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Thread: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

      
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    Default Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    On the Steelers: Lamarr Woodley -- The high cost of not doing business

    A byproduct of the coming capless season might make it impossible for the team to sign their Pro Bowl linebacker to a long-term deal.


    Sunday, May 16, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



    The uncertain NFL labor future may cost the Steelers Lamarr Woodley, who will likely deserve more in a contract than the team will be allowed to offer.
    The Steelers and the agent for LaMarr Woodley face what appear to be insurmountable obstacles to negotiate a long-term deal for the young Pro Bowl linebacker. Unless there is a new collective bargaining agreement soon, it would be near impossible for them to do a multi-year contract.

    Written into the current CBA is what is called the 30 percent rule, which went into effect this year. Any new contract cannot contain salaries more than 30 percent above a player's 2009 salary each year.

    Woodley earned $460,000 in 2009 as part of the four-year contract he signed in 2007 and will expire after the 2010 season. For the Steelers to negotiate a new long-term contract, his 2010 salary could increase only 30 percent, or $138,000, to $598,000. For each year of Woodley's new deal, he could not earn in salary more than $138,000 over the previous year. In 2011, his salary could only go to $736,000, in 2012 to $874,000 and, in 2013, he would finally hit seven figures at $1,012,000.

    Those are woefully low for a player of the status of Woodley, who led the team with 13.5 sacks last season after his 11.5 (plus six more in the postseason) in 2008.

    Woodley could expect a five-year contract for at least $40 million, probably more. The Steelers signed linebacker James Harrison to a six-year, $51.75 million contract last year.

    With the 30 percent rule, the Steelers could only give Woodley $4.37 million of that in salaries over a five-year contract. The rest would have to come in a signing bonus of more than $35 million. That's not going to happen. Under the 30 percent rule, roster bonuses count as salary, so they could not get around it by using roster bonuses spread out over the five-year contract.

    There is no way around it. Unless there is a new CBA by March, the Steelers will have to wait and either make Woodley their franchise player or he could become restricted if this year's non-cap rules carry over to 2011. Both of those would be somewhat of a gamble, particularly if the NFL negotiates a new CBA on, say, March 5 that does not include franchise tags. Woodley could become an instant unrestricted free agent.

    The 49ers did negotiate a contract extension for their outstanding linebacker, Patrick Willis. He was taken by them 11th overall in the same draft as Woodley, 2007. But Willis received much higher salaries in his new deal because they were based on his 2009 salary of $2,540,000. That's a lot easier to work with than Woodley's salary of $460,000, which was based on him being a second-round pick, the 46th overall player taken.

    Jeff Reed finds himself in a good spot for the Steelers being able to negotiate a contract with him. The kicker does not fall into the 30 percent rule because his contract expired after the 2009 season and they then made him their franchise player. They can start at any base salary with Reed they want.

    That also is the case with tackle Willie Colon, who is a restricted free agent for the second year. So far, however, the team has chosen not to negotiate a multi-year contract with Colon.


    Good choice, wrong Hall

    Art Rooney Jr. was inducted a few weeks ago into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He headed some of the best drafts in NFL history with the Steelers, including the best of them all, 1974, which produced four Hall of Famers (Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster) among other stars.

    Men like Rooney, who is Dan Rooney's brother, and longtime Steelers scout Bill Nunn should be considered more seriously for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both have been nominated multiple times. At least, there should be a special wing honoring the contributions of scouts and personnel men in pro football and on-field officials.

    The Hall also should consider recognizing some of the black pioneers of the game. Not enough attention has been paid to the league's unofficial banning of black players from 1934 until 1946, when re-integration resumed sporadically and at a slow pace. The Steelers had one of only two black players in the NFL in 1933 on their roster, Ray Kemp. He supposedly quit after that season to go into coaching, but by 1934 there were no blacks in the league and none for the next dozen years.

    Baseball, which had banned blacks for a much longer period, at least found a way to try to make amends and induct many into its Hall of Fame.


    The Brian Cushing case: A morality tale gone amok?

    The Associated Press' unprecedented revote for NFL defensive rookie of the year and the moralizing that followed was interesting. Brian Cushing, pictured at left, won it the first time in a landslide and won it the second time in a much closer vote.

    These are the same people who chose Bill Belichick as the 2007 AP Coach of the Year, the same year the coach and the Patriots were fined heavily and docked a first-round draft pick for cheating. That award was an abomination and only the New York Giants saved the NFL from delivering another tainted Lombardi Trophy to New England.

    Why should players be held to higher standards than coaches? If those at the AP felt this way, they should have just rescinded Cushing's award and given it to the runner-up.


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10136...#ixzz0o4Cb3zTs

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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    LaMarr Woodley's off-season has brought some NFL challenges
    By Hugh Bernreuter | The Saginaw News
    May 14, 2010, 7:35AM


    LaMarr Woodley is "tackled" by a group of kids at the 2009 LaMarr Woodley-Clifton Ryan football camp.

    LaMarr Woodley has to wonder if there’s some serious karma working against him. The former Michigan and Saginaw High star is in the final year of his contract, [HIGH-LIGHT]but because there is no collective bargaining agreement in place, rules stipulate that he can only get a 30-percent raise instead of the multi-year, multi-million dollar contract Pro Bowlers get.[/HIGH-LIGHT] Then, the Steelers’ first two draft picks were linebackers. Ouch. Hopefully, his free football camp at Saginaw High on June 12 realigns his fortunes.

    http://www.mlive.com/sports/saginaw/...leys_off-.html
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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    sure makes sense out of the drafting of the LBs...maybe the FO knows more than some think they know. who was it that started the stupid "fire the GM" thread, anyway? maybe that mouth breather should get a posting suspension.

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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    'Wood has become my favorite Steeler since #91 Greene...b/c of the similarities in their game!!! It's easy to be a fan of #86, #43, #92, #7, (#10, and #39#66(errrr...not anymore))... I will be vomiting if the CBA prompts the loss of Wood!!! This ****ing guy is a menace to EVERY OPPONENT!!! HE NEEDS TO GET A CONTRACT!!! granted, I dont understand the CBA thing, but we need to do everything to retain this guy!!!! HE IS A ****ING BEAST,...not to mention one of MY favorite Stillers in A LONG TIME!!! Clearly MT's best draft choice thus far?

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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    They'll find someway to get it done. No way they let a talent like that go. At least not without a major fight.

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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    I hope they get a deal done with him, you can't pay every linebacker huge money though. I think they get him signed, but at the cost of Harrison to be able to keep it under the cap (if there is a cap again).

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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    Surely this is going to affect every team in the NFL. What other players out there are going to get a raw deal because of this?

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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    'Wood has become my favorite Steeler since #91 Greene...b/c of the similarities in their game!!! It's easy to be a fan of #86, #43, #92, #7, (#10, and #39#66(errrr...not anymore))... I will be vomiting if the CBA prompts the loss of Wood!!! This ****ing guy is a menace to EVERY OPPONENT!!! HE NEEDS TO GET A CONTRACT!!! granted, I dont understand the CBA thing, but we need to do everything to retain this guy!!!! HE IS A ****ING BEAST,...not to mention one of MY favorite Stillers in A LONG TIME!!! Clearly MT's best draft choice thus far?



    X2

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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    Driven by disrespect, Steelers' Woodley emerging as an elite OLB

    By Jason La Canfora | NFL.com





    Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley has 25 sacks in the last two years, which ranks fifth in the NFL during that span.

    Pop quiz: Name the only two players in the NFL to post at least 11.5 sacks in each of the last two seasons.

    Okay, so the headline here pretty much gives away at least one of the two, so I decided to ask Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley himself if he knew the answer.

    "It's got to be me and (Cowboys OLB) DeMarcus Ware," declared Woodley, who took time to chat on the phone at halftime of Tuesday night's Celtics-Magic NBA playoff game.

    So I told him that it was, in fact, Jared Allen who was the other player besides him to do so.

    "Oh, ****," Woodley said. "Man, I should have known that! I should know that."

    That mistake notwithstanding, Woodley is becoming acutely aware of his place in the game as he enters his fourth NFL season. Largely overshadowed by other ends and outside linebackers, Woodley has quietly been one of the league's most impactful defenders the past two years. He's a star just coming into his own as he continues to master the shuffle from college defensive end to outside linebacker in Pittsburgh's complex 3-4 defense.

    While acclaim has followed others, like Woodley's teammate on the other side, James Harrison, or other pass rush specialists such as Terrell Suggs, Allen, and Ware, Woodley has toiled in relative anonymity since being selected 46th overall out of Michigan in 2007. If he puts up another season like he has the past two years, that will change.

    "Personally, I don't feel like people have given me the respect that I deserve," Woodley said.

    Woodley, 25, spent most of his rookie season as a reserve, trying to make the adjustment to his new position. Even so, as he pointed out, he still produced "four sacks in just 80 snaps" and also recorded two sacks in a playoff game against Jacksonville. In 2008, he busted out with 11.5 sacks, cracking the top 10 in the league, then notched six more in the postseason as the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII. Woodley got off to a slow start last year but rallied to finish with 13.5 sacks, setting a franchise record with at least a half sack in eight straight games and compiling 11.5 sacks during the streak.

    Woodley has started just 31 career games but already has 29 sacks (Julius Peppers, by comparison, had 30 sacks in 44 starts during his first three seasons). Over the past two seasons, only four players -- Ware (31), Allen (30), Joey Porter (26.5) and Harrison (26) -- have more sacks than Woodley, who has proven to be strong against the run, as well. He tied for the NFL lead with 19 tackles for loss in 2009.

    Woodley has become accustomed to being overlooked, but by no means does he relish it.

    "I'm definitely motivated, and in this game, with anybody, you get respect when it's earned," Woodley said. "And I feel like I've earned my respect, but people find a way to not give it to me. I wouldn't be talking about it if you didn't ask me, and not to come off as a cocky person, but it was the same thing coming out of college. I was drafted in the second round because I was too slow to play outside linebacker and too short to play end, but I won every award you could win coming out of Michigan ...

    "Coming into my second year, people were worried about me moving to outside linebacker and taking (then Steelers OLB) Clark Haggans' spot, but ever since I got on the other side of James Harrison -- not to take anything away from Clark Haggans -- but he's been getting double-digit sacks."

    Woodley also operates within a different version of the 3-4 than many other elite pass rushers. Besides run responsibilities, he also is thrust into coverage with much more regularity, covering speedy receivers at times in the zone-blitz scheme.

    "People don't look at how many times I drop back in coverage," Woodley said, "and compare those numbers to Suggs, Ware, (Elvis) Dumervil, (Shawne) Merriman. Look at those outside linebackers and see how many times I drop back. I might be dropping back more than actually rushing. The numbers might be ridiculous if I only dropped back as much as they do."

    Woodley says getting comfortable in coverage was his biggest challenge, but he believes he has progressed well in that regard. "I'm not nervous when I'm in coverage," Woodley said. "I'm confident. I'm like, 'I'm going to lock this guy down.'"

    Eventually, the Steelers are going to have lock up Woodley long-term, as he is playing in the final year of his rookie contract, set to earn $550,000 in 2010. Traditionally, the Steelers would extend his deal with a year remaining, but the limitations of the 30-percent rule and uncertainty about the CBA make the situation unique.

    With Ben Roethlisberger facing his issues, Santonio Holmes gone, Harrison now 32, and strong safety Troy Polamalu coming off a season basically lost to injury (he missed 11 games), Woodley could be emerging as a face-of-the-franchise-type player.

    "I haven't played my best football yet, that's the thing," Woodley said." I know that I haven't played my best yet. What people see now, I've only been playing linebacker for three years. I played defensive end my whole life. When I really catch on to it, it's really going to be trouble."

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=090...s&confirm=true

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    Default Re: Why we may not be able to re-sign LaMarr Woodley

    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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