Hampton & Reed: To Tag Or Not To Tag, That Is The Question

The Steelers will have two franchise tags (teams will have use of one franchise tag and one franchise transition tags) to use should the 2010 season be an uncapped year. Right now the Steelers have 11 unrestricted free agents listed below. Their are really only 2 players that realistically could be considered for the franchise tag, those being Casey Hampton and Jeff Reed. By placing the franchise tag on a player, the Steelers must offer a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player\’s position as of a date in April of the current year in which the tag will apply, or 120 percent of the player\’s previous year\’s salary, whichever is greater. While those amounts are not known yet, the cost for a defensive tackle in 2009 with a tag was just over 6 million, while the cost for placing the tag on a kicker was almost 2.5 million.

Another concern is the players attitude. I think Jeff Reed would be fine with being franchised. He could likely get a little longer contract for close to the same type money, but he knows Heinz Field and would likely be fine earning nearly 3 million dollars. Casey Hampton could be a problem though. He has publicly stated he does not want to be franchised, but is open to staying in Pittsburgh. Should he be franchised, his attitude and preparations could be affected. In a season without a salary cap, Hampton stands to profit pretty good with a final and lucrative contract. Considering his age, I do not think the Steelers will want to sign Hampton to a multi-year deal that could hurt future seasons should a cap be put back in place.

In closing, I see Reed being the only unrestricted free agent player being given an exclusive franchise tag.

Steelers Unrestricted Free Agents
QB Charlie Batch
LB Rocky Boiman
S Tyrone Carter
FS Ryan Clark
DE Nick Eason
WR Joey Galloway
NT Casey Hampton
DE Travis Kirschke
RB Willie Parker
K Jeff Reed
CB Deshea Townsend

  • Mario

    Here’s hoping Batch & Townsend retire, batch would make a great QB coach. I think the troll (jeff reed) can be replaced… I’d love to have FWP back but he’s gonna want more playing time, then 5-10 carries a game behind Mendy… & if BA is OC again, that won’t happen, Mendy will be lucky to get 20 carries a game…Ty carter needs to be GONE, & Clark, is more injury prone then Troy P & can’t tackle very well, all he knows is how to hit people…

  • Mad Dog Mike

    JEFF REED//look at how many points he has made…consider what it would be like without his tantrums in Westmoreland Cty…the whole secondary needs to go..and far away…and take Arians with them


    I agree Reed needs to go or be limited to field goals. He can’t tackle to save his life and can only reach the end zone if there is a penalty on the kick.

  • Hammerer

    I believe that both Reed and Hampton would be willing to stay without the tag. Casey’s age and his wanting and willingness to remain the long time under rated mainstay of the defensive line makes it unnecessary. Reed is needed due to his ability to make the difficult kicks at Hienze. I look more at the possibility of either Eason or Kirschke being of more concern.

  • steve

    any defensive player 30 or older except for aron smith should be let go. reed is a nice kicker but kills us on kick offs. maybe look for a kick off guy to put the ball in the end zone. they should be thinking about getting younger and faster on the defensive side of the ball. maybe try to sign fwp on the cheap. draft cb saf. lb. and oline

  • weezy

    ryan clark is a system player, when the system is working fully (no injuries) he’s great, when it’s broke he’s not, im willing to take a risk on him and sign him to 3 year deal.

  • t1mmy10

    hampton also stands to not benefit if he completely tanks a season when franchised tagged. no team would be willing to invest a lot of money into him cuz because of questions about his motivation. reed is not worth being paid as a top 5 kicker. he’s good, but not that good.

  • jud

    Why does everyone want fwp back for bench duty. Typically your back up needs to either be a little like your starter or be a lightning to thunder. Neither of these apply for the Steelers. Fwp is no longer that home run threat. On top of that he doesn’t catch the ball or pick up the blitz at all. Two things your back up absolutely has to be able to do. Steeler fans stop living in the past with Willie. Thank him for the years he was here and move on.

  • Chris

    Hi. I say no to both. Hampton is getting older and slowing down in addition to the fact he shows up to camp overweight and unable to perform at high level. These guys are being paid millions to play the game they love and stay in game shape. Many would take their spot. Jeff Reed is drinking himself out of Pittsburgh and is detrimental to the team with respect to his brutal kickoffs. Yes he can kick field goals but I see this slowly declining.

    I say no to both.

    Go STillers

  • Rob Henderson

    Tag Hampton and see who wants him. Dont let him walk for free. You can pay him for one year then move on. I think this will be Dick Lebeaus swan song(last year). Who will Tomlin want as a Dc when Lebeau Retires?