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 NFL.com’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 LaMarr Woodley’s franchise tag of $10+ million expected to be guaranteed under the new CBA.
Count in money for rookies such as Cameron Heyward, Marcus Gilbert, Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen who are locks to make the team, the Steelers have some restructuring to do with some veterans or cutting some loose.
The team not to mention has some holes to fill in free agency. The team would like to resign both Ike Taylor and William Gay and expect to resign veteran defensive tackle Chris Hoke.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Steelers would like to sign a veteran running back, whether it be Mewelde Moore or someone else.
There’s also Willie Colon who the Steelers would be crazy not to make a strong attempt to bring back.
Aside from that, the team’s top priority is locking up young star linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley.
Others of note: Mike Wallace is entering the final year of his deal and word is Troy Polamalu has intentions of playing another three to four years.
Veterans carrying high cap hits include Flozell Adams whose due $5 million; Larry Foote is due $2.4 million; WR Antwaan Randle El will make $2 million in 2011;
The good thing for the Steelers is that it’s easy in football to clear cap space but they are going to be committing a lot of money to some of their up and coming stars and Ike Taylor should expect that if he returns, it’s going to be at the Steelers price.
2. Crosby back on the ice: Sidney Crosby has resumed his on-ice workouts and that’s great to hear. However, is it really that big a of deal like I’m sure some in the media will make it out to be?
Crosby is going through the normal summer routine that he always goes through and could have been skating at least 6 weeks ago if he wanted to.
The angle I’m taking this summer on Crosby is that unless he has a setback in his workouts, there is no news to report.
A new development to me won’t be until September when he starts having contact in training camp and the preseason. Until then, I’m taking the Jay Glazer/Lockout reporting route. I’ll report something when there’s an actual new development.
3. It is mid-July and Root Sports has yet to renew the contract for Penguins announcer Paul Steigerwald. They haven’t told him he’s not returning but also haven’t told him that he’s returning.
I have no inside information on what the hold up is but in talking to those who have been in contact with Steigerwald of late, they have indicated he is extremely paranoid that there might actually be a change.
One local radio host has gone as far this summer to report on air through claimed “unnamed sources” that there might actually be a push from the Penguins to get rid of Steigerwald, while also claiming that the Penguins believe Steigerwald is “lazy”.
I don’t really know Paul on a personal level but I wouldn’t call him lazy by any means. He seems to take his work seriously and is always around the arena for practices and morning skates, getting his own info and quotes, unlike some others.
I believe he will be returning but that’s just a guess right now.
4. The James Harrison comments should not be brushed off by the Steelers coaches or his teammates as “James just being James” but don’t expect this to become an issue in the locker room.
Ben is going to be the better teammate and just brush it off and not let it affect the room, while Harrison is already making attempts to mend the fences, which is a positive step for him.
I believe it will be taken care of accordingly, by the team.
5. The Pirates kick off the second half of the season tonight in Houston with their eye on competing for a playoff spot. A major shift from where expectations were at the start of the season.
This was a season suppose to be all about the development of their young core.
Have expectations changed that much with a “winnable division” that a 77-to-80 win season will now be seen as a disappointment?
I’m a believer in expectations changing through a particular season but I still feel a 77-80 win season would not be a disappointment, despite where the team is right now.