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Friday, July 25, 2014

Steelers arrive at camp

The biggest "news" of the day came before the day even really began when Art Rooney II said on the Steelers web site that he had spoken to Ben Roethlisberger regarding his contract status and that a new deal would not be talked about until after this season.

That was pretty much the general feeling about the situation, but Rooney certainly put any speculation about a new contract  for the quarterback during this training camp to bed.

"I met with Ben shortly before we did the Maurkice Pouncey signing just to make sure Ben understood where we were in our intentions as far as a contract extension for him," Rooney said. "I just didn't want him to feel like we were moving ahead with other players without any communication.

"I talked to Ben, and then we talked to his agent, Ryan Tollner, about where we are and the fact we intend on addressing Ben's contract situation after the season, so that we could address a number of other players who were going into their last year in 2014. I think Ben understands that's our intention and the way we'd like to proceed. I think we had a good conversation."

Roethlisberger has two years remaining on his current deal and will make $12.1 million in base salary this season.

But the Steelers have a number of key players heading into the final year of their contracts, including cornerback Cortez Allen, linebacker Jason Worilds, who was transition tagged this season and offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert.

Currently, the team has just over $6 million in salary cap space remaining.

Rooney said that Roethlisberger wants to be part of a winning team moving forward. And for that to happen, the Steelers need to address some of their other positions before working out a new deal with the quarterback.

The cap is expected to go up in 2015 from its current $133 million to around $140 million, also giving the Steelers additional flexibility to work out a new deal with Roethlisberger after this season.

@ Mike Mitchell, the Steelers' new starting free safety, will open camp on the pup list with a groin injury suffered while working out in the offseason.

Mitchell was signed to a five-year, $25-million contract to replace Ryan Clark.

That's a big blow since Mitchell only got a few days to work with Troy Polamalu during mini-camp this year. Mitchell is expected to be out about a week.

@ Guard Ramon Foster was excused while dealing with a death in the family, while punter Adam Podlesh was excused to be home with his wife, who is expecting a child this weekend.

@ Everyone completed the run test Friday, though massive rookie defensive tackle Daniel McCullers - all 6-7, 352 pounds of him - was obviously struggling at the end.


Steve-O said...

I think I counted 8 "obviously"s in Tomlin's press conference, which indicates he's already in mid-season form. On a side note he did indicate there would be lots of,tackle football at this camp which should make for,some spirited training. Hopefully nobody breaks Archer in the Backs on Backers drills!

Dale Lolley said...

They'll do live tackling in the run sessions as they did last year. Should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

More than last year? They had a heavier than usual emphasis on tackling last training camp. That sure paid off.

I think time might be better spent emphasizing gap integrity, assignment football.

Why do I get the feeling they added Shazier and Mitchell to help paper over those mistakes rather than correct them? Adding speed to chase down those mistakes. And perhaps to try to make lemonade out of last year's lemon. With Shazier and Mitchell on that side (and Heyward), Jones doesn't have to worry about fits, rush lanes, or contain anymore. He can do whatever he wants, like at Georgia, and let everyone else clean up behind him.