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Thread: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

      
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    Default Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh
    Bob Labriola - Steelers.com
    Posted Feb 11, 2010



    With Super Bowl XLIV signaling the end of the 2009 NFL season and a celebration the locals have christened Lombardigras in full swing in New Orleans for the foreseeable future, the rest of the league will be turning its attention to the first major event of the offseason.

    The start of free agency in the NFL is on March 5, which is also the date when the lack of a new collective bargaining agreement officially will render 2010 as an uncapped year.

    In between now and then, teams will be able to negotiate exclusively with their own free agents, all the while knowing they have until Feb. 25 to decide whether to use the extra franchise or transition tags the uncapped year provides them as tools to help hold onto the guys they want to keep.

    In a lot of NFL cities, teams will busy themselves with the task of scouring the list of potential free agents and deciding whether to make a big offer right out of the box to one or more of them in the hope of remaking their roster, with a recent example being the Washington Redskins and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth just last year.

    In a lot of NFL cities, but not Pittsburgh.

    The Steelers donít believe in free agency as a primary method of roster-building, and the franchise never has made a significant signing at the start of any period since free agency became a part of the NFL in 1993. In fact, the Steelers traditionally view free agency as a defensive weapon, in that they use it to replace what they have lost.

    Starting in 1993 when they turned to Kevin Greene only after Jerrol Williams had signed an offer sheet with San Diego, the Steelers have been reactionary participants in free agency. And in the 16 seasons since it began, this philosophy often has worked out wonderfully for them.

    Will Wolford arrived after Leon Searcy went to Jacksonville; Jeff Hartings was signed because Dermontti Dawson retired; James Farrior was pursued only after Earl Holmes became unsignable and chose Detroit; and Ryan Clark wears a Steelers uniform today because Chris Hope signed with Tennessee after Super Bowl XL. Even Duce Staley was signed in 2004 only after the Steelers cut their incumbent starting running back Ė Amos Zereoue Ė when Bill Cowher finally realized the Tommy Gun Offense had been a huge mistake.

    Instead of casting a covetous eye around the league as free agency begins, the Steelers will concentrate on their own Ė unrestricted Casey Hampton, Jeff Reed and Ryan Clark, and restricted Willie Colon, just to single out a few of the most familiar names.

    This defensive stance has been known to frustrate their fans, but as free agency ages and is revealed more as the football version of that street con game called three-card monte, they have come to be more accepting.

    If itís tough for Steelers Nation to watch the competition splashing around in the free agent pool, they also have seen teams drown in it. The Washington Redskins, as one example, always are the champions of the opening weekend of free agency, and yet they recently hired Mike Shanahan to fix a system that has yielded only one playoff win in the 2000s.

    What impact the uncapped year has on this particular round on free agency is the great unknown, because even though owners wonít be limited in how much they can spend on payroll this season, there are some restrictions, with the years of service needed by players to become unrestricted jumping from four to six being the primary one.

    But still, NFL free agency will command a lot of attention, as it always does. It already has spawned lists that rank the restricted and unrestricted free agents, both by position and overall; fans will take those lists to arm themselves as they go to message boards and/or dial up their favorite sports talk-show host to make their arguments; and the media will fawn all over the teams that are most active.

    Just not in Pittsburgh.

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...4-9b0e9024b3e6
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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    I'll live with the way the FO has done business in the past. The championships prove that the process has been successful.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Quote Originally Posted by bleedBnG58 View Post
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    I'll live with the way the FO has done business in the past. The championships prove that the process has been successful.
    Agreed... While I am as guilty as others at times about getting cranky about not making any major FA signings, it always seems to work out in our favor... It's just "what it is"... And as you said, the FO has proven that their methods work.
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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    My fear about big splash free agency signings has always been that the player is just chasing the buck and that no loyalty will ever be found. They got big payday and end up being primadonnas and don't worry about performance. Hell I seen plenty of Skins games this season and Fat Albert was off the field more than on. He ****ed Dan good, serves him right though.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    I'm like you guys, I'm happy that our systems has seemed to gain us more Super Bowl wins but, I do at times wished they would just find a player that could fit the scheme.

    I guess they have in the past with guys like, Bettis, Farrior, Clark etc. My issue now is, some of these same guys and others have seemd to have gotten long in the tooth. Others such as William Gay and Ike Taylor are just not what I believe can be a help to our team.

    I never knew what they saw in Gay and Ike, if Ike isn't drawing a flag or missing another chance of an interception, it must be the Steelers offense on the field at that time.

    I really thought the front office and coaches managed to maintain our Super Bowl team and they really fell flat. I believe our biggest problem was age and the lack of quality personale in the secondary.

    What would make me happy is to see Gay and Carter get the boot.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    The Steelers rarely delve deep into FA, and I like it that way. Danny Snyder's a great example of failure when trying to buy winning teams.

    The only big FA pickup the Steelers had in my recollection was Bettis, and I'd say that FA pickup was pretty ****ing good value.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    The Steelers rarely delve deep into FA, and I like it that way. Danny Snyder's a great example of failure when trying to buy winning teams.

    The only big FA pickup the Steelers had in my recollection was Bettis, and I'd say that FA pickup was pretty ****ing good value.
    Bettis was a part of a trade...Farrior has been one hell of a pickup IMO.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    I agree with the Steelers approach to free agency also. The one thing I see this year is that we have a bunch of needs (that have been ignored for too long) that can't be taken care of with jut the draft. I'm not advocating going after a bunch of "big name guys" but maybe more "second tier guys" to either fill needs or provide depth while we keep our talent winning and catch up with real talent over several drafts.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    The Steelers rarely delve deep into FA, and I like it that way. Danny Snyder's a great example of failure when trying to buy winning teams.

    The only big FA pickup the Steelers had in my recollection was Bettis, and I'd say that FA pickup was pretty ****ing good value.



    If they would have won one more SuperBowl with Bettis, the NFL would probably be saying the Steelers pulled in one of the best FA deals ever.

    If Bettis and the Steelers could have made it and won a Super Bowl say, one or two seasons into signing Bettis and plus the2004 season,it would of been thee deal.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    The only big FA pickup the Steelers had in my recollection was Bettis, and I'd say that FA pickup was pretty ****ing good value.
    Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post
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    If they would have won one more SuperBowl with Bettis, the NFL would probably be saying the Steelers pulled in one of the best FA deals ever.

    If Bettis and the Steelers could have made it and won a Super Bowl say, one or two seasons into signing Bettis and plus the2004 season,it would of been thee deal.
    Bettis wasn't a FA signing. He was part of a draft day trade. I think it was Bettis and a third for a second and a fourth.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Quote Originally Posted by costanza2k1 View Post
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    Bettis was a part of a trade...Farrior has been one hell of a pickup IMO.
    Jeff Hartings was a very solid pickup also.
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    Jeff Hartings was a very solid pickup also.
    X2....
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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Even if Bettis was a draft day trade and I'm sure your right, it has to be one of the top trades and had they won an additonal Super Bowl with Bettis, Steelers would be getting the praise of a great trade deal. My bad, since it is the Steelers they would have said we got lucky, or screwed the Rams or something to that affect.

    Hartings was a good signing and so was Farrior and Kevin Green. Duval Love wasn't a bad pick up either.

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    Default Re: Free agency rarely registers in Pittsburgh

    Good read NKy! The article really put The Steelers' philosophy on FA into perspective. I tend to find myself getting over-excited about FA (once the rumors start to fly), just to be "disappointed" year in and year out. However, it doesnt take a genius to recognize that "our" system has worked consistently (for the most part).

    On the other hand, it always sucks to see our "homegrown" talent leave via FA, in their prime, without being a little more pro-active and aggressive in retaining our guys.

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