TIOPS DAILY FIVE
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. The importance of the Penguins getting five of eight points on their four game road trip is it keeps them in contention for the top-seed in the East and they boast one of the easiest remaining schedules. Only four of the Penguins remaining 16 games are against teams currently in a playoff spot.
2. The Steelers way is to always let the frenzy play out and sign third, fourth tier free agents, though, they did look into some second tier guys from Cary Williams, Derek Morgan and Brandon Graham. The Seattle Seahawks are not one of those teams who are nothing but complacent in acquiring Jimmy Graham today.
For the Steelers who are set to give Ben Roethlisberger another $100 million dollar contract, (Roethlisberger is seeking 6 years, $120 million) they will be lucky if they get four more great years out of Roethlisberger. While the Steelers way is often looked as the right way to do business for those who cover the team around here, but if there’s ever a time to go the free agency route it would have been now. With a potential great offense, the Steelers defense needs totally revamped to make that next step into a true Super Bowl type team and when your franchise quarterback is 33 years old with a lot of wear tear, you can’t bank on waiting three to four years for draft picks to become impact players. Surrounding the best possible team around Roethlisberger during his final elite years isn’t likely going to come from fourth, fifth tier free agents and draft picks.
The Colts are in a different situation with a young franchise quarterback but they are realizing the situation where the AFC is wide open with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady entering ladder stages of their career and they went out and added Frank Gore, Andre Johnson and Trent Cole in attempt to get to the next level of being a Super Bowl team.
3. Jason Worilds has over-estimated his market. The Eagles balked at Worilds asking price of what was initially believed to be $9 million per season with around $20 million guaranteed and the Giants are reportedly the latest team to also feel Worilds asking price is too high.
4. Steelers management wants Jarvis Jones to go into this off-season believing he’s the starter and is the reason the Steelers won’t sign Harrison right away. However, Mike Tomlin wants Harrison back and often gets what he wants when it comes to personnel decisions. The chances of the Steelers signing Harrison at somepoint before the season are looked at by some close to the situation as better than 50%.
5. Patrick Willis is an example of a player who decided to go out on his own terms. At Age 30, Willis stunned those in NFL circles, announcing his retirement this week. Few athletes have it in them to walk away from the money ($7.8 million) when they start to realize they might be slipping a bit and Willis is a rare one who likely still had a few impact seasons, even pro bowl ones left in him. Despite playing just eight seasons, no question he’s a Hall of Famer. One of the most dominant players at his position for a 5-6 year period.