Thursday, February 23, 2012

Steelers GM Colbert Speaks at Combine and a Real Steelers Fan Speaks With Me

 Ken Laird and Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review posted portions of Kevin Colbert's speaking with the media this morning. 

Colbert spoke on a plethora of players and subjects and spoke optimistically of the Steelers being able to keep Wallace since both sides want it to happen.

Colbert says he believes Mike Wallace has the same goal as the team to get a deal done with the Steelers, and gave strong indication that the Steelers will put the first-round tender Wallace. He also said the Steelers haven't ruled out using the franchise tag on Wallace: "We want Mike to finish his career with the Steelers. We think he's only scratched the surface of what he can do."

He did ultimately say, though, that it will be the Steelers decision to keep Mike Wallace, even if he gets offers. Colbert pointed out that the Steelers hold the cards.

Colbert went on to say the Steelers are guessing right now as to what the exact cap will be in 2012, though, probably around $125 million, and that more "terminations" and contract restructuring is coming.

Colbert said repeatedly he's waiting for the league's salary cap values to come out before decisions are made. He says that the Steelers "have to look at multiple scenarios."

Per salary cap guru Ian Whetstone, the Steelers have to account for approx $2 million for exclusive rights free agents and around $10 million for restricted free agents, including Wallace.

All of the salary cap issues can be tedious and confusing, but at the same time interesting to hear explained. Whetstone, of, said that our Omar Khan is better than most in that, while he negotiates similar yearly salaries for players, it's the lower guaranteed monies he's able to negotiate. He'll also explain the difference between "signing bonus" and "guaranteed money" if you ask him, which you can at

Getting back to Colbert, he also commented on Ben. He, in so many words, said that Ben is always going to be Ben. He even seemed to insinuate that Ben needs to trust the system and not try to do too much by saying: "Every meal is not a banquet." (I really need to write that down...)

He said further regarding Ben that both he and Haley are simply competitors and there will certainly be disagreements. This is definitely a possibility since one of the two men has proven to be a Divo (the male version of a "Diva") and the other to be arrogant. I'm simply of the mind that each one needs to remember that their goal is the same: a championship.

When then asked about the running back situation, Colbert said they aren't really in the "running back business" just because of Mendenhall's injury. He commented on Dwyer, as well. He said that he liked him, but that sometimes he is a "little too big."

Ken Laird, @Ken_Laird on Twitter, said that he asked Colbert if he missed the Dan Kreider days of a fullback. He said that Colbert responded: "Whether or not we'll have a fullback in the mix I can't say." And that, "Nobody knows until our offensive staff, particularly Todd [Haley], gains an understanding of the players we do have"

On a more personal level...

I had the pleasure of chatting today with Kim, staff writer with regarding the Steelers and her article

Kim, whom you can and should follow on Twitter via her handle, @Kimmy_KimKimM, and I talked about Mike Wallace and other Steelers players.

She pointed out that Wallace only made $480,000 last year and "is definitely ready to get paid!" And that she "Just hope(s) it's as a #Steeler”

I agreed that "he's due." I said that, "I understand it's a business at the same time, though." To that she pointed out that the Steelers seem to usually find a way. Yeah, they do. Case in point, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger restructured his contract today, bringing the Steelers virtually to an even cap number.

We then broke into a bit of a Shakespeare-esque "To tag or not to tag. That is the question." She said, "I don't see that as a good option either way. Too much of a cap hit, then next year you would have him and AB to sign."

I stated that the Steelers could still tag or sign, and that, regardless, we have to protect our side, our interests. I reminded her too that the Steelers always tag in order to make more time to sign long term. Even referencing that LaMarr Woodley did just that last year, basically turning the tag number mostly into a signing bonus. So, then only a small portion counts against cap.

In other words, two avid Steelers just having fun being totally engrossed in shop talk. So, I won't bore you with the rest. Just go to the aforementioned website or follow her on Twitter so you can also probe the wonderful mind of this great Steelers fan.