Monday, March 12, 2012

Free agency set to begin

The free agent period will begin in a couple of days and there's sure to be a furry of activity, even though the salary cap came in at just $120.6 million, a smidgen above what it was last season.

Some teams are always prepared to overpay for somebody else's talent.

As has been the case, don't expect the Steelers to be major players – unless they have to.

The team has been in contact with the agent for wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. And even if he gets an offer on the open market, it's likely he'll at least give the Steelers the opportunity to match.

Outside of that, the Steelers will sit on the sidelines and look for bargains - as they always do.

And the Steelers also won't lose anybody they can't do without.

They will make tender offers on all of their restricted free agents to cover their behind, but if push comes to shove, because of Pittsburgh's iffy cap situation, it won't go crazy to match any offers - save one for wide receiver Mike Wallace.

25 comments:

Viktor said...

Mr. Lolley, if The Steelers were to let Wallace walk what do you see the Steelers doing with their two first round picks?

Anonymous said...

I prefer well-manicured activity myself.

Anonymous said...

I saw that Hutchinson was released from Minnesota. Even at 34 he's a better guard than what we have on the roster. Any shot at a one or two year offer to him to solidify our line? He's had the big contract already but lacks a ring, why not try? I know we'll draft Oline, Dline, and ILB regardless, but that gives an option in FA, opens our draft options a little bit to not have to reach on a guard, and ensures BPA.

marc said...

apparently, hutchinson has been slowed by several injuries the past few seasons. i'd rather the steelers go with the young guys and get them the experience.

with the salary cap barely moving up, that makes it tougher on the steelers. i bet we'll see a couple more cuts here if they need to make room for wallace, etc.

Henigin said...

Dale - have you heard indications that any teams have expressed interest in Ward for the upcoming season? He does seem like the type of guy who would get added a lot later in free agency after the more coveted guys are signed, but just curious if word has gotten out that any teams have contacted him.

Anonymous said...

I was curious about Hutchinson too. If he came in at a low price he might be worth a shot.

He has no more injury history than anyone else on our line. I don't trust Foster/Legursky to stay in the healthy.

I wouldn't be surprised if we sign a cheap FA guard. Just so we aren't forced to draft one high. The Steelers like to have options in the draft.

I'm not 100% sure we can even sign someone cheap though.

Anonymous said...

Is Urbik (Bills) a FA or RFA? Some speculation has been shared on his availability to bring him back to Pittsburgh. We let him go too early and he's developed into a decent guard option.

Dale Lolley said...

They would draft two players at need positions, but I don't see it happening. They'll match an offer for him.

As for Hutchinson, he's pretty much done.

Same goes for Ward, so no, no interest.

Patrick said...

The steelers just picked up 1.6 in cap space. Thanks wash and Dallas

Anonymous said...

^What happened to give us an extra $1.6M?

Henigin said...

Dallas & Washington both structured contracts to push salary into the uncapped year to try to take advantage and leave extra space for the tight years under this new CBA. Space was taken away from them and distributed to other teams.

I have to be honest, I was thinking about the Steelers' cap situation this year and wondered (critically) why the Steelers hadn't done the same as the Skins & Cowboys in the uncapped year to plan ahead and avoid this situation. Obviously, I now know why and am glad they didn't.

adamg said...

Dale, I'm really curious as to why NFLPA, and perhaps even some of the free spending owners, agreed to a CBA with a salary cap for 2011 and 2012 that is around 8% lower than the last capped year in 2009. NFLPA must have known that would cost many of their highly paid veteren members jobs. Was that the price NFLPA decided to pay for revamping the revenue sharing formula? Any insight?

Dale Lolley said...

They agreed to it A. because they wanted the strike over, and B. Because they knew that the cap would go up considerably in 2013.

As for Urbik, I believe he is restricted

Mizou said...

If Urbik is indeed Restricted, how exactly does that word with tenders? We drafted him... but the Bills can tender him and get a 3rd (or was it 4th?) round pick that they never spent? Doesn't seem that fair to me.

bruinmann77 said...

I am curious what the steelers will do in FA.
I am sure they will find an under the radar Guy to come in and make impact

Patrick said...

The Wallace situation is about the only thing to watch for the Steelers. I really think hes a goner, because the Steelers won't be able to match the front loaded offer he gets with their cap situation. It will be more than interesting to see what they do with two first round picks. I would expect a trade up and a trade down, landing two starters in the process.

I like Wallace, but Brown and Sanders are a good enough duo, especially if Cotchery is back.

The other thing to watch for is if the Bengals start spending the $50 mil in cap room they have. They could be a dangerous team if they upgrade a few key spots.

Eric T said...

I think Wallace stays. I don't think there is a team out there willing to: lock up ~$10 million of their cap while the Steelers decide whether to match; Give up a 1st and pay that much money to a free agent WR.

Especially when they can get an albeit lesser talented WR who is unrestricted for a less front loaded contract.

Patrick said...

I really think a cap hit of 7.5 million this year will be too much for the Steelers. I'm not saying he gets $10 mil a year, but if you front load the contract some its more attractive to Wallace and harder for the Steelers to match.

I agree that a first round pick + the contract is a lot for Wallace. If it doesn't happen I won't be shocked. I just think Wallace's speed will entice someone.

adamg said...

Thanks, Dale.

marc said...

the niners are going to sign moss to a 1 year deal, so they're probably out of the running for wallace.

Anonymous said...

was reading over at Behind The Steel Curtain that Larry Grant from the 49ers might be a good option in free agency. He hurt us this year as a back up player and would be an upgrade over Sylvester. He's a RFA with only a 7th round tender. I'd totally take an ILB as starter material for a 7th round pick. I'd love to see us make that move for him.

Anonymous said...

do the 49ers know something people don't know about Grant though? It was pretty clear to just about everyone watching games he played, and not just talking about the steelers-niners game, that he was pretty damn good

and they give him a 7th round tender?? There's like no chance they keep him with that. And I don't think the 49ers are a team with cap problems at the moment

Keevin said...

Free agents I hope the Steelers look at:

Michael Bush, RB
Mike Tolbert, RB
Marcel Reese, FB
Stephen Tulloch, ILB
Dan Connor, ILB
Curtis Lofton, ILB
David Hawthorne, ILB

I just don't see any good guards. They won't sign Hutchinson

Henigin said...

The 49ers would still have the opportunity to match any contract offer, so it would almost be fruitless for the Steelers to make an offer, being more limited in cap space. The only wild card is if the Steelers or someone else would be willing to pay Grant more than the 49ers think he's worth

Anonymous said...

Been noticing a lot of veteran players around the league are getting the axe to cut cap room, many are gonna have to swallow some pride and sign somewhere for alot cheaper if they wanna play this year. Which is where I see us potentially coming in..