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Stillers Sign Huntley, Cut PigStai

March 14, 2000 by Still Mill

Stillers Sign Hunt, Cut PigStai

Stillers Sign Hunt, Cut PigStai

After floundering around for what seemed like an eternity, the Stillers finally signed RB Rich Huntley to a 3-yer deal, worth $4M.

This came after intense negotiations between Huntley and the Dolphins, who were keenly interested in Huntley. The Stillers even were agressively trying to pull the trigger on a trade with the Dolphs, presumably for WR Yatil Green, an injury prone receiver. Thank the lucky stars that we didn't get fleeced on that kind of deal.

Let the record show that the jackassed foolishness of giving Huntley the lowball tender of $470K led to this near fiasco. We came within inches of losing the player who led the team in touchdowns last year, and a man who showed he can be an impact player on a team starving for impact players. Had we simply offered Hunt the $1M tender, we'd have scared off all suitors, due to the increased "cost" of a 1st round pick being given to the losing team, rather than the 3rd or 4th rounder that is coughed up with the lowball tender. We are now paying Hunt about $1.3M per year, or $300K more than we'd have been paying with a REAL tender. And remember, this is the SAME Stiller team that only last year tendered RFA Carlos Emmons to a fatty $900K deal, and also gave RFA Jon Wittman a 3-year deal worth about $930K per season. So, in essence, we threw big bucks at a pair of stiffs that NOBODY wanted, yet we got overly miserly with the man who led our team in TDs the previous season. Last time I checked, the team that scored the most points won the game, yet we're scrimping on Huntley. Go figure.

If you think solid RBs aren't highly valued in the NFL, look at what the Dolphs just did today. They signed backup Saints RB Lamar Smith to a deal worth $1.8M per season. It's utterly asinine to think that we were going to try to screw over Huntley, and try to fool the rest of the NFL, by lowballing Hunt on his tender.

And speaking of asininity, today the Stillers cut guard Brendan PigStai after the team laughingly shopped him around the league, seeking to get as high as a 3rd rounder for the piece of manure. This over-estimation of Stai's low value is the epitome of how the Steelers consistently overvalue their own STIFFS, while undervaluing the few impact players they have (ie, Woodson, K. Green, Thigpen, Huntley, etc.). In prior years, the Stillers have rushed like frenzied madmen to sign STIFFS like Gildong, Wittman, Breuner, Steed, and Emmons, when it was readily apparent that nobody else in the NFL had anything more than a small, passing interest in these stiffs. With any kind of shrewd planning, Stai could have been cut the minute Tylski was signed, in order to free up cap money for other acquisitions.

On a related note, the front office has been praised in the media for doing the salary re-workings, and the cutting of players. I'm not as ecstatic as the local media.

The salary reworkings SHOULD have been occurring YEARS ago. That it took Rooney years to figure out what the rest of the NFL already knew, speaks volumes about his stodginess, stubbornness, and boneheadeness.

Second, some of the guys we reworked in their salaries, should have simply been CUT and resigned to lowball offers. Breuner and Witmann are 2 stiffs who got reworked deals. In reality, they should have been cut. Reworking the deal of Lee Flowers were prudent and practical; reworking the deals of SLOWPOKES Breuner and Witmann was a waste of time and cap dollars.

Third, I don't know where the media comes off with this lavishment of praise for the front office "cutting players". Prior to today's cutting of PigStai, the ONLY player who'd been cut was 4th string QB Pete Gonzalez, which was hardly a bold move. The team still has not grasped the concept of cutting marginal players and then either re-signing them to bargain basement deals or replacing them with other low-paid stiffs. (It's rather ironic that the QB we signed (Graham) as CUT under these precise "guideluines" by the Giants.) I don't think there's a team in the NFL that pays more for such low-impact mediocrity (Gildong, Emmons, Stai, Witmann, Breuner, Sullivan, Harrison, et al) than the Stillers have the past 2 years.

Finally, as I've harped on since early January, this team has no plan or strategy whatsoever in terms of off-season personnel moves. JUST LIKE our offense, it's a GRAB BAG scheme where there's no well-laid, cogent, and cohesive plan that the team has embarked on. They allow their best DL to depart, and replace him with Kreamo Von Hole Often. Ok, fine, I can live with that. But then, out of the blue, they rush like demons to sign Patriot castoff DL Sullivan to a fairly fatty deal, all the while ignoring GLARING holes at WR and OLB, which have STILL not been addressed. The team then piddles and diddles around with the Huntley affair. What they should have done, was either give Hunt the $1M one-year tender, or sign him from jump street to a 3-year deal worth about $800K per year. Once you open up the bidding to an open auction, you're going to pay thru the nose. Just look at E-Bay. Every day people sell loads of crap that, standing alone on their back porch, they couldn't sell for 50 cents. Yet on an auction, they get 20 bucks for a piece of junk. (I actually saw a Piss Conrad autographed football on E-Bay a few weeks ago.) The time to sign Hunt to a 3-year deal was LONG BEFORE the Dolphins ever got involved in driving up Huntley's price. Signing Hunt, and keeping Bus, gives us flexibility, depth, and another year to evaluate matters. Hunt is still unproven as far as being a workhorse, so I think it's a bit hasty to cut Bettis. On the other hand, Bettis has CLEARLY shown that he is incapable of keeping is weight below 265.

I hope to have another NFL pre-draft overview out soon, so stay tuned´┐Ż.

The Still Mill

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