The Pittsburgh Steelers have informed the representatives for Casey Hampton that the team will not open contract talks with Hampton until after the season.
Hampton entering the final year of contract is looking for another big pay day and the Steelers aren’t willing to pay top tier money to a 32 year old DT who also has conditioning issues
The team has limited cap space after the Heath Miller signing but they remain confident that will strike a deal with
defensive end Brett Keisel before 2009 regular season opener. Keisel, 30, had 41 tackles in 10 regular season games last season including 5 tackles (4 solo) in Super Bowl XLIII.
There has also been some talk around camp that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is pushing hard for the front office to re-sign Keisel.
Of all the players entering the final year of their contract, Keisel is most likely to sign next.
He won’t cost as much as some of the others, close friends off the field with Ben Roethlisberger and is the only potential free agent that the team is highly engaged in talks at this point.
More Free Agent Buzz
* The Steelers are monitoring the free agent market for centers but the team has no plans to sign a center at this time as Mike Tomlin announced Friday night that Darnell Stapleton could miss a couple weeks. The team is hopeful that Stapleton will be in game shape by week 1.