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NFL: Hampton calling the Steelers bluff?
Contract negotiations between Casey Hampton and the Steelers will heat up in the next 7-10 days and word from Casey Hampton’s camp is that Pittsburgh has no interest in offering a deal close to Hampton’s market value.
Hampton’s camp is in fact calling the Steelers bluff, about the Steelers all of a sudden acting like the 32 year old nose tackle is a priority.
Steelers front office executive Omar Khan and Eric Armstead, the agent for Casey Hampton, met during the early stages of the senior bowl last week. The two sides are expected to meet again next week following the Super Bowl.
A deal in the 3 year – $22.5 million range with $9.5 million in guarantees has been floated around league circles, but in speaking to a source close to Hampton this morning, that kind of deal won’t be coming from Pittsburgh.
Their expecting a much lesser offer in the range of $6.5-$7.5 million guaranteed over the course of a 3 year deal. An offer the Steelers know that Hampton will reject.
Early indications are it will come down to the franchise tag.
Things are going to get very interesting in the next couple weeks as Hampton has made it known, he won’t be happy about the Steelers placing the franchise tag on him and has threatened to holdout.
There continues to be mixed signals if the Steelers will place the franchise tag, considering the respect they have for Hampton. A source in Hampton’s camp said in early Janauary that the Steelers gave them their word that they wouldn’t place the franchise tag on Hampton. However, the Steelers say that’s not true.
Of the three players, (Hampton, Clark, Reed) the Steelers at least claim internally that are priorities, the growing consensus is that Jeff Reed is the most promising to sign.