Monday’s Daily Five: Steelers focus should be on locking up young players not Taylor


Monday’s Daily Five 1. The lockout is coming close to an official end and NFL Free Agency is going to be chaos as teams will have a 72-hour window to resign their pending free agents before the frenzy begins with teams getting their rosters intact before training camp. Due to players with 4 years of NFL experience scheduled to be free agents, it will also be a much larger pool of free agents. The Steelers list of free agents, just to name a few, will include tackles Willie Colon, Jonathan Scott, cornerbacks William Gay, Ike Taylor, defensive tackle Chris Hoke, linebacker Keyaron Fox, kicker Shaun Suisham, punter Daniel Sepulveda, running back Mewelde Moore and tight end Matt Spaeth. Quarterback Dennis Dixon is a restricted free agent and received an existing round tender before the lockout. Every name on the list, expect for Keyarox Fox, are believed to be players theRead More »

Friday’s Daily Five: Potential Cap issues for Steelers?


Friday’s Daily Five For those wondering where it went, I will be back with the “Daily Five” segment full time, starting this coming Monday. It will consist of five opinion/observations features that will be posted in the morning to start the day (Monday through Friday). Here is what to expect: 1. Potential Cap Issues for the Steelers?: The NFL lockout is inching closer to officially being over and’s Jason LaCanfora reports that the salary cap will be $123 million but “feel closer” to $130 million for teams, due to cap credits and such. Following the Super Bowl, the Steelers salary cap number for 2011 was $116 million, according to ESPN’s numbers on February 7th. These numbers included players currently under contract from the 2011 season and obviously did not include rookies, ect. As things stand right now, the Steelers salary cap number is now pushing $130 million with LaMarrRead More »

Tuesday’s Daily Five: Steelers ownership not against bringing in Burress


The Daily Five 1. Former Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress is scheduled to be released from jail in 13 days. The 33 year old wide out has not played in the NFL since 2008 but a strong market is expected for the former 1st round pick. The Philadelphia Eagles are considered an early front runner for Plaxico’s services. Interest from his former team the New York Giants is said to be “lukewarm” and close associates to Burress are insisting on him getting out of New York “scene” but the New York Jets are expected to be among the teams that look into Burress and possibly show considerable interest. What about a possible reunion with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team that drafted Burress in the 1st round in the 2000 draft? Sources indicate Steelers ownership is not against the team pursuing Burress, if Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin had interest inRead More »

Friday’s Daily Five: Pens three center model has incomplete grade with core off “entry level deals”


The Daily Five 1. Penguins GM Ray Shero and his staff are still a few weeks away from laying out a blueprint for the off-season and free agency. It’s a little early to speculate but with not a lot of cap space and a weak forward market, all signs continue to point to the Penguins kind of standing pat and resigning their own. This past season, Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, and Evgeni Malkin only played together for two games. The Penguins believed they had a Cup team in the making after revamping their blueline and establishing a defensive “mindset” that was missing in 2009-2010. The sense is the team is likely to only make minor “tweaks” to the roster this off-season and bank on having Crosby, Staal and Malkin healthy for a full season behind their improved defensive play. 2. Speaking of Crosby, Malkin, and Staal. The feeling around theRead More »

Thursday’s Daily Five: Kennedy forcing his way out of Pittsburgh would be a mistake


The Daily Five 1. At age 24 and coming off a 21 goal season and establishing himself as a top-9 forward for the past couple seasons, Tyler Kennedy and his camp are right to be seeking $2 million or more annually on a new contract. However, Kennedy’s agent Steve Bartlett is one of the best in the business and knows in the end, that’s an unlikely figure the Penguins are going to compromise with. As I mentioned a few days ago, sources say a comfortable number for the Penguins is $1.4 – $1.5 million per season. Some close to the situation speculate on a 3 year deal the Penguins could be willing to give Kennedy an a similar deal they gave Alex Goligoski a few seasons ago ($1.83 million cap hit) but that remains to be seen. The feeling around the league is that if Kennedy forces his way outRead More »

“Monday’s Daily Five”: Jagr; Bautista; Huntington’s Future; Ike Taylor & more


The Daily Five *A new feature that will be posted Monday through Friday (Between 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.) on five emerging stories in the Pittsburgh Sports Scene* 1. Penguins GM Ray Shero is returning from the World Championships where the Penguins are expected to pickup organizational meetings this week after Shero and his staff conducted preliminary meetings prior to various members going on scouting trips. The buzz right now is whether Shero saw enough from Jaromir Jagr at the World Championships where he feels he could be a fit and a factor with the Penguins. Right now all indications are the Penguins do not intend to pursue Jagr this off-season who has created a media storm due to his flirtation of a possible NHL return and interest in Montreal, Pittsburgh and New York. One Penguin source told me that the sense is Jagr would have to be the aggressor inRead More »

DePaoli’s Tidbits: Kennedy/Talbot Talks; Steelers vet on lockout; Jamie Dixon; Tiki Barber & more


Here’s a sneak peak at a new feature we will be starting Monday through Friday’s titled the “Daily Five”. DePaoli will break down the latest buzz on five emerging stories in the Pittsburgh Sports scene: 1. Teams telling players to expect lockout to end in late June? Tim Benz mentioned on his morning show on Friday (105.9 the X) that a veteran Steeler told him the players are being told to expect a deal by the end of June with a possible return to work of July 1st. The veteran Steeler also told Benz that teams are actively reaching out to player agents through back channels and “people loosely connected to teams” to discuss signing players who are free agents once the lockout ends. I can confirm that there is a lot of chatter going on behind the scenes with teams and agents. It’s been going on for a fewRead More »