Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Willie Colon

      
  1. #1
    hawaiiansteeler's Avatar
    Status : hawaiiansteeler is offline
    Rank : Superstar
    Join Date : Apr 7, 2010
    Posts : 2,614
    Threads : 440
    Last Online : Nov-04-2012 @ 09:47 PM

    Default Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Willie Colon

    Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Willie Colon

    by Michael Bean on Feb 12, 2011 2:53 PM EST



    12 days ago: DALLAS TX - JANUARY 31: Willie Colon #74 of the Pittsburgh Steelers wears the Michigan State jersey of teammate Flozell Adams while arriving at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on January 31 2011 in Dallas Texas. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6 2011 at Cowboys Stadium. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)


    Earlier today, I posted the list of Pittsburgh Steelers players that will be free agents for the 2011 season. We're of course assuming there will be free agency. It sure doesn't look like free agency will start in early March like it has since the passing of the historic 1993 Collective Bargaining Agreement. But it's safe to say that free agency -- in some shape or form -- will again be instituted in whatever new CBA is hammered out between the NFL owners and the NFLPA. Now, when free agency does again.

    2010 Salary: $2,204,240

    The back story: Willie Colon entered the NFL in 2006 as a 4th round project out of the University of Hofstra. Born in the Bronx, a rough and tumble urban environment where basketball reigns supreme, Colon was obviously a late bloomer in terms of his exposure to high level competition on the gridiron. The result was extreme struggles early on in his career with the Steelers. After starting two games in his rookie season, Colon was named the full time starter at right tackle in 2007. Even though Max Starks had starting experience on a Super Bowl winning team in '05, Colon got the nod. At the time (yes, I was writing back then), I wondered if the Steelers were decided to start Colon over Starks for financial reasons. Basically Starks' contract was coming up, and if he played an integral role on that '07 team at right tackle, he'd be pretty expensive to retain in free agency. Meanwhil,e the Steelers wouldn't really know what they had in Colon.

    Anyway, Colon struggled in '07 and '08. So badly in fact that he became the poster boy for the offensive line's struggles. Most of the criticism was deserved, though folks were perhaps too unforgiving of the fact that he'd never in his life come close to facing the caliber of athletic talent that each NFL team has during his high school and collegiate days. In '09, Colon turned the corner. He wasn't perfect, but he improved dramatically, and by season's end was widely regarded as the team's best offensive lineman.

    Unfortunately for Colon, sheer bad luck stood in the way of him signing an unrestricted free agent deal at about this time last year. Under the provisions of the last CBA, Colon's four years of service were no longer enough to qualify him for URFA status. Instead, Colon had to sign a one-year RFA deal last offseason that paid him a nice sum. But make no mistake about it: had Colon entered the league just one year earlier and qualified for URFA after the '09 season, he would have been able to find a suitor willing to offer a multi-year deal in the eight digits, with perhaps as much as $10-$15 million in guarantees.

    The BTSC Consensus: Well, there wasn't exactly the same type of consensus amongst you all about what should be done with Colon moving forward. Some thought he should be re-signed; many others thoughts it was time to let him walk. However, the common them I kept reading was something along the lines of: 'let's see how he is injury-wise before offering up any sort of long-term deal.' Well, that's somewhat fair and understandable, but it's also flat-out ignoring the facts. Colon had been one of the asbolute most durable guys on the team and entire NFL from '07-'09. He made 48 consecutive starts in those three seasons, missing not even a single game. He also started all four of the Steelers postseason games during that stretch.

    In fact, following the '07 season, Colon earned the top figure in the NFLís "Performance-Based Pay" system that awards lower-salaried players for playing time. What's that you ask? Well, as part of the 2002 extension to the CBA, a pool of money was allocated for distribution to those players with minimum salaries who saw extensive playing time over the course of the year. Or said differently, guys that provided a huge return on investment to their clubs. Colon has been just that -- an amazing investment for the Steelers because of his durability.

    Anyway, in my mind, there is no injury concern with Colon. He suffered a freak injury during OTAs when no pads were even on. And the good news, if there is such a thing with an awful injury like that, is that Colon suffered it in June, meaning he'll have had at least 14+ months of recovery. There's a danger of reaggravating the injury if you rush back to action, but the timetable is more or less perfect for a compelte recovery for Colon in '11.

    So, again, Colon is the product of extreme bad luck when it comes to free agency. He was denied a well-deserved windfall after the '09 season, and now he'll likely be denied once more because of a totally random freak injury that really shouldn't have any long-term implications on his ability to play at a high level. At 28 years of age, Colon's window for signing that big contract is running out. This is his time to get paid. If I were Colon and his agent, I'd flat out refuse anything short of 3-years, $14m, $1m signing bonus, another $3.0m guaranteed

    What I'd Do: I think Colon is worth keeping, and I think he's worth keeping at roughly the figures I laid out above.

    3-years, $14m, $3-4m guaranteed.

    The Rooneys are savvy shrewd businessmen, but they're also unwaveringly fair. Colon has three things going for him. He's (1) provided a remarkable ROI to the organization...(2) been a product of unfortunate circumstances (CBA + freak injury) after proving that he'd gotten over his early growing pains and was ready to play at a high level consistently...(3) proven to be locker room gold and one of the team's more popular well-respected guys.

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...s-willie-colon

  2. #2
    Steelreign's Avatar

    Status : Steelreign is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 12, 2009
    Location : Wheatfield, Indiana
    Posts : 18,943
    Threads : 227
    Last Online : Nov-02-2016 @ 07:58 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Willie Colon

    I gotta believe that his achilles has to be somewhat of a concern with all the pressures that being an O-lineman will place on it.
    Pittsburgh Sports Forum: Member Driven and no ads

  3. #3
    JerryGlanville's Avatar
    Status : JerryGlanville is offline
    Rank : Superstar
    Join Date : Nov 16, 2009
    Posts : 2,786
    Threads : 49
    Last Online : Sep-12-2014 @ 03:43 PM

    Default Re: Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Willie Colon

    No way should Colon be brought back considering his salary, how good he actually is (which isn't that good) and now the achilles injury, which is fairly serious from what I gather.

  4. #4
    hawaiiansteeler's Avatar
    Status : hawaiiansteeler is offline
    Rank : Superstar
    Join Date : Apr 7, 2010
    Posts : 2,614
    Threads : 440
    Last Online : Nov-04-2012 @ 09:47 PM

    Default Re: Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Willie Colon

    Behind the Steel Curtain is doing an analysis of each of the Steelers' free agents, I previously posted the write-up for Willie Colon...here's the one for Trai Essex.


    Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Trai Essex

    by Michael Bean on Feb 15, 2011 12:01 AM EST



    Mike Groll - AP

    Let's continue with our breakdown of the various Pittsburgh Steelers players who saw their contracts expire after the 2010 season. Next up is Trai Essex, a guy that's hard to assess -- at least in black or white terms. Let's try our best though.

    2010 Salary: $800k

    The back story: While doing a bit of research on Essex for this post, I was somewhat shocked to remember that he was a third-round draft pick back in 2005. Every draft pick in the NFL is a crap shoot to a certain degree, but you definitely hope that you bat a high percentage with your top picks, including those guys taken in the third round. It would be wildly unfair to say that Essex has been a 'bust' or not provided valuable contributions to the Steelers the past seven years. Heck, Essex even started four games as a rookie back in '05. He would not start another game until the '09 season, when the departure of Alan Faneca via free agency opened the door for the Northwestern grad to play. Essex would start all 16 games at right guard. This past season, he returned to his more natural reserve role, though he did start five games.

    Essex's value lies in his versatility. He can fill in at four positions along the offensive line (center excluded). That's nothing to sneeze at. Look no further than Super Bowl XLV when Essex replaced Flozell Adams at right tackle for a few series after Adams hurt himself in the first quarter.

    The BTSC Consensus: Again, the peanut gallery is split. A fair number of you would like the Steelers try to retain the versatile Essex for one or two years, while plenty others would prefer to cut ties with him after seven seasons.

    What I'd do: I personally would not offer Essex a deal to return. If additional roster spots were added as part of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, than forget what I just said. But assuming there's still just 53 roster spots available, I think it would make more sense to move on. At 28 years of age, Essex should be able to command a 2-3 year deal from some team, likely in the $650-800k per year range. Essex's last contract paid him nearly that much, and remember, that was coming off three straight seasons in which he did very little. This past two years Essex has played a lot more, and done a fairly good job when given a chance to play.

    Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, I think the Steelers have enough depth on the offensive line. The trick is adding one or two more really talented pieces. Between Ramon Foster, Doug Legursky, Chris Kemoeatu, and potentially a 2011 Draft pick, my take is that the guard position is in better shape than most realize. Legursky could be an X-factor actually, as he generally looked quite impressive -- be it at center or at guard -- in 2010. Throw in the dirt cheap Ramon Foster as a viable reserve at guard, and there's no real need to have a serviceable swing guy taking a hat on the depth chart. And that's even more true if the Steelers plan to draft a guard early on in the '11 Draft.

    I'll save my commentary about how the pieces could be shuffled at offensive tackle, but as it relates to Essex, I'll just say that he's better suited to fill in at guard than on the outside. This Steelers offensive line has made the transition from 'bad' to 'good', or at worst 'average'. Now it's time to take the next big step(s) to becoming a 'very good' and hopefully even 'great' line. That's not going to happen by keeping guys like Essex around. I hate typing that because it's hard to understate how useful he's been in recent years. But now that the personnel has improved, and assuming the injury bug doesn't strike in such a malicious way in '11, the Steelers have less use for Essex -- a versatile asset, but one whose ceiling leaves plenty to be desired.

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...sis-trai-essex

  5. #5
    Steelreign's Avatar

    Status : Steelreign is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 12, 2009
    Location : Wheatfield, Indiana
    Posts : 18,943
    Threads : 227
    Last Online : Nov-02-2016 @ 07:58 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Steelers 2011 Free Agents Analysis: Willie Colon

    I agree with the sentiment of letting eased go. Yeah he can fill in at alot of spots, but I would rather see his spot occupied by a draft pick with a higher ceiling who is capable of earning a starting spot.
    Pittsburgh Sports Forum: Member Driven and no ads

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •