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  1. #16
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide



    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    I warned the OP much earlier in the offseason process that his reports of the death of the Steelers were greatly exaggerated, and I believe this pronouncement is similarly premature. Keep on proclaiming them dead while they methodically solve their problems as the Ravens founder around with their best player not under contract.

    The Steelers HAVE a "young core" in place to build around.
    Restructuring some of those contracts definitely pushes off the pain until future years, but they are betting on the cap increasing in future years as much as the Ravens did when they signed the Ngata, Webb, and Rice deals, all of which double or even triple in cap hits beginning in 2014. The anticipated Flacco contract will be much the same--huge cap hits in future years. Go look up the cap numbers for the restructured Woodley and Brown contracts. Those contracts were done very carefully with small bonus numbers in future years SPECIFICALLY to open up the possibility of restructures without causing too much harm. Woodley's cap hits in future years are right around the 13m mark. What's Suggs' cap number over the next 2 years? Right around 13m. No difference between the Steelers and Ravens there.

    The reality of the matter is simple: the Steelers have a franchise QB under contract for several years, with an extremely young, talented, and cheap OL to protect him. They have Antonio Brown and numerous young pieces on defense (Woodley, Timmons, Heyward all under 30) all under their control long-term with a few key older players who are still playing at a very high level (Ike Taylor one of the best CBs in football, Ryan Clark a top 10 FS, and Brett Keisel a top 10 5-tech DE).

    They draft well and give their draft picks time to develop. They WILL be a good team in 2013 if they avoid injuries, it's as simple as that. The Ravens were only 2 wins better than them in the regular season last year and got beaten at home by their 3rd string QB. People roundly mocked LeBeau for saying it could have been Pittsburgh instead of Baltimore last year, but he wasn't wrong. They got hit by the injury bug about as hard as we did (or maybe even a little harder), but didn't get as many breaks going their way. It's going to be a dogfight for the division again next year.
    We watching the same time over the past couple of years?
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  2. #17
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Oh I get they drafted very lately to fix their O-line, but when they were world beaters, it was an accepted concept of Steeler Nation that Ben will be the McNair of today, take a beating and we'll get by. They went and drafted defense and wide receiver and never really looked to free agency.

    If their picks aren't panning out right now, its a the lateness of which it was addressed. I harped on Ozzie back in the Billick days for ignoring our O-Line too long and drafting heavy on defense, he switched that up as the games dynamics changed.




  3. #18

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by leachisabeast View Post
    The 2012 NFL draft is ALREADY looking like an absolute failure for the Steelers. I remember all the talk about how great the Steelers drafted and got a top ten talent at guard (he was far from a top ten talent, and IMO wasn't as good as Kevin Zeitler), how they got a potential all pro left tackle in Mike Adams, and the future Casey Hampton in the 4th round, and a Darren Sproles in the 5th round. Two of those players are now off the team already, DeCastro spent most of the year on IR, and when he came back he didn't look good at all, and Mike Adams got owned like a bitch lining up against Paul Kruger, as he did by most pass rushers. Adams did well as a run blocker though, maybe it would be wise to move him inside.
    They definitely missed on Ta'amu and Rainey, and Adams and DeCastro were up and down in their rookie years, but you give a draft class 3 years to pan out. The two OL are both talented and showed flashes in their rookie years. It's a steep learning curve for most linemen in the NFL, so there's no reason to think they won't improve next year.

    I'm not saying the Steelers are going to be Super Bowl contenders next year, but they have talent on the roster, a good coaching staff, and a good FO. They are just NOT going to be a 4-12 team next year, keep dreaming if you think that's the case. They're going to be right there with the Ravens even if they can't keep up all year long.




  4. #19

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    They definitely missed on Ta'amu and Rainey, and Adams and DeCastro were up and down in their rookie years, but you give a draft class 3 years to pan out. The two OL are both talented and showed flashes in their rookie years. It's a steep learning curve for most linemen in the NFL, so there's no reason to think they won't improve next year.

    I'm not saying the Steelers are going to be Super Bowl contenders next year, but they have talent on the roster, a good coaching staff, and a good FO. They are just NOT going to be a 4-12 team next year, keep dreaming if you think that's the case. They're going to be right there with the Ravens even if they can't keep up all year long.
    they had all that last year and were 8-8... and now losing more key pieces. I dont think theyll go 8-8 but im not seeing reason to believe theyll be exceptionally better than that either. Frankly a lot of us felt they would struggle this year, they did, I see the same thing this year. Are they capable of being a contender? sure, but i wouldnt say theyre guaranteed that like years past.
    -JAB




  5. #20
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Silver View Post
    I am in the boat that the Steelers are like Dracula, they keep coming back.
    Until they get too old & pooped to chase down their prey & repair to the emergency blood bank in the backyard bunker for a quick pickmeup--only to discover someone has switched out the stash for bottles of cherry soda. (Or worse--Iron City with food coloring...)

    Has that day come? Bwahahahaha! As they say in the UK, Stay chooned!




  6. #21

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeDaniel View Post
    The main problem is that the Steelers have 11 players who are taking up roughly 85-87% of their total cap (prior to any restructures). That leaves $13-15% to be spread between the other 40 players under their "rule of 51". By my calculations, the Steelers top 11 players (referenced below) were making $106 million prior to these recent restructures.
    Your research looks bulletproof and I think you're making a good case for your argument. It definitely sounds troublesome from a marginal value standpoint in a vacuum, but the only question I would raise is are those numbers really dissimilar from other teams? Are we to assume that the Ravens have a more even investment spread? Just anecdotally because I'm too lazy to run the numbers myself, I would doubt that's true.

    Even if the Ravens have a little more palatable number, say 10 players taking up 60% of the cap with 40% allocated to the remaining 40, how much difference does that really make? Draft picks are cheap, and if you depend on a core of expensive, elite players supported by a big pool of young first-contract players, isn't that just the model of franchise success, no matter how skewed the numbers might be?

    Quote Originally Posted by NCRAVEN View Post
    We watching the same time over the past couple of years?
    Note carefully what I said--young and talented OL, not necessarily productive at this point in their careers. The Steelers' OL is projected next year to look like this:

    LT-Gilbert LG-Beachum C-Pouncey RG-DeCastro RT-Adams

    Every starter on that line is 24 or younger and all but 1 is a first or second round pick. That's definitely young and talented, and the Steelers were never able to field that line last year because their OL was ravaged by injuries. The injury situation will regress to the mean next year and be better by default, so I strongly expect their OL to be MUCH improved.

    As for the young talent on their roster to build around... not much else I can say apart from what I already said. Antonio Brown is a very good receiver, Woodley is one of the league's best pass rushers when healthy, and Timmons is perhaps the best young ILB in the AFC. I've already highlighted how young their OL is, and they have numerous defensive draft picks (Cameron Heyward, Steve McLendon, Curtis Brown, Cortez Allen) who have played well in limited duty.

    I just don't think the Steelers are in the kind of trouble teams like Jacksonville, Oakland, etc. are. Those are teams without a franchise QB and with virtually no talent on the roster. The Steelers are way above that territory.




  7. #22
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    They definitely missed on Ta'amu and Rainey, and Adams and DeCastro were up and down in their rookie years, but you give a draft class 3 years to pan out. The two OL are both talented and showed flashes in their rookie years. It's a steep learning curve for most linemen in the NFL, so there's no reason to think they won't improve next year.

    I'm not saying the Steelers are going to be Super Bowl contenders next year, but they have talent on the roster, a good coaching staff, and a good FO. They are just NOT going to be a 4-12 team next year, keep dreaming if you think that's the case. They're going to be right there with the Ravens even if they can't keep up all year long.
    4-12 is a complete exaggeration. But we said the same things last year, and as jab pointed out, they finished just how a lot of us expected them to finish. Bad Oline, Ben can't stay healthy, old defense that is somehow always number 1 on the stats sheet but the games don't always really reflect that. I say 9-7.




  8. #23
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Antonio Brown is not a #1 WR. Sanders is not a #2 WR. Wallace is gone. They have no deep threat. Which might work with Haley's new dink and dunk offense installed. But their offense is a lot less scary than it used to be.

    Their best pass-catcher last year was TE Miller and he tore up his knee really bad late last season - he will have a long recovery and at best start the season on PUP. I think he tore both his ACL and MCL. He could easily miss half the season or maybe even all of it if his recovery has hiccups.

    All of their RBs suck.

    If either the defense falls off (age) or Big Ben has a rough year (or another injury), this team is cooked.

    Their offense is worse off than their defense IMO - they have a lack of talent at WR and RB and now TE, which means it is all on the QB.

    Plus all of the negative locker room chatter which may or may not manifest itself next season.

    I won't count them out, but their situation isn't looking pretty.




  9. #24

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    Even if the Ravens have a little more palatable number, say 10 players taking up 60% of the cap with 40% allocated to the remaining 40, how much difference does that really make? Draft picks are cheap, and if you depend on a core of expensive, elite players supported by a big pool of young first-contract players, isn't that just the model of franchise success, no matter how skewed the numbers might be?
    I believe we had a similar thread on this where it was roughly 60-65% on the top 10, but the difference is i believe is the top 10 players averaged closer to 2 years younger (28 to 29.5 roughly) than the steelers and arguably get a lot more production from. So that age difference plus the cap being spread out more evenly does effect the overall team greatly. It allows us to retain and sign some mid level talent vs the steelers usually mostly bringing in low level, which we arent shy from ourselves.
    -JAB




  10. #25
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Let's get back to Timmons and Brown. I give the Steelers credit that these are the two players most worthy of restructures. They are both turning 27 this year and will be around for a while.

    With Antonio Brown, the Steelers took $3.85 million of his 2013 salary and converted it into a bonus prorated over the next 5 years. It is applied in increments of $770k from 2013-2017. This dropped his 2013 cap # from around $6.2 million down to $3.1 million. From 2013-2016, Brown's signing bonus dead money increased from $1.7 million to $2.47. In 2017, when Brown's last year of contract had no dead money, it now has $770k. I'm not totally in favor of restructures in most cases, but this is probably one of the more sensible ones I've seen, particularly by Steeler standards. Since Brown has 5 years remaining on his deal, you can move a decent amount of money without having the cap impact be that damaging.

    However, on a down side, Brown does now have $10.5 million in dead money heading forward, versus $7.5 before the restructure. His salary in 2015, when he's 29, is $8.5 million and in 2016, when he's 30, is $10.7. It's hard to say what future caps will look like, but those are high figures for a guy like Brown, who is a solid, productive WR, but not elite.

    Timmons is the same age as Brown, even though he was drafted in 2007 and Brown was drafted in 2010.

    His restructure was $4.5 million over 4 years with a roster bonus of $2.5 million. This dropped his 2013 cap # from $10.4 to $5.9 million. However, now the prorated portion of those two bonuses ($1.75 million per year) will be tacked on to his cap # for 2014,2015, and 2016. His cap cost those three years will be $11.8, $12.5, and $11.8. Timmons is probably the best player on the Steelers in my opinion, so this isn't an insane restructure, but it is pushing the limits of sanity a bit. He will have about $5 million of dead money in 2014 and 2015 and $3 million in 2016 (last year of his current contract). If Timmons keeps pace at his current high level of play, it's no big deal, but if his play drops a bit, the Steelers will be in a tough spot to cut him due to the $13 million in dead money.

    What I'm hearing on the Post Gazette's site is that Big Ben might convert as much as $9 million of his 2013 salary into a bonus to be spread in increments of $3 million/year over the remaining three years on his deal. This would drop his 2013 salary cap # from $19.6 to $13.6. But it would also take his 2014 cap # from $14.9 to $17.9 and his 2015 (when he's 33)from $14.4 to $17.4. Given his inability to stay on the field recently, that's a very unsound, risky gamble in my opinion.

    If you look at it this way....assuming the Steelers do restructure Ben as above, they now created an extra $5.3 million in dead money for 2014 and 2015 just between the restructures to Brown, Timmons, and Roethlisberger. This doesn't even count the $9.5 million/year that is already "dead money" through those 3 contracts for 2014 and 2015. This is $5.3 on top of that amount. So what does $5.3 million get you that the Steelers will now no longer have in 2014 and 2015? Well, using last year as an example, that $5.3 million would have gotten you both Jacoby Jones and Corey Graham during this past offseason. That's a huge amount of money to make "dead" just through the process of getting yourself out of cap trouble. .They also created an extra $2.2 million in dead money for 2016 with Brown and Timmons.


    If the Steelers can somehow resurrect these 30-somethings into past glory for one more 10-6 season in 2013 (very optimistic), it's going to come at a huge cost to their chances for success in 2014 and 2015. In order for these restructures to make the slightest sense, you have to believe that there is a Super Bowl contending roster still in that 2013 clubhouse. I think that's a longshot to begin with, particularly when you consider that their 2011 and 2012 teams weren't particularly close to even reaching a Super Bowl. Those teams had Wallace, Hampton, Foote, Foster, and Mundy, all who are likely to be lost in free agency. What logic is there to think that these aging players will suddenly turn into their 2010 versions? Even if some of them did, where are the complimentary players needed to sustain a roster during a 16 game season? They are on other rosters now, because the Steeler FO has butchered their salary cap for years now.

    Long years ahead in Pittsburgh. Serves them right.
    Last edited by LukeDaniel; 02-28-2013 at 12:04 PM.




  11. #26

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    They definitely missed on Ta'amu and Rainey, and Adams and DeCastro were up and down in their rookie years, but you give a draft class 3 years to pan out. The two OL are both talented and showed flashes in their rookie years. It's a steep learning curve for most linemen in the NFL, so there's no reason to think they won't improve next year.

    I'm not saying the Steelers are going to be Super Bowl contenders next year, but they have talent on the roster, a good coaching staff, and a good FO. They are just NOT going to be a 4-12 team next year, keep dreaming if you think that's the case. They're going to be right there with the Ravens even if they can't keep up all year long.
    Nobody here believes (or even implied imo) that they're going to be the Cleveland Browns, but they don't seem to be trending in the right direction.




  12. #27
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    Note carefully what I said--young and talented OL, not necessarily productive at this point in their careers. The Steelers' OL is projected next year to look like this:

    LT-Gilbert LG-Beachum C-Pouncey RG-DeCastro RT-Adams

    Every starter on that line is 24 or younger and all but 1 is a first or second round pick. That's definitely young and talented, and the Steelers were never able to field that line last year because their OL was ravaged by injuries. The injury situation will regress to the mean next year and be better by default, so I strongly expect their OL to be MUCH improved.

    As for the young talent on their roster to build around... not much else I can say apart from what I already said. Antonio Brown is a very good receiver, Woodley is one of the league's best pass rushers when healthy, and Timmons is perhaps the best young ILB in the AFC. I've already highlighted how young their OL is, and they have numerous defensive draft picks (Cameron Heyward, Steve McLendon, Curtis Brown, Cortez Allen) who have played well in limited duty.

    I just don't think the Steelers are in the kind of trouble teams like Jacksonville, Oakland, etc. are. Those are teams without a franchise QB and with virtually no talent on the roster. The Steelers are way above that territory.
    I'll just say this. I don't think they've drafted well at all in the past couple of years. On D other than Timmons who I do think is pretty good, Woodley and Kenaan Allen. They are old on D and not that talent in with the younger guys (Heyward Hood, Worlds).

    Same with the offense. Starks the only guy they've had over the years able to stop Suggs will likely be gone, Same with Colon. Pouncey is vastly overrated and not very durable. The RT from Florida (I think) is a revolving door. Adams is a OG IMO and while they do have some WR the O-line is getting their franchise QB beat to shit and no time to throw.

    BUT, even with the bad drafts, lack of talent and putting themselves in cap hell, I still hate playing them.
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  13. #28
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    Every year, this is the story and every year, they find a way to make it work.

    The locker room tension / back stabbing is far more of a destructive issue for them than the cap.
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  14. #29
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRaven View Post
    Every year, this is the story and every year, they find a way to make it work.

    The locker room tension / back stabbing is far more of a destructive issue for them than the cap.
    make it work... and go 8-8




  15. #30
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    The Steelers HAVE a "young core" in place to build around. Restructuring some of those contracts definitely pushes off the pain until future years, but they are betting on the cap increasing in future years as much as the Ravens did when they signed the Ngata, Webb, and Rice deals, all of which double or even triple in cap hits beginning in 2014. The anticipated Flacco contract will be much the same--huge cap hits in future years. Go look up the cap numbers for the restructured Woodley and Brown contracts. Those contracts were done very carefully with small bonus numbers in future years SPECIFICALLY to open up the possibility of restructures without causing too much harm. Woodley's cap hits in future years are right around the 13m mark. What's Suggs' cap number over the next 2 years? Right around 13m. No difference between the Steelers and Ravens there.

    The reality of the matter is simple: the Steelers have a franchise QB under contract for several years, with an extremely young, talented, and cheap OL to protect him. They have Antonio Brown and numerous young pieces on defense (Woodley, Timmons, Heyward all under 30)
    Okay, so after Brown, Woodley, Timmons, Heyward, who else?

    Decastro, Pouncey, Emmanuel Sanders, Redman, Dwyer, Cortez Allen are the only ones who come to mind under the age of 30 who are any good. That's not a core, that's about 40% of a core.

    Look at the Ravens core under 30. Flacco (28), Pierce (23), Rice (26), Torrey (24), Yanda (29), Oher (27), Osemele (24), Jacoby (29, not sure his long term probabilities, but he's still under contract) Pitta (28), Ngata (29), McPhee (24), Webb (27), Graham (28), Pollard (28), Jimmy Smith (25), Art Jones (27), Upshaw (23), McClellan (27). I'm not even counting guys like Gradkowski, Doss, Bynes, Tyson, Jah Reid, and Chykie Brown, who might step up into prominent roles in the near future or guys still in their 20s, who aren't that great (Jameel, Dickson, Cody).

    The Steelers and Ravens really aren't comparable in terms of young talent right now. Also, keep in mind that the list above didn't make mention of Kruger or Ellerbe, one of whom is likely to be back. The Steelers are faced with losing almost every significant Free Agent because the guys currently under contract are too expensive.




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