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Steelers ink Colclough to 4-year, $3.27M deal

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  • Steelers ink Colclough to 4-year, $3.27M deal

    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com

    Cornerback Ricardo Colclough, the second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the first player chosen from Division II Tusculum College, has reached agreement on his first NFL contract, a four-year deal worth $3.27 million.


    A small-school standout with big-time cover skills, Colclough is the fourth of Pittsburgh's eight draft choices to come to contract terms. But his signing is almost as significant from a league-wide standpoint, given the ponderous pace of negotiations this year.


    The 38th prospect selected overall, Colclough is the second-highest drafted player to date to reach an accord. The only higher pick with a contract in place is linebacker Jason Babin, the latter of the Houston Texans' two first-round picks and the 27th player taken overall in the draft. Colclough is just the third player in the second round, and the sixth player chosen in the first three rounds, to come to terms.


    Overall, as of Sunday morning, only 44 of the 255 draftees have completed deals. And 26 of those players are in the sixth and seventh rounds.


    While negotiations with first-round choices figure to remain slow, there should be a spate of signings in the middle and late rounds this week, as the opening of camps gets closer.


    Colclough, 22, will receive a signing bonus of $1,892,800 and minimum base salaries of $230,000 (2004), $305,000 (2005), $385,000 (2006) and $460,000 (2007).


    Despite being very raw and having performed in a small-school program, Colclough is a superior athlete and is expected to contribute quickly for the Steelers, who are shaking up their secondary after two seasons of surrendering too many big plays. He will compete for either the No. 3 or No. 4 cornerback spot, behind starters Deshea Townsend and Chad Scott, and could also be used on returns.


    "He's definitely got a lot to learn, but he is going to help us this year," said Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau earlier this spring.


    Colclough moved quickly up draft boards around the NFL after he demonstrated at the Senior Bowl all-star game that he could hold his own against top-level wide receivers. He was a true shut-down corner in Division II, but it was critical for him to convince scouts at the Senior Bowl that his talents projected well to the professional level.


    He played two seasons at Tusculum, following a stint at Kilgore (Tex.) Junior College, and started in all 20 of his appearances. Colclough finished with 15 interceptions (11 as a senior), 106 tackles and 25 passes defensed. He also averaged 28.7 yards on 23 kickoff returns and 14.4 yards on punt runbacks and scored four touchdowns on special teams.


    Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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  • DJRamFan
    Steelers reach terms with Roethlisberger on six-year deal
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 3, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    LATROBE, Pa. -- No Pittsburgh Steelers rookie has ever made as much money as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He didn't take long to start earning it.

    Advertisement


    Roethlisberger, the 11th pick in the draft, signed a six-year contract Tuesday that could be worth as much as $40 million.

    The contract includes $22,269,500 worth of salaries and various bonuses and $17,730,500 in incentives -- including $4,875,000 in playing time bonuses easily reachable for a starting quarterback.

    The deal, reached following lengthy talks that began early Monday and extended into Tuesday morning, includes a Steelers record $9,009,000 in bonuses: $600,000 (signing bonus, payable immediately), $1,172,000 (roster bonus, payable by Aug. 10) and $7,237,000 (option bonus, payable March 5).

    Three hours after arriving at camp, Roethlisberger attended a quarterbacks meeting. He will be on the field for two practices Wednesday, one at a high school before a crowd that could reach 10,000.

    "I'm excited, nervous, all the same feelings I had at minicamp," he said. "Once I get out and throw the first couple of passes, it will be a relief and I'm sure it will come back to me."


    Ben Roethlisberger signs an incentive-laden six-year contract with the Steelers.(Getty Images)
    Roethlisberger was the third quarterback drafted in April, behind the Giants' Eli Manning and the Chargers' Philip Rivers, but Roethlisberger's agent, Leigh Steinberg, predicted he will be the best.

    "This is a franchise quarterback," Steinberg said. "I think he's a Troy Aikman, John Elway type of quarterback. He's that good."

    The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Roethlisberger completed 854 of 1,304 passes for 10,829 yards at Miami of the Mid-American Conference, with 84 touchdown passes and 34 interceptions.

    The negotiations finally progressed when the Steelers agreed to pay Roethlisberger a larger bonus than the $8 million Houston gave cornerback Dunta Robinson, who was drafted No. 10 overall, one spot ahead of Roethlisberger.

    To get a larger bonus, Roethlisberger agreed to play this season for the minimum salary of $230,000. Previously, the Steelers' largest bonus was $8.1 million to former starting quarterback Kordell Stewart in 1999.

    "We felt that quarterbacks deserve a premium, and the Steelers ultimately agreed," said Steinberg, who flew to Pittsburgh on Sunday night to get the talks moving with Steelers negotiator Omar Khan and team president Art Rooney II. "A potential franchise quarterback always is a special sort of player to deal with."

    Roethlisberger's base salaries will be $230,000 (2004), $305,000 (2005), $655,000 (2006), $1,026,000 (2007), $1,356,000...
    -08-04-2004, 12:30 PM
  • UtterBlitz
    Pro Bowl Receiver Ward, Steelers Finally Agree on Deal
    by UtterBlitz
    Pro Bowl Receiver Ward, Steelers Finally Agree on Deal
    Veteran Reaches Terms on Four-Year Contract With Pittsburgh
    By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports

    PITTSBURGH (Sept. 5) - Wide receiver Hines Ward and the Pittsburgh Steelers reached terms Monday on a four-year contract, ending months of wrangling over a restructured deal less than a week before Sunday's opener against Tennessee.



    AP
    After making the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons, Hines Ward held out of the first two weeks of Steelers training camp.


    Ward missed the first two weeks of training camp - the first veteran Steelers player to hold out so long since running back Barry Foster in 1993 - and returned only because the franchise held to its policy of not negotiating with holdout players. The Steelers traditionally do not negotiate during the season, either, which led to a busy weekend of talks between agent Eugene Parker and the Steelers.

    The Steelers have not played since ending the preseason Thursday, but Ward stayed in Pittsburgh over the weekend as talks progressed, and attended the Notre Dame-Pitt game on Saturday night.

    While there was speculation during his holdout he might sit out as long as three months, Ward said he found it impossible to stay away once he saw his teammates practicing and the preseason games starting. He returned to the team less than two hours before its first exhibition game Aug. 15.

    "I've been telling them to get this done," Ward said. "I started my career as a Steeler and I want to end my career as a Steeler. I don't want to play anywhere else. This is a great football city. Why would you ever want to play anywhere else?"

    Ward had one year left on a contract he signed in 2001 before making the Pro Bowl each of the next four seasons. He was to have made $1.67 million this season, far below what most premier NFL receivers make and a salary barely among the top 40 at his position.




    Ward not only is one of the NFL's most proficient receivers - he has four of the top five receptions seasons in club history - he is widely regarded as the league's best blocking receiver.

    The Steelers' league-leading rushing offense intentionally structures some plays to run to his side because of Ward's ability to take cornerbacks out of a play and create an upfield running lane once a back clears the line of scrimmage.

    Ward, 29, became a skilled blocker despite also being used at quarterback and tailback at Georgia. He became a Steelers starter during his second season in 1999 and has caught at least 61 passes in every season but once since then. He averaged 95 catches over the last four seasons, including a franchise-record 112 in 2002, when he also had a career-high 12 touchdown catches.

    He had 80 receptions last...
    -09-05-2005, 09:38 PM
  • Nick
    Pasquarelli discusses Delhomme's new contract, among other things
    by Nick
    Delhomme's Pact Could Affect Couch, Warner
    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com

    It is called lagniappe, an old Cajun word that roughly translates into "a little bit extra," and a term with which Carolina Panthers quarterback and dyed-in-the-gumbo Louisiana native Jake Delhomme was familiar, long before he agreed Thursday morning to his pricey new five-year contract extension.

    Rewarding their emerging star with a contract that reportedly could be worth as much as $38 million, a deal criticized in some NFL precincts because there remains a core group of skeptics anxious to see if Delhomme was just a one-year wonder, certainly represented a heaping helping of lagniappe ladled out by Panthers management. No matter where one sides in the debate, though, the contract inarguably was aimed at providing security for both parties to the extension.

    Good news, Carolina management hopes, for a franchise now suddenly resurrected and seeking to sustain newfound success and to create stability. And absolutely great news for an itinerant quarterback whose league resume included just two regular-season starts before 2003.

    But bad news -- very bad news, in fact, it says here -- for signal-callers such as Tim Couch, Kurt Warner and Kordell Stewart. How do we draw a correlation between Delhomme's contract and the fortunes of those veteran quarterbacks?

    Because players like Couch have recently been forced into a kind of wait-until-next-year mindset, one in which they sign short-term deals in the hopes of finding a far more appealing employment market next March, when they will be free agents and perhaps have a chance to pursue a starting job. And contracts like the one Delhomme signed, in the big picture, mean there aren't going to be as many vacant starting spots in the NFL as some observers suggest there might be.

    It is, to be sure, one of the NFL's most notable dichotomies. Everyone focuses closely on the movement of quarterbacks in the league every spring, and this year was no different, as 19 quarterbacks had switched franchises at last count. But in a league where the best-kept secret appears to be the number of teams that have cemented their starters in place over the last few years, many of them with deals of astonishing length, few quarterbacks who changed addresses actually upgraded their status.

    Here's a fact-and-fiction proposition: It's a fact that the 32 quarterbacks projected to be starters in 2004 have an average of 4.4 more seasons remaining on their current contracts, meaning they are locked in through 2007. So it is fiction to assume that a slew of No. 1 spots will become available next spring, or even the offseason after that.

    The late-blooming Delhomme is the latest beneficiary of a trend in which teams have sought to reverse the quarterback carousel and put a stop to the calliope tune that annually accompanies...
    -06-18-2004, 02:40 PM
  • RamWraith
    Contract season puts Postons into play
    by RamWraith

    Contract season puts Postons into play

    Howard Balzer writes for Sports Weekly, email him at [email protected]

    Around several NFL precincts this summer, it could very well be considered the summer of the Postons.
    Rather than talking about possible Super Bowls, who's looking good in training camp and just simple football talk, contract negotiations promise to take center stage.

    With July 15 here and the opening of camps within the next two weeks, fans will be reading way too much about contract issues but most notably those involving agents Carl and Kevin Poston in ...

    Cleveland, Jacksonville and Carolina, where they represent tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., the seventh overall selection in April's draft, as well as wide receiver Reggie Williams (ninth overall) and cornerback Chris Gamble (28th overall);

    Oakland, St. Louis and San Francisco, where three of the league's five unsigned franchise players play: cornerback Charles Woodson, tackle Orlando Pace and linebacker Julian Peterson. All have the Postons as their agent;

    Washington, where a grievance is expected to be heard in August regarding a $6.5 million roster bonus allegedly not included by the Redskins last December in a renegotiated contract for linebacker LaVar Arrington. Yes, Arrington is also represented by Carl Poston.

    The Winslow contract should be the least difficult, along with Williams and Gamble, considering that first-round picks are slotted according to where they are selected in the round. The Postons might try to claim that Winslow was rated No. 1 on some team's draft boards, but that argument is essentially one-sided. First, he wasn't picked No. 1, and second, when was the last time we heard an agent say he would accept less for a player because he was selected higher than expected? Next question.

    Where many of the contract stalemates occur is on a player's second contract and when that player has excelled at a high level. That's where the Postons' demands enter the stratosphere and make it near impossible for a team to negotiate.

    After the Rams received a $71 million proposal for Pace in March that included a $27 million signing bonus and another $7 million in guaranteed money (almost as much guaranteed money as the Colts gave quarterback Peyton Manning), president of football operations Jay Zygmunt said: "It's just a waste of time dealing with him (Carl). It makes no sense. Anyone can ask for anything; that's easy to do. Why not ask for a billion dollars? It wouldn't matter."

    Zygmunt noted how often the situations put the player at odds with the team.

    Look no further than the relationship between cornerback Ty Law, another Poston client, and the Patriots during the offseason.

    When either of the Postons talk to the media, which is rare (and they did not return a phone call...
    -07-15-2004, 02:46 PM
  • Varg6
    JaMarcuss Russell Signs!
    by Varg6
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3013493

    Ending months of negotiations and a holdout that stretched to more than six weeks, the Oakland Raiders reached a contract agreement in principle with JaMarcus Russell, the former LSU quarterback who was the first overall selection in the 2007 draft, on Monday.


    Barring any glitches, and contingent on formalities like him passing a physical exam, ESPN.com has confirmed that Russell will officially sign a six-year contract on Tuesday and should be on the field for the team's Wednesday practice.


    There is still considerable work to be done, however, in terms of drawing up the contract, and a source close to the negotiations said late Monday that the two sides could still be working "very late into the night and maybe into [Tuesday] morning" to craft the precise language of the deal. ESPN.com has learned that Russell is still not in the Bay Area, and will not fly to Oakland until his representatives feel comfortable with all the details of the contract.


    Sources said the contract, hammered out in four days of marathon face-to-face negotiations in the Bay Area, has a maximum value of at least $61 million.

    The deal also includes about $31-$32 million in guarantees and an attractive payout schedule that will enable Russell to earn substantially more in the first three seasons of the deal than the $20.95 million that Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams, the top overall selection in the 2006 draft, will bank in his first three years.

    There are also at least $3 million in guarantees in the fourth season of Russell's deal, and he will also make more in that period than the $23.35 million that Williams will pocket in his first four years.

    So, while it appears that the Raiders were able to hold the guarantees in the range that they had been proposing in recent discussions, the long holdout seems to have garnered Russell a very advantageous payout structure.

    Of course, it also cost him any opportunity to win the starting job in training camp.

    The Raiders' staff chose Josh McCown as the starter after a preseason competition with Daunte Culpepper, who was signed as a free agent during camp.

    Russell, 22, staged one of the longest holdouts by a rookie in recent history. In 2002, offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, the first-round choice of the Minnesota Vikings that year, missed the first eight games of the regular season. In terms of top overall picks, no one has held out longer than Russell since tailback Bo Jackson declined to sign with Tampa Bay altogether in 1986.

    During his three seasons as the LSU starter, Russell completed 493 of 797 passes for 6,625 yards, with 52 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions.

    After weeks of inertia, the parties met for much of the day Friday at an undisclosed...
    -09-10-2007, 08:17 PM
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