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Steelers will face receiver dilemma again in 2013

Antonio Brown AP

Rosenthal pointed out earlier this morning a significant dilemma the Steelers currently face.  With receiver Mike Wallace’s three-year rookie contract expiring and the maximum tender for restricted free agents reduced from first-round and third-round compensation to first-round only under the new CBA, the Steelers may have to use the franchise tag in order to ensure that he doesn’t get swiped by a team that would be happy to give up its first-round pick to get him.

If the Steelers had insisted on a four-year contract for Wallace instead of a three-year deal, it wouldn’t have been an issue.

Moving forward, it’s not an issue.  The new labor deal mandates four-year deals for all draft picks.

Of course, that won’t help the Steelers next February, when they’ll face the same problem with receiver Antonio Brown (the team’s MVP in 2011) and receiver Emmanuel Sanders, both of whom signed three-year contracts in 2010.  (Maybe that’s why Art Rooney II wants to run the ball more in 2012.)

After 2013, this new RFA issue should apply only to undrafted players who have made it through three years of NFL service.  That won’t give the Steelers much solace as they try to figure out how to keep Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

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42 Responses to “Steelers will face receiver dilemma again in 2013”
  1. tommythek says: Feb 14, 2012 10:29 AM

    I heard Hines Ward would be willing to give a home town discount to solve the receiving problem. Stairway to 7 is now taller than the Empire State Bldg.

  2. southpaw2k says: Feb 14, 2012 10:29 AM

    Wow, looks like the Steelers may be facing cap/free agency issues for the next few years. I don’t see how they can re-sign all these receivers, even with restructuring their key players’ contracts to get under the cap for the short term.

  3. rc33 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:37 AM

    It’s a dilemma. Pittsburgh didn’t have to give them 3 year deals; I read the other day that N.E. gave Aaron Hernandez a 4 year deal as a rookie 4th round selection in 2010. Now they’ll have he and Gronkowski under contract for 2 more seasons. There’s risk/reward in both scenarios.
    With both Brown and Sanders coming up next season, the Steelers can hang on to all three but it’ll almost certainly be more costly than it might’ve been.

  4. raven410 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:37 AM

    Okay so under the new CBA, what happens if a team does give up their # 1 pick for a RFA? Can the players team do anything about it, or do they just lose their player?

  5. bettis3636 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:38 AM

    He wants to get back to running the ball because he is smarter then 90% of NFL owners… BALANCED Steelers teams won the SB… Do the research…

  6. siggy00 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:48 AM

    Price of winning. Every winning team gets cap hell at some point.

    It’s their turn.

    The Steelers aren’t balanced on first down. They run almost 59% of the time on that down.

    No one complains though, because ol’ Franco used to do it.

    More balance on first down means less predictability on second and third down.

  7. siggy00 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:48 AM

    Price of winning. Every winning team gets cap hell at some point.

    It’s their turn.

    The Steelers aren’t balanced on first down. They run almost 59% of the time on that down.

    No one complains though, because ol’ Franco used to do it.

    More balance on first down means less predictability on second and third down.

  8. buzzedlitebeer says: Feb 14, 2012 10:54 AM

    All three are tin foil receivers. Hit them and they crumple like tin foil.

  9. lolb23 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:56 AM

    With the 1st pick in the 2014 draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select…

  10. tommythek says: Feb 14, 2012 10:56 AM

    The Steelers were only good when Bradshaw was reading comic books in the locker room and chasing ice skaters after the game.

  11. dexterismyhero says: Feb 14, 2012 10:56 AM

    @tommythek says:Feb 14, 2012 10:29 AM

    I heard Hines Ward would be willing to give a home town discount to solve the receiving problem. Stairway to 7 is now taller than the Empire State Bldg.
    ==================================

    hahaha…….best post of the day….sarcasm…

  12. Mike Tomlin says: Feb 14, 2012 10:59 AM

    You let Santonio walk, fine, but do NOT lose these 3 especially if Kemo, Scott, Hampton, Allen and Foote are anywhere near the locker room instead.

    They will get it straightened out. Cuts are coming soon and once they do they will have enough cash to re-sign Wallace, then worry about Brown next year. Worst case scenario is they lose one and so far EMans been the low man.

    Its not their fault thair 3rd and 6th round picks are turning into studs and deserve first-rounder-second-contract money.

  13. emmac13 says: Feb 14, 2012 11:02 AM

    This is what Arians brings you with his throwing offense. The recievers want a big payday. A balanced offense means less “me” and more team. And if “me” becomes a problem there is the door. The team will move on.

  14. originalsteelcurtain says: Feb 14, 2012 11:03 AM

    buddlite sez: ”
    All three are tin foil receivers. Hit them and they crumple like tin foil.”

    ???

    stick to what you know Buddlite (you drink Bud, so it can’t be beer). Sanders has been injury-prone his first 2 years, but Brown and Wallace have been durable.

    All teams should be so lucky to have this dilemma: drafting WR’s, or any position, that far outperform their draft position.

    At some point good players get paid.

  15. imopen7 says: Feb 14, 2012 11:16 AM

    The Steelers will figure it out…they ALWAYS do. A dilemma? Maybe…but its one ya’ll would love to have.

    by the way…Ward is done. Even the league veteran minimum is too much to pay him under the cap. They’re just trying to figure how much of the tab they’ll pick up at his retirement party. Its coming.

  16. mikemart77 says: Feb 14, 2012 11:17 AM

    Okay so under the new CBA, what happens if a team does give up their # 1 pick for a RFA? Can the players team do anything about it, or do they just lose their player?

    **********

    I believe they can still match the contract offer and keep the player. But it’s possible the poaching team could include clauses that make the contract impossible for the original team to match (I think – unless that loophole was closed).

  17. mikemart77 says: Feb 14, 2012 11:19 AM

    I guess it does hurt the Steelers if they lose one or more of these guys, but the bottom line is the Steelers are going to get rewarded for good drafting no matter what.

    Wallace and Sanders were 3rd rounders and Brown was a 6th. All the Steelers need to do is stick a 1st round RFA on them and they get back more than they invested.

  18. bozorocks says: Feb 14, 2012 11:26 AM

    There is always Randy Moss to cure what troubles this group of losers. Go Packers !

  19. tcostant says: Feb 14, 2012 11:27 AM

    I guess I’m coming around to paying Victor Cruz than. Before I saw this I said pay Nicks this year and wait until 2013 to pay Cruz. But now I know he could receive a huge deal somewhere else in 2013 and the Giants would only get a 1st rounder; it’s a huge risk.

  20. contract says: Feb 14, 2012 11:35 AM

    “Wow, looks like the Steelers may be facing cap/free agency issues for the next few years. I don’t see how they can re-sign all these receivers, even with restructuring their key players’ contracts to get under the cap for the short term.”

    Why not? It’s not as if these guys are Andre Johnson, Megatron & Fitzgerald.

    Brown is a nice WR, but he hasn’t exactly set the world ablaze yet, and Sanders has done practically nothing so far in his career. Steeler fans need to quit hyperventilating over these guys.

  21. zeedoubleyou says: Feb 14, 2012 11:48 AM

    raven410

    The other team would sign a RFA to an offer sheet that would give the player’s original team the option to either match the contract or receive the pick as compensation. The pick is determined by the size of the one year RFA offer tendered to the player.

  22. illinininer says: Feb 14, 2012 11:51 AM

    I don’t understand why teams would sign picks to three year deals anyway. They lose a lot of leverage.

  23. ziggy26 says: Feb 14, 2012 11:51 AM

    Tag Wallace. Renegotiate Antonio Brown’s contract before the 2012 season. Slap the top-level tender on Sanders in 2013. (Honestly, what NFL team is going to use a 1st round pick to acquire Sanders?)

    I sincerely doubt that anyone in the Steelers organization is sitting around thinking, “Dammit, why did we draft all these good players?”

  24. paulbrown46 says: Feb 14, 2012 12:05 PM

    The wheels are coming off in hillbilly heaven.

  25. mikeyfresh25 says: Feb 14, 2012 12:09 PM

    Makes you wonder if Brown would have ever emerged at (least in the pass catching game), if Holmes never smoked his way out of town.

  26. thraiderskin says: Feb 14, 2012 12:21 PM

    Not a bad problem to have, too many good recievers to sign. The Pittsburgh team brought in Todd Haley, which guarantees that some of these recievers are “must signs” for this team.

  27. cuda1234 says: Feb 14, 2012 12:25 PM

    I just want to know who evaluates wr talent for the Steelers. Some teams (NE) can’t seem to get it right but the Steelers drafted Wallace, Sanders, Brown, Ward, Nate Washington, Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress. That’s a pretty good record.

  28. emmettotter says: Feb 14, 2012 12:26 PM

    There are plenty of teams who would gladly face this dilemma if it meant they could have these talented WRs. And the Steelers are one of a handful of teams who know how to effectively manage their roster on a yearly basis. Wallace and Brown will both be staying.

  29. Deb says: Feb 14, 2012 12:27 PM

    @tommythek, dexterismyhero, paulbrown46 …

    Uh-huh. I’ll start worrying when you guys stop. If the Steelers didn’t get under your skin, you wouldn’t try so hard to get under ours :D

  30. beatjoeunibrow says: Feb 14, 2012 12:38 PM

    Lets be honest here.

    Art will figure all this out.

  31. uwsptke says: Feb 14, 2012 12:42 PM

    raven410 says:
    Feb 14, 2012 10:37 AM
    Okay so under the new CBA, what happens if a team does give up their # 1 pick for a RFA? Can the players team do anything about it, or do they just lose their player?

    ==========================

    Good question. I think the spirit of the tag is to give teams better odds to keep their star players, so I think they would still have the right to match the deal they signed with another team in order to retain them. BUT – the question I have is Did the new CBA address the past issues with “poison pills” in these types of contracts? If I recall correctly, that was a game the Vikings and Seahawks played with each other several years ago. Steve Hucthinson wound up joining the Vikings because they added a clause that said he had to be the highest paid lineman on the team. Since the Seahawks already were paying big bucks to Floyd Womack, there was no way they could pay a guard the kind of money that a left tackle makes, so they were screwed and lost a good player in his prime that they should probably have been able to keep. I think the Seahawks then signed Nate Burleson away from the Vikings by adding a clause that greatly escalated his base salary if he played more than 3 games in the state of Minnesota. Pretty clever, as there is obviously no way Minnesota could match that. But I haven’t heard anything about whether the fairness in the system was addressed in the last CBA.

  32. 49erstim says: Feb 14, 2012 12:52 PM

    What a horrific problem to have… My heart bleeds for them. Lol.

    Anyway… They’ll resign all 3 of these guys. Thats a smart organization. These are 3 “team” guys. You keep players like that.

  33. rajbais says: Feb 14, 2012 1:00 PM

    You can ALWAYS replace Sanders!!!!!

    22 balls in 11 games is a big deal????

    The Steelers let Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Antwaan Randle-El go. Weren’t all of them replaced????

  34. mmmpierogi says: Feb 14, 2012 1:07 PM

    Of course, that won’t help the Steelers next February, when they’ll face the same problem with receiver Antonio Brown (the team’s MVP in 2011) and receiver Emmanuel Sanders, both of whom signed three-year contracts in 2010. (Maybe that’s why Art Rooney II wants to run the ball more in 2012.)

    ****************************************************

    Am I missing something? The supposed “dilemma” is that the Steelers are going to have to deal with signing high-potential/highly-talented FA WRs next year, with some suggestion or hint being that this wouldn’t have been an issue (or as much an issue) had Brown and Sanders’ contracts been done differently initially (the four-year, instead of three-year, rookie contract issue is mentioned in conjunction with this). However, had the Steelers signed both Brown and Sanders to four-year contracts initially, then it would have likely only delayed the problem to 2014 instead of 2013. The supposed dilemma’s there either way.

    Reading the article, the only “problem” I see as that the Steelers have a young, highly talented receiving corps. That’s something that you have to pay for, and a “dilemma” most teams would be envious of.

  35. paulbrown46 says: Feb 14, 2012 1:42 PM

    @Deb

    I’ll start worrying when the Stillers hire another former Brown to coach the team, i.e. Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher.

  36. bensstinkyfingers says: Feb 14, 2012 1:49 PM

    Just another headache in the downward spiral known as the Pittsburgh Steelers Organization. The Glory days are over for a long time they well be the bottom feedersof the AFC orth before they make the playoffs again. Book It!

  37. dexterismyhero says: Feb 14, 2012 1:57 PM

    @Deb says:Feb 14, 2012 12:27 PM

    @tommythek, dexterismyhero, paulbrown46 …

    Uh-huh. I’ll start worrying when you guys stop. If the Steelers didn’t get under your skin, you wouldn’t try so hard to get under ours
    =================================Wrong Deb. It’s just always this stairwayto7/Lombardis stuff that is funny. sorry for getting under your skin :>)

  38. steelcurtainn says: Feb 14, 2012 2:46 PM

    They will Keep Wallace and Brown. Only dilemma is if they can manage to keep Sanders. With Big Ben at qb there is never a worry anyways.

  39. dickroy says: Feb 14, 2012 2:48 PM

    (Stairwayto7) we are already (Latefor8)

  40. quittsburghstoolers says: Feb 14, 2012 3:03 PM

    That won’t give the Steelers much solace as they try to figure out how to keep Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

    ———————————————————-

    The bottom line is that they probably won’t be able to.

    Like it or not, they’ll have to blow this team up sometime
    in the next 2 or 3 seasons because they chose to restructure a
    bunch of contracts this year in order to get under
    the cap without cutting a bunch of overpaid vets.

    When it finally happens, they’ll go from a playoff
    team to picking early in several drafts in a row…
    which will make all us haters very happy!

  41. quittsburghstoolers says: Feb 14, 2012 3:13 PM

    emmettotter says:Feb 14, 2012 12:26 PM

    . And the Steelers are one of a handful of teams who know how to effectively manage their roster on a yearly basis.

    ———————————————————-

    If that’s true then why did they have to restructure several contracts this offseason in order just to get under the cap?

    They are setting themselves up to put the team into
    salary cap hell sometime in the next couple of seasons,
    just like what happened years ago to the 49ers & Titans
    when they tried to hold onto all their vets in
    order to make “one last playoff run” with the old group.

    Pittsburgh will stink royally by 2014 & will stay that way
    for at least a few seasons, just like the Titans & Niners did.
    Bank on it…

  42. 3mzito says: Feb 14, 2012 4:05 PM

    Sometimes you cant keep everyone. Steelers will be fine, by signing just 2 of the 3! We build through the draft, and it is very noticeable that championship teams are built up front on both lines of the ball, and by having a franchise QB. Its not that difficult to play an avg. RB behind a solid line, more difficult to play a great RB behind an avg. line. Protect the QB, pressure the QB, create turnovers = SB Win. They have started up front on Defense, now lets finish off by finding the best lineman availabe in the first 3rounds unless there is someone that is juming off the board to bring in. Steelers will ALWAYS be in the hunt for Division Titles and playoffs. May not always have a SB team, but its not a successful year in the burgh’ without a SB win…lets keep that a positive.

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