As expected the representatives for James Harrison and the Pittsburgh Steelers have begun discussions on a long-term extension for the star linebacker
There hasn‚Äôt been any leaks yet on the numbers being discussed but it‚Äôs believed Harrison is seeking $20 million in guarantees.
An Inside Look at previous deals top Linebackers have signed the past two years.
In 2008, New York Jets signed Calvin Pace’s to a six-year, $42 million deal (about $20 million guaranteed). Pace, 27, recorded 80 tackles and 7 sacks in the first year of his 6 year deal.
In 2007, the Miami Dolphins signed Joey Porter to a 5-year, $32 million deal ($20 million guaranteed). Porter, 31, recorded 47 tackles and 17.5 sacks in 08.
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, 27, (119 tackles, 4 sacks) seeking $20 million guaranteed)
Harrison, 30, had 101 tackles & 16 sacks in the regular season for the Steelers. Pace, Porter were under 30 when they signed their long-term deals and Dansby who is seeking a long-term deal is under 30. The Steelers believe Harrison is not ‚Äú30‚Äù in football years after not playing much until 2007.
Last summer Troy Polamalu signed a five-year, $33 million contract. The deal contains $15.375 million guaranteed, including a $10.975 million signing bonus. The question the Steelers front office has to consider is whether Harrison deserves more guaranteed money then Polamalu who is the Steelers most dynamic player and is three years younger than Harrison.
The Steelers have already begun their pursuit of locking up their free agent tackles.
Negotiations have already begun with Max Starks. The Steelers are looking at a price tag of $5.5 – $6 million annually.
Talks with Marvel Smith are expected to pick up next week. A lot of insiders are confident the Steelers will sign one of them and possibly both.
The Steelers remain interested in bringing back Trai Essex. Essex is expected to test the market and see what’s out there.
No significant talks with cornerback Bryant McFadden yet. Kevin Colbert is expected to sit down with Drew Rosenhaus at the combine
Hearing some talk that the Steelers could take a run at Buccaneers wide receiver Michael Clayton in free agency ( If Nate Washington signs elsewhere). Clayton is a talented wide out but has under-achieved since his rookie season. Clayton played for Mike Tomlin when he was an assistant coach with the Buccaneers.
Reports indicate the Steelers will not ask Larry Foote to take a discount. It is believed they will listen to offers.
more to come