Before I get to it again, let me say that this is MY REVISED plan, not a prediction of what will actually happen. It does represent what I think SHOULD and COULD possibly happen and now take sinto account what has happened since 2-11-00 12:01 AM. I have tried to make it as realistic a possibility as I could. In doing so, I have relied on various sources for cap info and draft projections.
Here goes again.
Reports indicate that the Steelers have around $11 mill. under the cap. This must be kept in mind when making a plan. Let's set aside $5 mill. to sign the rookies right of the bat. That leaves $6 mill.
- Hire Jerry Angelo as GM NOW! He's currently with Tampa and he�s already interviewed twice with the Steelers.
2. Of course Cowher promoted Lewis to the D coordinators role, but we still need to hire a DB coach & assistant O-line coach. Any of the 5 candidates Cowher is considering for these 2 spots is ok. Former Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Irv Eatman and former Steelers offensive lineman Ted Petersen are the candidates for the O-line spot; while The candidates for the DB spot are Ron Dickerson, the former Temple and Alabama State head coach; Willy Robinson, who previously coached at Seattle; and Tom Hayes, former DB coach for the Redskins.
3. Well, Feb. 10, midnight came and went without us re-signing any of our own players, so I�ve moved them to the FA section of he plan.
4. The lowest tender offer of $471,900 was made to each of our RFA's - Richard Huntley, Will Blackwell, & Mike Vrable. That means anyone who wants them gives us their pick for the round the player was drafted. That�s a 4th round for Huntley, a 2nd round for Blackwell, and a 3rd round for Vrable. No one will do this. Well, maybe for Huntley. If they do - I'd take the 4th round pick anyway, because we are deep at RB and there will be some very good players available. We also have the right to match the offers if we choose. Assuming we sign them all for the tender offers, that rounds to $1.4 mill. Leaving me with $4.6 to spend.
5. MAKING CAP ROOM. I need to create $4.2 to $7 mill. In order to sign the Other Teams FA�s I�ve targeted at those #s. It�s possible. Both the jags, 9ers and vikes made more room just be restructuring.
TRADES: First I'd trade Stewart to anybody for as low as a 3rd round pick. Furthermore, I'm willing to make the pick from next years draft. He's a playmaker who needs a change of scenery. Someone would take him for what I'm asking. I'd consider trading for a player also, but the cap # would have to be right. This might require reworking his deal, but I think he would do this for a chance to start.
Steed is not up for trade anymore. Reports are his knees are good.(unless the Chargers will trade him for Norman Hand, their franchise player � straight up)
RESTRUCTURED CONTRACTS: These players contracts expire after the 2000 season and I would like to extend them IF it would also provide cap relief in 2000: Bettis, Duffy, Fu, and Ward
These players contracts expire after the 2001 season and I would like to extend them IF it would also provide cap relief in 2000:
Holmes, Gildon, Scott, and Stai
(Save all the comments about me being against mortgaging the future. The Steelers are in trouble now. I don't mind taking a loan out during the bad times; I'm just against it during the good times. It never gets anybody "over the top" in good times anyway.)
CUTS: None until June 1st was my original plan, but the FO already cut Strzelczyk and that kind of threw parts of my original plan for a loop. I was counting on him making a recovery and pushing for a starting role. I�ll address this problem with a veteran OT or through the draft if my top 2 choices for the #8 pick are gone.
6. FREE AGENTS
STEELER FREE AGENTS: Re-sign Roye. I figure $3 mill. a year should do it. None of our other UFA's are a priority. Tomczak, Hawkins, Harrison, Emmons, and Sweeney do not even get offers. Lyons (if recovering well), Lance Brown, and Oldham get offers at vet minimums if I think they are needed going into camp. That�s $440,000 for Lyons, $413,000 for Lance Brown, & $440,000 for Oldham. My total to resign our players equals $4.3 mill rounded up, leaving me with $300k plus whatever room I�ve created by restructuring and will make in the June round of cuts.
OTHER TEAMS FREE AGENTS I should now have the cap room needed to sign other teams FA's. It�s still a select list:
I originally was going after the Charger's DT Norman Hand, but they slapped him with the franchise tag. Instead, I�m going to target NT Ted Washington who is rumored will be cut by the Bills. $3 mill. Is what I figure it would take to sign him. I'd consider KC's DT, Tom Barndt at $1.5 mill. if of Washington stays with Buffalo.
Next is the QB position - I'm going after a veteran QB. My choice is still Raven's QB Tony Banks but it is now a tie with Former Giant, Kent Graham. The offer is going to be around $ 2 mill. (Banks will probably get $3mill. from the Ravens- we might as well drive up the price.) (I�d consider Jay Feidler for around $1 mill would be ok. � Hoying re-signed with the Raiders, so forget him.)
To solve the problem at OT caused by Strzelczyk being cut, I�ve targeted K.C.�s Glenn Parker or former Bronco Tony Jones. The offer is around $2mill.
Joey Galloway was franchised so we can forget any dream of him in balck & gold.
There are of course several other players I'd like to see in the black and gold (guys like FB howard Griffith), but this is probably more than Rooney will OK.
7. THE DRAFT (possible according to several mock drafts) (No changes here, but I was tempted to go with an OT in round 1)
Chad Pennington-Marshall QB 6'3 220 5.0 Comments: the top QB in the draft. Great size & intangibles, good arm strength, and good mobility for a guy his size. He reads defenses very well and is a natural leader. Incredible work ethic and will spend all week in the film room. The knock on him is the level of competition he faced at Marshall. Southern Conference Freshman of the Year in 1995. As a sophomore, teamed with Randy Moss and set the NCAA record for touchdown passes with 39. Passing efficiency continued to improve in 1998 and 1999 after Moss left. Capable of making all the passes. Smart enough to win several academic awards. Shows excellent leadership. Accurate . Tough. poised. Productive. :Projection: 1st Round; Top 10 (The franchise QB we need, and he's not Kordell - 2 big pluses - if he's not there then Redman. If neither are there then go LT, Samuels, Smith, or McIntosh)
Brandon Short LB
6'2" 245# 4.6
Penn State #43
1999 STATS: 101 TACKLES, 15 TACKLES FOR LOSS, 4 SACKS, 1 INTERCEPTION*****1998 STATS: 75 TACKLES, 17 TACKLES FOR LOSS, 5.5 SACKS, 1 INTERCEPTION (Emmon's, who isn't getting resigned, replacement on the outside, also could move inside, where he played in college, if Kirk or Holmes goes down.)
Laveranues Coles WR Projected as late 3/4th 5'11" also 6'1 195 also 200 4.3 Florida State #7 1999 STATS: KICKED OFF TEAM EARLY IN SEASON, 14.9 YD/CATCH for 179 YD and 1 TD*****1998 STATS: 20.9 YD/CATCH for 397 YD and 3 TD (He's had some legal troubles, but so did Moss. We need his speed.)
Jerry Deloach DT California
"Simply stated: very sound in every aspect of the position" - lindy's (Steed's back up, and eventual starter, maybe this season if Steed can't go. Also could play DE in the 3-4 )
Round 3c - for losing Lake
Steve Warren DT
6'1" 315# 5.2 Nebraska #96
1999 STATS: 42 TACKLES, 13 TACKLES FOR LOSS, 7 SACKS*****1998 STATS: 26 TACKLES, 1 TACKLE FOR LOSS (back up for Steed or Deloach)
5'10" 190# 4.4
1999 STATS: 43 TACKLES, 3 INTERCEPTIONS, 12 PASSES BROKEN UP***** 1998 STATS: 58 TACKLES, 6 INTERCEPTIONS, 8 PASSES BROKEN UP (Small but fast, a good value in round 5, say goodbye to Simmons)
Rob Riti-Missouri 6'2 285 5.0
Comments: 2nd rated center in the draft Projection: 3rd to 6th Round (Eventual replacement for Dawson, immediate replacement for Duffy, making him move to G.)
CB Courtney Jackson Arizona State 6'1 190 (Nice size and speed, might be able to be #4 guy beating out Towsend, or move to safety and let Brown or Davis go.)
I still need a FB, but I'm out of picks. Here's the two undrafted rookie FA FB's I invite to camp. Who knows, maybe one of them can beat out Witman.
Arkansas, Nathan Norman 6' 238 - not versitile, but a good run blocker.
Tennessee, Phillip Crosby 6'1 243 - physical and capable of destroying tacklers.
Another possible undrafted rooike FA:
Ohio State�s TE, Steve Wisniewski, 6�5" 263, A good blocker, with decent hands, but is slow; might be good insurance if Lyons can�t come back.
THE CAMP ROSTER
No guaranteed starters going into camp
Ultimately, if I get the player's I have mentioned, our roster looks like this going into camp:
QB: Pennington, Banks or Graham (or Feidler) , Wright, Gonzalez (Gonzo gets the axe or traded in camp provided all stay healthy and I get either Pennington or Redman in the draft)
RB: Bettis, Huntley, Fu, Amos
FB: Witman, Norman, Crosby (Come on Rookies, beat Witman off the roster)
WR: Edwards, Wards, Coles, Blackwell, Shaw, Johnson (I really need Coles speed here, so he better stay out of trouble & pan out)
TE: Bruener, Tuman, Cushing, Lyons, Wisniewski (Only 3 make the final roster � Lyons may be put on I.R. or Cushing and Wisniewski on practice squad)
OT: Gandy, Farris, Pourdanish, Parker or Jones (Still not as strong as I�d like, but all I could do this year.)
G: Stai, Faneca, Duffy, Orlandini, Conrad, Brown (Only 4 make the 53 man roster)
C: Dawson, Riti
LS: Schenk (if Riti can LS, he could be gone)
DE: Roye, Deloach, Smith, Staat, Henry, Earnie Brown (Henry & Brown - probably cut or traded in camp, unless Roye leaves)
NT: Steed, Washington or Barndt, Warren (Latest word on Steed is the knees are good & he should be ready for camp)
ILB: Kirkland, Holmes, Fiala, Kelsay
OLB: Gildon, Porter, Vrable, Short (talk about competition)
CB: Washington, Scott, Poteat, Jackson, Townsend, Simmons
S: Flowers, Sheilds, Davis, Oldham, Brown (I don�t like my depth here, but one of the CB�s may move to S)