Steeler Nation the season is fast approaching, and time is ticking on players who want a possible contract extension. The Steelers have a long standing policy of not negotiating during the season so any extensions that may happen must happen before the regular season begins.GM Kevin Colbert has stated that the team usually waits a couple of weeks into camp, gets a feel of whats taking shape, who they have and signs extensions during the middle or end of camp period.
Lets take a look at a few candidates that may be up for contract extensions .
WR Emmanuel Sanders: is in his last year of his contract this season. During the off-season the New England Patriots made Sanders an offer that the Steelers promptly matched with a contract of one-year, $2.5 million. Sanders continues to show up big time so far at camp . He has stated that he is glad the Steelers matched the offer but also states he will now focus on the season and winning the Super Bowl. Sanders says he is not going to worry and let the business side of it play its self out. He and his agent may feel confident gambling on this season and cashing in on free agency.
S Ryan Clark: Clark has made it clear that he wants to play in 2014 and he wants to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The question remains do the Steelers want to give Clark who turns 34 in October an extension. The Steelers drafted Shamarko Thomas in the 4th round of this years draft. He may be the future and we must not forget Troy Polamalu’s contract is up at the end of next season. If the Steelers do extend Clark it will have to be a short term contract and the money must be right for the team.
DE Brett Keisel: Keisel is turning 35 soon and is the Steelers oldest starter. He had a very good season in 2012 and still feels he can contribute at a high level. When asked if this season is his last or if he wants to continue playing Keisel says he is just focusing on this season and had this to say to Steelers.com…
Keisel: “I want to enjoy this year,” said Keisel. “I don’t know what’s going to happen with everything. I am going to go out and give it my all and have fun and see what happens. If it is the end, I want to go out on top. I want to go out on top if it’s not the end. We’ll just see. I am excited to be here. 12 seasons in the NFL is good especially when you get to do it with a great organization like the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
DE Ziggy Hood: Ziggy Hood is heading into his 5th and final season of his contract. Hood has shown flashes of ability but needs to be a lot more consistent and raise his level of play. Hood has totaled 101 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 7 pass defenses and 3 fumble recoveries in four seasons . In the Steeler’s defense its not unusual for defensive lineman to develop slowly . Brett Keisel took some time before he came on strong. One thing for sure is 2013 is a make or break year for Hood. Hood had this to say about his contract situation in a recent interview with Mark Kaboly of Trib Total Media…
Hood: “Only thing I need to do is play my position and do what I can,” Hood said. “I will let my agent and the front office people deal with that.”
Hood said he wants to stay with the Steelers and would like to sign an extension.
“I love it here, and my family is around here so I am enjoying it,” Hood said. “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else because I love it here.”
RB Isaac Redman: Redman has been a reliable back up most of his career but has never stepped up and been a consistent starter. Redman is heading into his 5th year and has not cracked 500 yards rushing in a single season. He has lost a lot of weight to gain speed and is in great shape for camp. He and his agent would like an extension. The Steelers chose running back Le’Veon Bell out of Michigan State in the 2nd round of this years draft so Redman’s opportunity as a starter may have passed.
LB Jason Worilds: Jason Worilds is in the last year of his contract. Worilds biggest problems during his career so far has been being able to stay healthy and playing behind greats like James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. Worilds has not exactly set the league on fire with his limited opportunities . Worilds has only 10 starts in three seasons but does have 10 sacks in limited playing time. Worilds is nursing a toe injury at the time of this posting. The drafting of Jarvis Jones may make Worilds chances of an extension slim.
RB Jonathan Dwyer: Jonathan Dwyer contract is up at the end of the season. Dwyer led the Steelers in rushing with 623 yards and 2 touchdowns and a 4.0 yard average. Dwyer’s biggest problem in his short career has been conditioning. Dwyer came to camp 25 pounds lighter and is in the greatest shape of his career. It may be too little too late for Dwyer with the emergence of Le’Veon Bell.
WR Jerricho Cotchery: Jerricho Cotchery is heading into the last year of his contract . He has been a serviceable player and a good veteran leader for the young wide receivers in his three seasons as a Steeler. Cotchery will be 32 in 2014. If he receives an extension it wont be anything major in terms of years or money.
Steeler Nation, will the Steelers sign any of these players to an extension? Only the Steelers and GM Kevin Colbert know what way they are leaning but the answer should be coming soon.