Gerry Dulac: Good morning everyone...well, at least, it's morning in Phoenix here at the NFL owners meeting. Let's get the chat started..
Dormonty Dawson: Gerry, Another city newspaper reported that the Steelers exhibited some interested in O-Tackle Jake Long before he signed with the Rams. First, do you believe the report? Second, if true, do you think the Steelers only feigned interest as a smokescreen to induce other teams to believe they might take an O-Lineman at pick 17?
Gerry Dulac: If there was interest it was only because the Steelers thoiught it would be interesting to be ABLE to sign. him. But that is idealism, not reality, and the Steelers salary-cap limitations -- and philosophy -- keep them in the world of reality. Name the last time the Steelers signed a player of that ilk, at that price, in free agency? Here's the answer -- Never. Ever.
JamesinNYC: How is the weather better then out east?
Gerry Dulac: Green grass, Palm trees. Blue cloudless skies. 85. You tell me....
JAMESH: Should we expect anything of note between now and The Draft?
Gerry Dulac: That's hard to answer...I'm sure there are going to be more signings before then, though not many. Maybe a re-sign like a Doug Legursky. I still think one of the three UFAs who visited last week could still be signed before then, though the decision to bring back Matt Spaeth eliminates Kellen Davis. I think the most logical and best choice is OLB Victor Butler, unless he signs elsewhere before then..
Fool: Gerry - The one year deal Mendenhall took was surprising. Did we overvalue him? He signed it quickly so did they know he wasnt worth more?
Gerry Dulac: No I don't think so. With few exceptions, if you look around the league most of the UFA signings have been for much less than people expected. And there have been a ton of 1-year contracts, more than ever. It is not a buyer's market, that's for sure. I think Mendenhall liked that he was joining a team where he knew the coaching staff and his role in the offense. To me, it made all the sense in the world, more so than going to Denver, which was also said to be interested in him.
Guest: Since when are the Steelers expected to resign Starks and Hampton?
Gerry Dulac: Since I left out the most important word -- not. My goof. That is supposed to say they are NOT expected to be re-signed. My apologies...and thanx
Lambert: Any scenario in which Harrison returns?
Gerry Dulac: I guess anything is possible, but I don't expect that to happen. And here's why...
First, Harrison and his agent were hoping to restructure the contract and wouldn't take the pay cut that was being offered. Because they wouldn't take the pay cut, he was released. I don't think, if he fails to sign elsewhere, that he would come crawling back to the Steelers. Not now. Too much pride.
Second, Mike Tomlin effectively said today that the Steelers will play the 2013 season without James Harrison.
And, third, the Steelers might have a recent history of bringing back former players, but they don't tend to do that with their stars. They didn't with Hines Ward, James Farrior and Aaron Smith, and I don't think they will do that w Harrison.
The Chief: What's the latest with Sanders?
Gerry Dulac: There is none. He has not signed an offer sheet w the Patriots and he has to decide when and if he wants to sign his one-year $1.323 million tender from the Steelers.
Art Rooney Jr.: Surprised the Steelers were only awarded one extra draft pick? Would they be in line for more next year?
Gerry Dulac: Not at all. And they got that pick for William Gay.
Next year is a different story. They will get at least one third-round pick from Wallace and maybe another one for either Mendenhall or Lewis, probably Lewis. They could get a 4th for Mendenall.
Either way, they should get three mid-round picks.
Stillerman: Is there any interest in Ahmad Bradshaw?
Gerry Dulac: Yes, there is an interest. But that doesn't mean he is coming in anytime soon.
Willie: Gerry, you ask the question when was the last time the steelers signed a FA of Jake Long's ilk? Doesn't Jeff Hartings fall into that category?
Gerry Dulac: Absolutely not. Hartings didn't carry that kind of price tag. But I will say that Hartings is really the last example of the Steelers going out in free agency and signing a starter. That is, if you don't count Sean Mahan. He was Tomlin's first significant FA signing in 2007 and that didn't work out so well.
JAMESH: In your slog this morning you stated the Steelers are expected to re-sign Hampton and Starks. Just a typo or breaking news?
Gerry Dulac: Exactly. See above. Forgot the word "not."
Dormonty Dawson: Gerry, Since you attended the Combine and therefore have irreplaceable firsthand knowledge of the prospects' talents, will you be joining Jerry Micco for PG's Draft Chat this year?
Gerry Dulac: I don't go where I'm not invited.
Ken: Please tell me the lowering of the head rule will be laughed at. No more Earl Campbell spearing Isiah Robertson--c'mon!
Gerry Dulac: More likely to be passed than laughed at.
The Dude: Quoted from your PG article on Tomlin "They are expected to re-sign two others starters who are unrestricted free agents -- tackle Max Starks and nose tackle Casey Hampton." Am I correct that it should be not sign?
Gerry Dulac: You are correct. My goof. See above.
The Dude: Do you think Steve Breaston is still in play for the Steelers?
Gerry Dulac: No, but it depends on Sanders.
Guest: Who will be the third qb on the roster next year, Charlie Batch or a young drafted qb?
Gerry Dulac: That remains to be seen. I think Charlie's future rests with the draft. But, either way, both Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert said there is a position open for a third QB on the roster. So there will be a third.
Steely McBeam: Think they will regret letting Wes Saunders go, especially since they need tight ends?
Gerry Dulac: No. They don't look back.
steelerfan58: If you are GM would you let Sanders go and take the 3rd round pick?
Gerry Dulac: I think I might. More important, I think they might.
Mel Kiper: Is this the most important Steeler draft in the last ten years and the one that could define Colbert's legacy?
Gerry Dulac: I agree with the first part. It will certainly be the most interesting. But I don't think it will have anything to do with Colbert's legacy.
Hammer: Any reasonably priced free agent dbs worth going after? Think bringing Gay back was the same as bringing back the other guy from Arizona and he was gone in a year.
Gerry Dulac: Victor Butler.
Bud Selig: When should we expect the schedule to be announced? Think Roger the Dodger will settle things with MLB so the Ravens open up at home instead of going on the road because of an Oriole baseball game?
Gerry Dulac: Soon. Mid- to late April
Phil: I guess old timers miss the good old days when Al Davis would set up a bench press and free weights on his balcony--just because it was good for the mystique, baby.
Gerry Dulac: Hahaha. We were just talking about that the other day. Set them up -- and never use them.
Ben Stiller: Think the linebacker from Georgia, he of the great talent but possible spinal condition, will ever drop to the Steelers, and if he does would they grab him like they did Decastro last year?
Gerry Dulac: Very possible. His name is Jarvus Jones. Great fit for their scheme.
Joe S.: Following up on the first question: Should we read the tea leaves of some of these reports and/or comments from Tomlin and the front office, meaning they're intended to send signals (false and otherwise) to the rest of the league, to help on draft day? Or are the Steelers more straightforward?
Gerry Dulac: I think all coaches and GMs tend to coy leading up to the draft.
Gerry Dulac: And speaking of first questions, that is the last one I can handle. back to the meetings boys and girls. Hope you enjoyed the chat and the answers. Remember, "Not expected to be re-signed."
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