|Faneca, upset at contract offer, tells Steelers he's gone after this season|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 11 May 2007 09:42|
Faneca, an All-Pro left guard every season but one since 2001, said he reported to the team's three-day minicamp only because it is mandatory and he could be fined for not attending. He didn't threaten to boycott the season, even though he has no contract protection beyond this year, but made clear his unhappiness.
``This will be my last year as a Pittsburgh Steeler,'' Faneca said.
Faneca, widely regarded as one the NFL's top offensive linemen, said the Steelers' only offer to him wouldn't have made him one of the league's 10 highest-paid guards. Faneca will make $4.375 million this season, including roster bonuses, in the final year of his current contract.
Faneca's criticism is nearly unprecedented for a player of his accomplishments in Pittsburgh. The Steelers usually re-sign their key players.
The Steelers did not immediately respond to Faneca's comments.
Faneca also said the club's decision to release former Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter sends a poor signal to other players only 15 months after the club won the Super Bowl.
``What are the guys in the room to think?'' Faneca said, sweat still dripping off him after a two-hour practice. ``If they can do it to me and everybody else and let Joey go and do things like that, what does that say to the rest of the guys?''
The team still could make a long-term offer to Faneca before the season starts in September, but he all but said he will not re-sign even if the Steelers offer an unexpectedly large contract.