Steelers Today - A Pittsburgh Steelers blog


Steelers sign Hampton, tag Reed

February 25, 2010 By: Admin Category: Draft/Free Agency

First I want to thank all of my readers for being patient while I was on hiatus.  Writing this blog takes a lot of time, so I usually take a vacation from the end of the season until the start of the NFL Scouting Combine.  The Combine starts today, so Steelers Today will officially start our 2010 coverage.

The most important news coming out of the Steelers organization is the signing of Casey Hampton.  I was certain the Steelers would use the franchise tag on Hampton.  After all, Hampton will be 33 years old this coming season, and he has struggled with physical conditioning at times.  Because of this, I thought the Steelers would place the franchise tag on Hampton to get one more year out of him.  In the meantime, I thought that they would draft a nose tackle to become Hampton’s long-term replacement.

But instead of doing what I anticipated, the Steelers have signed Hampton to a 3-year contract that is worth more than $21 million.   ChaChing!

Nose tackle Casey Hampton

By signing Hampton, the Steelers were left with the option of using the franchise tag on Ryan Clark or Jeff Reed.  The team chose Jeff Reed.

Reed’s agent was probably looking for a huge payday for his client, since the Oakland Raiders reset the price of kickers when they gave Sebastian Janikowski a ridiculous four-year, $16 million contract with $9 million guaranteed.  That’s waaaaaaaaaaaay too much to pay a kicker.

By franchising Reed, the Steelers will have to give him a one-year contract at the average of the highest 5 salaries at his position for 2009.  That will be much cheaper than matching the Janikowski dollars that will now become the asking price for decent kickers.

By making Reed the franchise player, the Steelers get a first-refusal right to match any offer sheet given to Reed by another team.  If the Steelers choose not to match the offer, they would receive two first-round draft choices as compensation.

With Hampton and Reed both locked up, Ryan Clark becomes the only veteran free agent still to be signed.  Word is that the Steelers have not even started negotiations with Clark’s agent.  This may be an indication that they may be considering taking a safety in this year’s draft.


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8 Comments to “Steelers sign Hampton, tag Reed”

  1. Welcome back! 2010 has now officially begun as the NFL has successfully made it a 12 month season! Regarding the draft and potential picks for the Steelers…doesn’t look like a Safety with a true Round #1 grade will be around when #18 is called. Berry will be gone. Does Taylor Mays or Earl Thomas grade out as a #1 on the Steelers big board? Would they consider one of the CB’s available? Haden will be gone. Wilson from Boise?
    IMO, I do like the thought of moving up (outside of top 10)to grab a Rolando McClain or Bryan Bulaga if they slip to 12 or lower. As we all know, it’s always about how the Steelers big board grades these guys. We have our system and we stick to it. Our [recent] historical success in Rnd 1 has been hard to argue with. Beyond Rnd 1-there’s plenty of room for debate which I look froward to now that we are back on-line. Enjoy the Combine!

  2. It’ll be CB or S in the draft now. S depending on who’s available, because the CB class is very deep this year.

    Any chance that we trade up for Berry?

  3. I have no problem with the move. With sooo many teams moving to a 3-4 there are not enough good NT’s to go around. Now Pitt gets to keep one of the better ones.

    Yes, Casey is on the downside of his career but he’s only a 2-down player so he won’t wear down as fast as an every down payer and, more importantly, he doesn’t have a history of knee or back problems (which are the worries for the big guys).

    On the draft, it’s way too early to tell. In the 1st round, they could go with almost any position except QB, TE, or WR. Top needs are obviously O-line, secondary, and d-line depth (in no particular order).

    I look forward to this year’s “If I were Kevin Colbert” and Don’s other offseason related series.

  4. Thanks guys. It’s good to be back.

    I kind of agree with John that it’s too early to tell what the Steelers will do.

    Berry will be long gone before we pick. But a cornerback or safety might be a good move. O-line clearly still needs help. ILB is a need with Farrior getting older. There should definitely be a good player available at #18. But the Steelers might surprise everyone and take a solid RB, WR, or even TE. We all know that Arians has a tight end fetish. ;-)

  5. PLEASE don’t say that! A frakin’ TE! I’m still recovering from Matt Spaeth in round 2! No TE before round 4 or the IC Light will start flowing early.

  6. BTW…it IS too early to speculate. But, isn’t that what we do? It’s fun or are you excited to read about Lastings Milledge?

  7. Yeah, it is fun. It’s just that i can only stand to talk about Bryan Bulaga, Sean Weatherspoon, Rolando McClain, Mike Iupati, Maurice Pouncey, Joe Haden, C.J. Spiller, Earl Thomas, Dan Williams, Jared Odrick, and possibly Taylor Mays so often before I lapse into a coma.

    BTW, i just gave a huge hint about the players that I’ll be profiling soon. ;-)

  8. Happy to see the Steelers resign Big Snack. As far as the draft, I think our o-line will come together this year. So we get get depth on the o-line later in the draft. We need to go with a DB with the 1st pick. Not sure about Taylor Mays (Scott Sheilds). And if we dont resign FWP and Toby Gearhart is available in the 2nd round we need to snatch him up. Maybe even trade up to get him. Then we go Linebacker, D-line & O-line. Not necessarily in that order.


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