I just got word that the Steelers have inked LaMarr Woodley to a 5-year $61.5M contract. Awesome news to get for any Steelers fan. Woodley is as dominant at his position as almost any player short of his partner in crime, James Harrison, and has his best years ahead of him. At just 26 years old, Woodley is set to be making a huge impact over the next five years. What we’ll likely see change in that time, is the man on the other side, once Harrison decides he’s had enough of the fines and dirty talk from Commissioner Goodell. There are other young dudes, like Jason Worilds, who are poised to make some noise and who we could even see get some action this season.
A year ago, fans were worried about what Free Agency would bring for the Steelers. We had very important players sitting out there, needing big contracts to come back in 2011, and it looked possible that we could lose some of them. Players like Face-Me Ike and Woodley are both guys in big defensive positions who would need big contracts. Since the Steelers aren’t really known for being super active in Free Agency, often opting for the younger guys they’ve acquired in the draft, those concerns were legit and substantiated. What we didn’t do (at least I didn’t) was trust an organization to get it done at each position like they’ve shown they do consistently year in and year out.
The decisions the Steelers’ front office makes are almost always the right ones. There are so many times when I was sad to see a big-time Steeler go (Joey Porter, Kevin Greene, Willie Parker, Santonio Holmes…there are many examples), but in every case the guys that were waiting in the wings were more than ready to go. As I sat here in the off season writing articles freaking out about how the Steelers must sign Ike Taylor, I should have remembered that the Steelers know a little bit more about their team than I do.
That being said, I was right all along. There was no way the Steelers would like Ike go.
I guess the moral of the story is, there’s not much to worry about when you’ve got a front office like ours. The Eagles are out there scooping up every big name on the market, paying big money to get them there, and forgetting that it takes an entire team to win games and win Super Bowls. The Steelers show that very thing every year. When the Steelers talked about restructuring contracts to get under the cap, do you know who stepped up? Just about everyone. Harrison, Roethlisberger, Colon, Smith, and Kemo all either took less money to stay here, or agreed to restructure to help out the team. If that’s not being a team player, I don’t know what is. So when people keep talking about this so-called Eagles “Dream Team,” I just laugh. I vaguely remember the hapless Vikings destroying Michael Vick last year. Rookie QB Joe Webb tore up their D. Anyone else remember that? Yeah. They are not immune to a beating. It takes more than just a couple great corners to make a great defense. It starts up front. The Steelers know that, and that is why they can still have a #1 defense with a pretty good corner in Ike, and corners that are just OK, and sometimes downright awful – (Willy Gay). You heard it here first: Dream Teams never amount to what you think they will.
So what’s up with the rest of the NFL?
Reports are saying that there is a chance that Favre could “bring his talents to South Beach” and join the Dolphins. After doing some research on this rumor I found that it is mostly hogwash. Favre hasn’t gone on the record to say anything about coming back, though it was noted that he has been working out again, so I guess that’s worth something. Just for fun, let’s entertain the idea of him coming out of retirement for a 4th time. (yes, its been that many).
The Dolphins would be a great fit for Favre for two specific reasons:
1) Weather: We all know that cold weather has been an issue for Favre as of late. Originally known as the Ice Bowl master, Favre has been showing his age in the colder months over the past couple seasons. Though he did bring the Vikings to one game short of a Super Bowl appearance, he “Favred” his way out of that one as well. Warmer weather for the majority of his games would extend his longevity (no, I’m not talking about that, sick-os), and would therefore make him more effective come December.
2) Wild Cat: Since the Dolphins often use the Wild Cat offense, Favre wouldn’t be in there all the time taking a beating, and he wouldn’t feel like he needs to do everything to win the game (though, I thought the same thing when he went to MN to be with A. Peterson). Bush was just acquired there, so assuming they use the same game-plan, Favre wouldn’t see much action anyway.
Would be a great story for the kiddies, anyway.