Holmes & Woodley Become Steelers Offseason Signing Priorities

Two of the most pressing offseason things the Steelers will need to do, outside of the draft and free agency, is to get contract extensions done with wide receiver Santonio Holmes and linebacker LaMarr Woodley. Both players enter 2010 with it being their final years on their contracts. Both Holmes and Woodley put up career numbers with Holmes falling 1 reception short of 80 on the season and Woodley closing out the 2009 season by registering at least a half a sack or better for the final 8 games.

The contract extension that Holmes is likely to receive will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-10 million a year. It has been rumored that it will be similar to the extension that Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings signed this past year. The deal could be loaded with heavy incentives to allow the Steelers to both pay him, yet protect the organization as well. Woodley on the other hand might be looking for a deal similar to that of Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Ware signed a six-year contract extension through 2015 worth $78 million, with $40 million guaranteed. The deal included a $20 million signing bonus. The Cowboys gave Ware an additional $5 million for the 2009 season, increasing his base salary to $6.005 million.

The Steelers like to get new deals done in prior to training camps, as they do not like to negotiate once the season begins. Last offseason they got deals done with franchised offensive tackle Max Starks, wide receiver Hines Ward, linebacker James Harrison, guard Chris Kemoeatu, defensive end Brett Keisel and tight end Heath Miller to name a few. With 2010 looming to be an uncapped season, the sooner they can get these deals done the better. Look for talks to open with both these players folowing the Super Bowl.

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