Saturday, February 9, 2013

Steelers Coach Montgomery Leaves Staff; Salary Cap Updates

Another has left the roost. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery served three seasons as wide receivers coach at Duke University, his alma mater.

These are the facts: Montgomery is the third Steelers' assistant to leave since the end of the 2012 season. The others were offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who left for the head coaching job at UTEP, and special teams coach Amos Jones, who made a lateral move to the Arizona Cardinals.

The 34-year old Montgomery played at Duke University from 1996-99, and ranks second on their all-time list receptions list and is fourth on all-time receiving yards with 171 catches and 2,378 yards respectively. He was the Blue Devils' Most Valuable Player 1998 and 1999. - http://tinyurl.com/ah9fg35

What is just as important, however, is how this affects the team continuity and preparations for next season. There are enough issues at hand with regard to the actual players, let alone the ones in charge of guiding them. And, as alluded to before, Jones and now Montgomery, who, according to many, were supposed to be Tomlin's guys, only took lateral transfers?

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

So now, per Ed Bouchette, Tomlin now has two openings on his staff to fill. As he tweeted from his Twitter (@EdBouchette) account on Friday: ".... Unfilled ST asst he may use elsewhere."

Who will it be, though, to fill the WR coach position? Some have suggested Hines Ward might fill it. Well, allow me to address that as elaborately and eloquently as I can.

Nope.

Ward has said that coaching may be in his future, but in so many words said that it would be 'no time soon,' and that if and when he did it would probably be at his "alma mater."

Mark Kaboly suggested this with respects the opening: "Steelers might not have to go far to find Scottie Montgomery's replacement. Bobby Engram is only right next door at #Pitt."

Whomever it shall be remains to be seen. What we have already seen, however, is that, either Tomlin is cleaning house and is dead set on presenting the best possible product for 2013 and forward, or the coaches under Tomlin are chafing badly under his headship. Let's hope, for continuity's sake that it's the former.

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As we presented in our last blog, Pro Football Talk reported that the Steelers have a credit of $758,000 which is a carry-over of unused cap space from 2012. It's also more than originally expected or known.

In light of the extra monies provided the Steelers and to break down the Cap situation of the Steelers, we thought we'd turn to Ian Whetstone of Steel City Insider again as last season.

In part, he said "the Steelers currently have 44 players signed for 2013...and when including the Exclusive Rights Free Agents -
$555,000 CB Van Dyke, DeMarcus
$480,000 RB Batch, Baron -

{and} Dead Money {hits} -
$344,824 DT Ta'amu, Alameda
$37,368 WR Clemons, Toney
$34,422 CB Frederick, Terrence
$23,256 RB Batch, Baron
$3,334 CB Carter, Terry
$3,334 DE Igbinosun, Ikponmwosa
$3,334 OL Lee, Ryan
$3,334 WR Maze, Marquis
$2,667 LB Lindsey, Brandon
$2,667 DE Stoller, Jake
$1,667 WR Dixon, Connor
$1,334 TE Saunders, Weslye -
there is a $133,101,630 current Cap commitment."

He further said there is a "$121,000,000 projected 2013 salary cap
Unknown 2012 cap carryover (should not be more than a few 100k)
Unknown 2013 cap adjustment. {editor's note: as stated at the outset, both have been increased since the original posting.}

"The Restricted Free Agents:
RB Dwyer, Jonathan
P Kapinos, Jeremy (I think)
DT McLendon, Steve
RB Redman, Isaac
WR Sanders, Emmanuel
LB Sylvester, Stevenson

"Projected RFA Tenders:
$2,879,000 First-round tender
$2,023,000 Second-round tender
$1,386,000 Original round tender

"Unrestricted Free Agents
S Allen, Will
QB Batch, Charlie
WR Burress, Plaxico
LB Foote, Larry
OL Foster, Ramon
DT Hampton, Casey
LB Johnson, Brandon
TE Johnson, David
CB King, Justin
QB Leftwich, Byron
OL Legursky, Doug
CB Lewis, Keenan
RB Mendenhall, Rashard
S Mundy, Ryan
TE Pope, Leonard
OL Starks, Max
WR Wallace, Mike
LS Warren, Greg"


So the Steelers do have the adjusted figure of a $121.1 million Salary Cap. Yet with all of their UFAs, even with having three $250,000 veteran Cap credits at their disposal, they still have no choice but to clean house. Especially considering that Baltimore Ravens team president Dick Cass said at the team's season-ending press conference that the "cap is not expected to go up dramatically in 2014....It should not be much more than $122 million in 2014.”

So, the nine-year extension of its Sunday broadcast television packages with CBS, FOX and NBC that will run through the 2022 season, was expected to blow up. It turns out that the cap will remain flat after all. Which means a careful stratagem will be needed continually into the seasons to come as well. All of which should start in mid-February.

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TIDBITS: Who could the Steelers lose in their March purge? As we wrote last June, James Harrison could be one who would go. - http://tinyurl.com/bjlqooe

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Ravens say they won't restructure contracts to keep their team together. If so, Anquan Boldin says he would retire before wearing another jersey. ...yeah, ok. - http://tinyurl.com/ax7442g