With the Pittsburgh Steelers still committed to running a 3-4 defense and nose tackle Casey Hampton still on track to become an unrestricted free agent in a year that is still on pace to be uncapped, team president Art Rooney II has made his position on Hampton clear.
The Steelers still want Hampton.
“That will be part of our offseason plan, figuring out the best way to
do that and how to handle Casey,” Rooney told Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Friday. “We’ll get into
others and make some decisions about what we can do contract-wise with
various other players.”
The Steelers could opt to use the franchise tag on Hampton. At times, they’ve been reluctant to use it in the past. Two year ago, for example, the Steelers didn’t apply the tag to guard Alan Faneca, who signed with the Jets.
The Steelers typically don’t negotiate player contracts during football season. It’s unclear whether any serious effort was made to sign Hampton to an extension before the 2009 campaign began.