Steelers Decision on Jeff Reed Perplexing

Unsettled contract situations have now made for two unhappy campers at St. Vincents. LaMarr Woodley would like a long term deal that pays him fair market value. But the complexities of the league’s soon to expire CBA all but prevent that from happening.

As good as Woodley is, the Steelers would have to fork over a 40 million dollar bonus – they’re not going to do that, good for them.

The situation with Jeff Reed, however, is a little more complicated.

The Steelers designated Reed as their franchise player just before free agency started in March, but both sides apparently agreed to seek a long-term deal.

The Steelers decision to sign offensive tackle Flozell Adams now apparently complicates the Steelers ability to reach a deal with Reed.

Reed reported in an interview with the Post-Gazette that the news came to him from no less a source than Art Rooney II.

Now the operative question remains, why?

Under normal circumstances, it would be a question of simple math. You don’t expect to lose your starting tackle in June, as the Steelers lost Willie Colon, and be forced to find a new one. Offensive tackles, even veterans past their prime, are expensive, and therefore eat up valuable cap space. (Although at 2.25 million, he Adams is coming in “cheap,” anyone reading this should be so unlucky….)

Not in Kansas Todo….

But these are not normal circumstances.

This is an uncapped year. The Steelers did enter the uncapped year saying they were going to operate with their own, self-imposed cap.

OK, so they’re up against it now.

But the loss of Willie Colon was totally unforeseen. And while, “a few million here, and a few million there” sooner or later ads up to a lot of money (to paraphrase William Fullbright’s famous statement), you’d think given Reed’s ability to make clutch kicks, the Steelers would take advantage of the chance to get him locked down.

One way or another, this is unlikely to affect the either Reed’s or the team’s fortunes this year, but that does not make their decision easier to understand.

He Said, She Said…

Ed Bouchette wrote about Reed’s contact situation in PG Plus, and suggested that this could all boil down to different interpretations of what “we’ll take care of you means.”

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