming Hampton gets tagged or signed)

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Iupati's stock has sky-rocketed since the Senior Bowl. There's a good chance he may be taken before the Steelers pick. If he's there, I say take him. If not, there may be another draft option for the right guard position: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. From what I've read about him, his strengths would play right into the guard position. "Position Flexibility." Just like Iupati. Or, for that matter, Trai Essex, for what that's worth. Of course, Darnell Stapleton returns, too, for what THAT's worth, and Kraig Urbik, too for what's THAT's worth.

For all we know, the Steelers actually LIKE their offensive line, as hard as that is to believe. They couldn't possibly like their secondary, however.

So, back to your discussion, guys, about cornerback: Joe Haden will be gone. Earl Thomas (who's a safety, really, but supposedly could play corner) could well be gone, too. Here's one possible solution: Sign free agent corner LEIGH BODDEN from New England. He may be pricey but would provide an immediate solution. For that matter, while we're at it, sign New England's free agent starting right guard Stephen Neal.

Short of a free agent signing, no other draft option (at cornerback or safety) likely merits a pick at No. 18 in the first round. Chances are good, then, that the Steelers trade down, out of the eighteenth pick, to stockpile additional selections, maybe even for next year's draft (more likely for this year's draft) to address multiple positions. I keep hearing Kevin Colbert say, "This is a deep draft." That, to me, is code for "We're seriously looking to TRADE DOWN."

marc said...

even if they tag hampton, which they should, they still need to draft a NT for the future.

does anyone think it's possible they trade up to grab a corner?

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

By all accounts, Joe Haden is the only corner slated to be drafted ahead of where the Steelers pick at No. 18, and Haden may well go in the top 10, possibly to Cleveland at No. 6. There's no way the Steelers trade up that high -- it would cost way too much, and they have way too many needs.

Earl Thomas, on the other hand, may fall into their laps at No. 18. Maybe not, too.

Another possibility at corner: One mock draft (CBS projects Kyle Wilson, a cornerback from Boise State, going to Atlanta at pick No. 19, just after the Steelers' pick. For the Steelers, then, drafting Wilson would NOT be a reach, not at all. For what it's worth, Mel Kiper also likes Wilson a LOT. Wislon's supposed to be a very good cover corner who acquitted himself very well at the Senior Bowl. He really could be a possibility -- a good one -- especially factoring in the fact that Ike Taylor becomes a free agent after the 2010 season (if I am correct?). If you look at the Steelers' drafting history, going back probably 10 years, their approach frequently has been to anticipate which guys will hit free agency the subsequent year and draft players (if it makes sense) at those positions. Drafting Kyle Wilson could make a LOT of sense -- if he can, uh, you know, actually play.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

... and, speaking of corners, why do I get the feeling Keenan Lewis is barely on the fringe of the Steelers' plans?

marc said...

i was very disappointed they drafted 2 corners last year. it was almost like saying, "well, let's hope one of them sticks around."

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

It wasn't so much that they drafted two corners last year -- just that they didn't draft the RIGHT corners.

Granted, Miami had the "advantage" of drafting ahead of the Steelers. But Miami did just fine drafting two corners -- Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. Both are starters and look to only get better as time goes on. Arguably, Davis and Smith are the best young corner tandem this side of Cincinnati.

The Dophins drafted Davis at 1/25 and Smith at 2/61.

The Steelers' picks were Ziggy Hood at 1/32 and (following a trade whereby we dealt our 2nd and 4th-round picks to Denver) Kraig Urbik at 3/79, Mike Wallace at 3/84 and Keenan Lewis at 3/96. Our next picks were Joe Burnett at 5/168 and Frank Summers at 5/169.

The trouble with drafting Lewis is that, apparently (assuming Lewis is a complete washout), you've wasted not only the pick you used on him last year, but now you've got to chase that mistake and try to make up for it this year -- at the expense of another position. The margin of error in this league is to thin to make wasted picks in rounds one through three in the draft. Lewis may yet pan out, yet, but it's not a good sign that he was leapfrogged for nickel/dime playing time by Joe Burnett. And, if you look at the Depth Chart for Game 16 vs. the Dolphins, he was still listed at No. 3 at right corner behind Willaim Gay and Deshea Townsend. Lewis had one tackle last season. One. Tackle. All. Year.

Well, it's something to build on.

Patrick said...

With Hampton tagged, I doubt you see a NT taken before Rd 3. But we'll see

Anonymous said...

Let's not give up on Lewis and Burnett just yet. Every year Steeler Fans label rookies who don't play much as busts (Polamalu and Timmons). If I remember correctly the Steeler's coaches were raving about Lewis last off-season. He got banged up early in the year and never recovered. Burnett showed some good things and he will only get better with time. Also, I think Gay might actually improve if he gets his confidence back.

I beleive the first pick will come from OL, DL, S or LB.

Chas Steel

marc said...

boy, what a wasted draft that could end up being.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Chas Steel: Yeah, agreed, it's too early for those of us outside the Steelers' organization to write off Keenan Lewis. I hope he makes the Pro Bowl this year, but ... it's worrisome.

Looking at this year's draft -- not in the order that players might be taken, but looking solely at the positions that might be taken ahead of the Steelers at 1/18 -- the following is possible, in no particular order: five offensive tackles (Okung, Bulaga, A.Davis, T.Williams, B. Campbell, etc.); five or six defensive linemen (Suh, G. McCoy, D. Morgan, J.Pierre-Paul, C. Dunlap, B.Graham, D.Williams, E.Griffin),two quarterbacks (Clausen, Bradford), one RB (C.J. Spiller), one cornerback (Joe Haden), one safety (Eric Berry), one wideout (Dez Bryant, two or three linebackers(R.McClain, S.Kindle, etc.)... that's 17-18-19 players right there.

I'm not saying THOSE names will BE the players chosen ahead of the Steelers, I'm just wondering, considering all that, who WILL be there when the Steelers pick at No. 18? It definitely leaves some intriguing options and lots of room for debate. Should they take the sixth or seventh-best offensive tackle? The highest-rated guard? (Mike Iupati) ... The fifth-best defensive lineman? ... Or the second-rated safety (Earl Thomas, Taylor Mays or whomever) ... Or, for that matter, the second-rated cornerback (Kyle Wilson or whomever they identify as the second-best corner)?

Lots to think about.

Dale Lolley said...

Why is Lewis a washout? Because he hurt his back early in the season - and they really didn't say anything about it until later - and didn't get on the field?
He's in their plans, as is Burnett.

Anonymous said...

If he's not a Pro Bowler in his first year, then he's a washout.

Tim said...

I've heard nothing but good things about Keenan Lewis from every source I can find. I'm counting on him to contribute this year.

Ted said...

The question mark surround Keenan Lewis was whether he had the speed to play corner in the NFL from what I recall. He wasn't exactly a burner at the combine but that doesn't mean he won't be good. I had heard talk last year he might be able to play safety in the NFL if need be.

Dale Lolley said...

Combine speed is overrated. Deshea Townsend wasn't a burner. He's been a valuable member of this team for more than a decade. Same with Hines Ward.
Do they play fast? That's the question.
Mike Mamula ran fast, couldn't play a lick. Fabian Washington was the fastest player at the combine when he came out, he's been a journeyman.