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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

They finally meet

Film at 11. According to Ed Bouchette, Ben Roethlisberger and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley have finally had their meeting.

Pretty exciting, huh?

I guess we can now move on to the next offseason crisis for the Steelers.

@ The Steelers have restructed the contract of offensive tackle Willie Colon, converting $3.8 million of Colon's $4.5 million salary in 2012 into bonus money.

The $3.8 million will count over the final four years of Colon's contract.

Colon, of course, will be counted on to return at RT after missing most of the past two seasons.

Marcus Gilbert will shift to left tackle.

The Steelers still have some salary trimming to do, but much like the move with Colon, it's not all that difficult.

The players like it as well. Instead of waiting for their checks throughout the season, they get one big fat one in the offseason.


Anonymous said...

Dale, national speculation really seems to be heating up regarding teams making a play for Wallace. Are you still adamant that the Steelers can give him the first-round restricted tender without another team making him an offer?

Steve-O said...

Actually anonymous, the national speculation (according to Jason LaCanfora/ is that the Steelers are worried that other teams will come after Wallace. And... that their salary cap issues will make it all but impossible to franchise tag him.

I tend to think the Steelers are concerned, but not panicked. If it truly meant that much to the organization they would franchise Wallace. Again, I fall back to the position that he plays. Wide receiver... With maybe the exception of Jerry Rice (in his prime) I can't think of any Wide Receiver who would cause a team to implode if he left.

Whatever happens, happens. I still think teams are hesitant to give up both a #1 draft pick AND a monumental salary.... for a Wide Receiver... but there area few foolish GMs who could prove me wrong.

Patrick said...

Peerless Price once went for a 1st Rd pick. Roy Williams went for some ridiculous amount. Even Julio Jones went for a bounty without playing a down.

Wallace probably is worth a first round pick. The Steelers may be forced to match the offer from another team, but thats just not their style so I don't see it happening.

If I'm correct, both Sanders and Brown are restricted next year. So they need to make a choice - they aren't going to give both Wallace and Brown big deals.

The wisest thing might be to give him permission to seek a trade so that they can prevent him from going to NE/Balt/Cincy, etc.

Does anyone know what pick of the Patriots the Steelers would get? I'm assuming 31 since that is "theirs" technically. If so, thats where I see him going.

Dale Lolley said...

The Steelers aren't going to upset the apple cart to sign Wallace to a ridiculous deal. They're not going to pay him more than, say, Troy Polamalu.

Given that they will be in the same situation next year with Brown and Sanders, they can't necessarily break the bank to pay Wallace at the cost of losing one or both of those two promising players.

Also, given their cap situation and the fact the strength of this draft is with the big uglies, having two first rounders wouldn't be the end of the world.

Also consider what they have done with mid-round draft picks at the WR position in recent years and the fact that Todd Haley has been proven to improve wideouts and it's not beyond the realm of possibilities.

That said, it's a deep WR group in free agency. If you asked me if I'd rather sign, say, Desean Jackson and keep my first-round pick, I'd do that if I were a GM. You get the added bonus of a fantastic punt returner.

Patrick said...

Isn't Jackson franchised, or going to be?

marc said...

i just don't see why wallace would demand a mega deal. he is fast and can get behind the DB's. But opposing defenses adjusted and he was very pedestrian the second half of last season. and, he does not do a good job of going up and taking the ball.

to steve-o, i believe the lions would implode without johnson. the pats without welker. the cards without fitzgerald. the bengals without green. just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

"...they aren't going to give both Wallace and Brown big deals."
Brown hasn't earned a big deal yet, and may not next year either. Sanders to this point hasn't proven that he's anything more than the new Will Blackwell.

Fans need to quit worrying about how we can afford to re-sign guys in future years that may prove very affordable ... or that we may not even want to re-sign when the time comes.

Large salaries are earned on the field. Only 1 of our WRs has earned a large salary to date ... and his name is not Antonio Brown.

Anonymous said...

I'm preparing for life without Wallace, quite frankly. Too many teams out there that are desperate to add an electrifying guy like Wallace. A GM of a team on the brink of success will lunge at the opportunity to grab Wallace. As Steeler fans, we are accustomed to successful drafts, whereas many other teams have been striking out year after year. Which is why I believe the market for Wallace will be more open than it appears. I'm hoping if we lose Wallace it will be to a team that is picking in the mid-to-late 'teens of the first round. His age alone gives him much more value than any of the other FA WR's, and his stats are very comparable to most of them.

If we lose Wallace we can sign Cotchery long term and look for WR early in the draft next year as we won't be able to keep both Brown and Sanders next year.

Tom said...

Two first round picks would do this team wonders. We could package them together and move way, way up and get a game changer.
Or we can draft Poe/Hightower/Glenn, pick any two. Win-win situation here I believe.

Anonymous said...

2 questions

Wasn't there used to be a tender that was like a 1st and a 2nd?

If the Bengals get Wallace, which first rd pick do we get. Bengals have 2 1sts

Robbie said...

"Wasn't there used to be a tender that was like a 1st and a 2nd?"

1st and 3rd.

"If the Bengals get Wallace, which first rd pick do we get. Bengals have 2 1sts"

Their own, not the one they got from Oakland.

Robbie said...

If some team wants to overpay for Wallace, I guess there's nothing the Steelers can do. I'm just bothered by the suggestion that the Steelers are unwilling or unable to pay Wallace fair market value.

As for fair market value, I'd look at the deals last year for Santonio Holmes, Woodley and Timmons. Something between 5-6 years, $9-10 million per year, and $20-25 million guaranteed. If the Steelers lose him for any amount that's not greater than that, I'd consider it a massive failure by the front office.

Dale Lolley said...

As things currently stand, this team can't afford a deal like that Robbie.
Maybe next year when the cap goes up significantly, but not this year.

As for Brown and Sanders becoming free agents next year, I think the Steelers would rather give those two a combined $9 mill deal than keep Wallace and lose both of those receivers next year.

steelcan said...

I wonder if this might be the best scenario: The Steelers put a solid offer to Wallace pre March13. (I understand they are talking to his agent right now). Wallace decides to test the market. and signs elsewhere. The Steelers get another #1 pick, to fill another need. With the $ they offered Wallace, the sign someone like, D Jackson, V Jackson, Stevie Johnson etc. Then you ask yourself are the Steelers better with Wallace, or for example Stevie Johnson AND Hightower (for example)? Something to consider.

Patrick said...

"Brown hasn't earned a big deal yet, and may not next year either. Sanders to this point hasn't proven that he's anything more than the new Will Blackwell."

so lets get this straight. Issac Redman and his 52 carries in 2010 had nothing to prove in 2011 but Brown and his 69 catches in 2011 has something to prove in 2012?

Because when I suggested before this year that Redman wasn't proven, all hell broke lose.

I'm not saying Brown deserves a huge deal right now, but hes obviously a hell of a player already and is going to be in the exact situation as Wallace next year.

Anonymous said...

"As for Brown and Sanders becoming free agents next year, I think the Steelers would rather give those two a combined $9 mill deal than keep Wallace and lose both of those receivers next year."

Brown and Sanders have 6 receiving TDs between them over 2 years. At $9m combined, we would be seriously overpaying very replaceable commodities.

Robbie said...

"As things currently stand, this team can't afford a deal like that Robbie.
Maybe next year when the cap goes up significantly, but not this year."

It depends on how the deal is structured, doesn't it? Couldn't they structure it so there's a low 2012 cap number and a high 2013 cap number?

bruinmann77 said...

This will be something new for the Steelers getting two first rounders.They can either fill 2 potential spots and of course use those to move into a spot to grab a stud

Patrick said...

If the Steelers have two 1st round picks they will maybe trade up using their 3rd round pick. No way would they trade both of the firsts to move up.

Its way early in mock land - but imagine getting Poe and DeCastro in one draft? Seems like a good deal to me.

adamg said...

On either NFL Live or NFL32, they were discussing the possibility of Wallace going to Cincy with a Cincy beat writer. The writer thought it was possible they could go after Wallace, but doubted Wallace fits their offensive system as a red zone and possession receiver. He felt they already have the field stretcher in AJ Green.

Anonymous said...

Wallace fits every team Adamg. stop posting garbage

Anonymous said...

I would love to put off the Wallace v. Brown decision for another year if it comes to that, or keep them both somehow.

Would hate to lose Wallace partly because there's still money being eaten by Hampton (literally?), A. Smith, Ward, Farrior, etc.

Is Wallace worth a first-round pick? Probably. Is Wallace worth a first-round pick plus a huge contract that a late first-round pick would not get when there are other excellent receivers out there commanding similar money? Probably not.

Anonymous Brian

marc said...

to one of the anons,

brown, who set a franchise record for all purpose yards, is not a commodity. he's your team mvp, young and talented.

i still believe the steelers will continue to slash and dash their cap number down with the intent on signing wallace and trying to work out a new deal for brown before training camp. maybe that's crazy talk, but just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Dale - Why don't they cut Farrior? He sucks

Anonymous said...

"to one of the anons,

brown, who set a franchise record for all purpose yards, is not a commodity. he's your team mvp, young and talented."

Brown caught 69 passes for 1108 yards and 2 TDs despite being targeted more than any other receiver on the team. That type of production is hardly earth shattering. It's possible that he blows up next season and produces like a #1 WR, but I'm not going to assume that type of production without any seeing evidence of it.

When Brown can deliver 80% of Wallace's production including TDs (which are kind of important) while facing double coverage, then we can discuss allowing Wallace to walk to save money for Brown and Sanders. Until then, we only have 1 WR that needs paying.

Anonymous said...

To take a different side of this, the maybe it's Ben and the Steelers system that makes the WRs good. The Steelers have had a ridiculous embarrassment of riches in the past ~8 yrs: Ward, Holmes, Wallace, Brown, Burress, Randle El, Washington, Sanders. Granted, that doesn't mean that every WR they have drafted has turned out to be good (Limas Sweed, Willie Reid, Fred Gibson).

What other team in the NFL can boast that kind of resume at acquiring WRs over the past decade? Belichick has been trying to draft WRs since he took over the Pats, and the only decent draft pick he has made at WR in 12 yrs is Deion Branch. The Ravens finally found a decent WR in the draft with Torrey Smith, but have been HORRIBLE at burning picks on that position. The same can be said of the Eagles with DeSean Jackson (maybe Maclin or Avant, but the jury's still out on them).

For whatever reason, the Steelers seem to be pretty good at acquiring and/or developing WR talent, so could it be that they would be completely fine to watch Wallace snatched up by someone else to get that extra 1st? I don't think that's really the case, but interesting to consider nonetheless. Either way, I agree with those who are saying it wouldn't be the end of the world to get a late 1st for him. He would never command the bounty that Julio Jones or Roy Williams brought, because those are big & physically dominant (supposed at the time in the case of Williams) guys and seem to be more desirable and valuable to most teams when it comes to trades and WR contracts. Even Torry Holt - another speed guy who was never very big or physical - never got a show-stopper contract.

Henigin said...

whoops, the last "different side" Anonymous was me

Anonymous said...

Excerpt from an ESPN article:

"Wallace, taken by the Steelers in the third round of the 2009 NFL draft, acknowledged on Wednesday that he might not be playing for Pittsburgh this season.

"(Pittsburgh is) where I would like to be, but we all know that it is a business and you have certain things you have to handle," Wallace told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "So if I have to go elsewhere, you know Pittsburgh will always be in my heart, but I have to do what I have to do."

Sounds like he wants the bidding war to begin. Not looking good at this point.

Anonymous said...

who was the last tendered player to be signed by another team? Hutchinson?

poison pill scenario?

Dale Lolley said...

There will not be a poison pill. The NFL has basically eliminated that.
Of course Wallace is going to talk like that. His agent is coaching him up to get the best deal possible.

Any new deal he would sign with the Steelers would have a low salary in the first season - but would also have to include a hefty signing bonus.

Kevin Colbert said today that the team will do what it has to do to keep Wallace.

marc said...

brown and wallace's receiving numbers are almost identical and brown was only targeted 10 more times. that's less than 1 more per game.

you make it sound like wallace is the only deserving WR to get paid on the team and it couldn't be further from the truth.

but like i already said, and colbert proved me right today, they will find a way to keep wallace. and they will be able to keep brown next year when there is a nice bump in the salary cap.

Anonymous said...

What are their numbers for games 9-17? During the second half of the season, Wallace disappeared (hurt? looked a bit soft)and Brown looked like the better all-around receiver to the (my) eye test.

I'll keep them both, thanks, but I doubt Brown's emergence is simply, or even primarily, because of safeties worried about Wallace. The way things went as the season went on, Wallace should have benefited from Brown's play. It would help if he would fight for a ball now and then.

Anonymous Brian

adamg said...

BR just re-did his contract which probably brings the team under the cap.

alexrkirby said...

Brown is our best all around receiver but he isn't a true #1 imho.

Wallace could be a true elite #1 but he doesn't fight for the ball and runs bad routes.

Neither player is worth paying 9mil a year for. Wallace might be that good someday but he isn't right now.

Anonymous said...

This nonsense about Wallace not going up for the ball is killing me. I admit it seemed his intensity dropped off at the end of the season but IMO it was one of his best attributes before that slump.

I don't think that's going to carry over to next season or become a bad habit for the rest of his career.