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Hampton gives Steelers more than $3 million in cap space

casey-hampton

When the Steelers embarked on their cap-slashing exercise earlier this year, nose tackle Casey Hampton was at the top of the list.  Unlike one of the various players who restructured contracts and ultimately gave up no money (and unlike Hines Ward who was cut without negotiation), Hampton took a significant pay cut in order to stay with the Steelers for at least one more year.

Specifically, Hampton dropped his salary from $4.89 million to $2.8 million.  He also gave up a $1 million workout bonus.

Finalized on March 13, the contract replaces the three-year deal Hampton signed on February 26, 2010.  The move reduced Hampton’s cap number from $8,056,668 to $4,966,668.  (He’s still carrying a $2,166,668 proration from his signing bonus.)

It also means that the Steelers need to focus on the nose tackle position quickly, via free agency or the draft.  Chris Hoke has retired, and Hampton is rehabbing a torn ACL.

No portion of the $2.8 million base salary is guaranteed; Hampton could still be cut before Week One of the 2012 season, and the Steelers would clear out even more cap room.

A potential replacement to watch next month is former Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still.

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27 Responses to “Hampton gives Steelers more than $3 million in cap space”
  1. CKL says: Mar 18, 2012 2:08 PM

    Welp…can’t unsee THAT pic.

  2. pfthatesonme says: Mar 18, 2012 2:13 PM

    Steelers are cheap.
    Steelers are old.
    Steelers will not make a championship run for years

  3. tluke25 says: Mar 18, 2012 2:20 PM

    Steelers are taking a NT in the first round. You can take that to the bank.

  4. eggersthejerk says: Mar 18, 2012 2:21 PM

    “Hampton gives Steelers more than $3 million in cap space”

    ………………………………………………………………………

    He must not like his chances of playing someplace outside Pittsburgh if he is willing to do something like that. He is obviously scared of being cut outright. Otherwise, he’d be looking to restructure his deal instead of just taking a big pay cut.

    The funny part is that if they can come up with someone else that’s even half good and for less money, he’s probably on the street before week 1 anyways. Oh well, there’s always the IFL.

  5. modellforprez says: Mar 18, 2012 2:22 PM

    fat snax could stick it out one more year if he can make it back from this acl AGAIN and apush ziggy over with diesel and heyward plus rotate with mcclendon I don’t know if still is the answer long term at nose plus lebeau might be here another year two topps and who knows if tomlin who came from a 4-3 will stay with it. maybe trade up to get poe or maybe make a trade I have confidence colbert and coach T. will get the right guy

  6. mmcdan133 says: Mar 18, 2012 2:24 PM

    “Let me take a pay cut to stay here, so you can then draft my replacement.” It’s the NFL, make every dime you can while you can, and give nothing back to the owners. His agent should have looked at the super thin crop of 3-4 D tackles in free agency and dared them to cut him.

  7. st1llerz1 says: Mar 18, 2012 2:27 PM

    “I want to eat ALL of you!!!”

    Gotta love Big Snack!

    GO STEELERS!

  8. spasticpickle says: Mar 18, 2012 2:43 PM

    Couldn’t have used a more unflattering picture

  9. toonsterwu says: Mar 18, 2012 2:45 PM

    Hard to buy Still as a NT. Seems more of a 3-technique or a 5-technique. Could see them move up and try and position themselves for Poe, or perhaps try and get Alameda Ta’amu. Isn’t Aubrayo Franklin a FA? Seems like a possible ideal addition, a veteran that might not cost a ton, to try and give them some flexibility in the draft so they aren’t forced to make moves in the draft, or reach for a player to fill a need.

  10. johnteedee says: Mar 18, 2012 3:09 PM

    “Specifically, Hampton dropped his salary from $4.89 million to $2.8 million. He also gave up a $1 million workout bonus.”

    Desperation contract restructure, he knows he is on his way out.

  11. Deb says: Mar 18, 2012 3:19 PM

    @pfthatesonme …

    Keep working on that mantra, dear. But repetition won’t make it true. LOL

  12. zoidenflak says: Mar 18, 2012 3:29 PM

    pfthatesonme says:

    –Steelers are cheap. [How can you be cheap when you spend to the cap every year!?]
    –Steelers are old. [Steelers have the youngest offense in the AFC, and just purged the defense of most of their oldest players]
    –Steelers will not make a championship run for years [and what in the last 40 years has brought you to this insane conclusion?]

  13. fbothharbaughs says: Mar 18, 2012 3:29 PM

    Deb, apparently if @pfthatesonme says something enough times he’ll convince himself of it’s veracity…

  14. quittsburghstoolers says: Mar 18, 2012 3:29 PM

    pfthatesonme says:Mar 18, 2012 2:13 PM

    Steelers are cheap.
    Steelers are old.
    Steelers will not make a championship run for years

    ———————————————————-
    True, true, and true!

    But you left out the part about them having cheap shot
    artists, big mouthed divas, & sexual assaulters on the team.

  15. stairwayto7 says: Mar 18, 2012 3:42 PM

    To get Still the Steelers need to move up..possibly with AZ.
    For the trolls who say pitt is old now, when Hood Heyward and Still are in the front 3 these non football fans will say they are too young!

  16. Stiller43 says: Mar 18, 2012 3:56 PM

    How does hampton taking a pay cut (vs the steelers cutting him) mean they have to focus MORE on getting a replacement immediately?

    I loved keeping him (especially at a reduced price) BECAUSE it means the steelers do not have to be desperate for a 1st round or free agent starter at d tackle now.

    Can you elaborate?

  17. txbearmeat says: Mar 18, 2012 4:05 PM

    @Deb –

    Pfthate is right. With the exception of Wallace and Brown, the Steelers are old. And they have cap problems. I am not involved in the AFCN at all – so I’m not biased here. But facts are facts.

    Whether or not Pittsburgh fans like it, the Steelers are in for a massive rebuild. I would be surprised to see them in the playoffs more than 1 time in the next 5 years. Baltimore has a younger core of players that will be around for awhile.

  18. zoidenflak says: Mar 18, 2012 4:25 PM

    txbearmeat says:
    Baltimore has a younger core of players that will be around for awhile.
    ———————————————————
    Baltimore just lost 3, possibly 4 people from their defense . . . AND their best offensive lineman.

    And you wanna talk “old” how about McKinney & Birk?!?!

  19. steelcityrapist says: Mar 18, 2012 4:55 PM

    Workout bonus? ???? Does he look like he works out??

  20. mmmpierogi says: Mar 18, 2012 5:20 PM

    txbearmeat says: Mar 18, 2012 4:05 PM

    @Deb –

    Pfthate is right. With the exception of Wallace and Brown, the Steelers are old. And they have cap problems. … But facts are facts.

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

    Of the 75 guys on the roster from last year who are still around, eight are older than 30. For those of you who have trouble performing complex mathematics such as using your fingers to punch numbers into a calculator and hitting the division button, that’s slightly over 10% of the team. Only one guy – Charlie Batch – is older than 35.

    “With the exception of Wallace and Brown, the Steelers are old.” Really, that’s odd – because 31 players are the same age as Wallace or younger. Given that, by your definition, being not “old” apparently means (a) being either 23 or 25, and (b) having the last names Wallace or Brown. Kind of a strange place in the sand to draw the line between not old and old, isn’t it?

  21. heybeerman95 says: Mar 18, 2012 5:55 PM

    My mistake 5.8 millon under the cap. Not exactly alot of room but I wouldn’t exactly call that cap problems.

  22. pizzon says: Mar 18, 2012 6:38 PM

    when all is said and done the steelers will be just fine and will win their division and be in the top 5 again in defense and all of the uninformed will shutup and go back into their parents basements.

  23. stew48 says: Mar 18, 2012 9:26 PM

    @pizzon

    Don’t you mean pizon?

  24. txbearmeat says: Mar 18, 2012 10:30 PM

    @mm, zoid, et all –

    This is my point – PIT just cut Ward, Smith. They’ll probably cut Hampton. Like I said earlier – I’m not an AFCN guy, so I’m not biased at all. I have no hate for the Steelers, or Ravens. And no one has any reason to hate the Bungles and the hapless Browns.

    All I know is this: Why are they cutting so many guys – because they have salary cap hell. Because their core guys are mostly old and expensive.

    Different positions age differently. We all know Favre played great for Minny when he was like 41. Clifton did great at 36 as a LT for the Packers last year. Birk can still ball at 36 at C. But do you think a FS could do that? Or a WR? Or an OLB? Hell no.

    So, for the positions they play, the Steelers core guys are – for the most part – old.

    For example:

    Hampton – Old

    Polamolu – Getting there – certainly not the same guy he was in 08.

    Harrison – Ditto above

    Taylor – Not young either

    Mendy – for an RB, he’s got A LOT of miles on those tires.

    Farrior – Gone – but old too. Who’s replacing him???

    Roethelisberger – Can play as a QB for awhile

    Woodly/Wallace/Brown/Pouncey/Clark – the exceptions.

    What I saw last year is this: A lot of old/quickly aging players who are not what they once were. PIT couldn’t perform in the power run game and was good (not great) at passing. They didn’t intimidate on defense like they have. And you can’t say it’s the rule changes, because the Texans and the 9ers were pretty darn scary.

    Finally, their older stars are expensive – leading to PIT’s salary cap problems. And worst of all, PIT has only 5 young playmakers –

    Answer this question – outside of those 5 – who’s going to step up?

    It’s a genuine question. I honestly don’t know.

  25. mmmpierogi says: Mar 19, 2012 10:14 AM

    txbearmeat says: Mar 18, 2012 10:30 PM

    @mm, zoid, et all –

    This is my point – PIT just cut Ward, Smith. They’ll probably cut Hampton. Like I said earlier – I’m not an AFCN guy, so I’m not biased at all. I have no hate for the Steelers, or Ravens. And no one has any reason to hate the Bungles and the hapless Browns.

    All I know is this: Why are they cutting so many guys – because they have salary cap hell. Because their core guys are mostly old and expensive.

    Different positions age differently. We all know Favre played great for Minny when he was like 41. Clifton did great at 36 as a LT for the Packers last year. Birk can still ball at 36 at C. But do you think a FS could do that? Or a WR? Or an OLB? Hell no.

    So, for the positions they play, the Steelers core guys are – for the most part – old.

    For example:

    Hampton – Old

    Polamolu – Getting there – certainly not the same guy he was in 08.

    Harrison – Ditto above

    Taylor – Not young either

    Mendy – for an RB, he’s got A LOT of miles on those tires.

    Farrior – Gone – but old too. Who’s replacing him???

    Roethelisberger – Can play as a QB for awhile

    Woodly/Wallace/Brown/Pouncey/Clark – the exceptions.

    What I saw last year is this: A lot of old/quickly aging players who are not what they once were. PIT couldn’t perform in the power run game and was good (not great) at passing. They didn’t intimidate on defense like they have. And you can’t say it’s the rule changes, because the Texans and the 9ers were pretty darn scary.

    Finally, their older stars are expensive – leading to PIT’s salary cap problems. And worst of all, PIT has only 5 young playmakers –

    Answer this question – outside of those 5 – who’s going to step up?

    It’s a genuine question. I honestly don’t know.

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

    Two points:

    (1) To say the Steelers are “old” today is different than to say they need to emphasize (or continue to emphasize) succession management; at this juncture, I wouldn’t totally agree with the former, but would with the latter. They have guys in key positions who are going to need replacing – acknowledged. They began addressing some of this via attrition during the offseason; arguably, they could have done it sooner. Notice in my post that I was focusing on those guys still left from last year, excluding those who left, so the point holds.

    (2) Regarding the power run game, you are correct in that it wasn’t there last year, but what you miss is that the Steelers haven’t had a power run game for a few years now – this isn’t a new thing. If we can take NFL team rankings on rushing (particularly yards per game) as an indicator of the strength of a power run game, the last time the Steelers were in the top ten in the NFL in rushing was 2007, when they were third in the NFL. Explanations are varied, ranging from strategy and play calling (Arians apparently wanting to emphasize a pass game to a greater extent, not utilizing a FB, weird situational play calling), to weaknesses in the offensive line, to the quality and build of the guys we have at the RB position, and so forth. These are potential problems – but none has to do, directly, with age or the salary cap.

    Also, the passing game underperformed in 2011 relative to expectations, as well, as you mentioned. If I’m not mistaken, the only two starting offensive guys who are 30 or up and are still around are Roethlisberger and Starks (both are 30). If you’ve got some spare time on your hands, do a between-teams comparison on mean age among offensive players – they *might/could* potentially be at or above average, but probably not by much. Thus, while most people would agree that the passing game seemed off relative to expectations, most are not going to say that age was the problem.

  26. txbearmeat says: Mar 19, 2012 3:34 PM

    @MM

    Fair enough – you follow your team more closely than I do. What you say about the offense sounds plausible.

    But what about the D? I mean – it seems like ALL of their bigtime players on D (with the lone exception of R. Clark) are slowing down.

    They certainly weren’t ‘nasty’ last year like they had been for the 6-7 years before that…

  27. txbearmeat says: Mar 19, 2012 3:35 PM

    Oh, and Woodley – forgot about him…. He’s still on the rise. My fault.

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