|Alan Faneca: No new contract talks with Steelers|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 23 August 2007 14:52|
PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't reopened contract talks with five-time All-Pro left guard Alan Faneca despite being unsettled along their offensive line as the NFL season nears.|
Faneca, who promised during an angry outburst three months ago that he was done with the Steelers after this season, said Thursday there have been no discussions.
``No, nothing new,'' Faneca said.
There has been speculation the Steelers' inability to settle on an offensive line during training camp might cause them to rethink their negotiating stance with Faneca, easily their best and most accomplished lineman. He has made the AP All-Pro team every season but one since 2001.
The 30-year-old Faneca became upset earlier this year when, he said, the Steelers' preliminary contract offer wouldn't have made him one of the league's 10 highest-paid guards.
Faneca also said the Steelers reneged on their promise ago to take care of him financially if he waited his turn to have his contract done. The Steelers don't discuss contract matters, so it is uncertain what they told Faneca during negotiations.
Faneca is currently finishing up his second Steelers contract.
He signed a $5.2 million, five-year deal as a rookie in 1998, one that included $1.6 million in incentives. In 2002, he signed a six-year extension worth $25.55 million, a contract that has since been restructured numerous times to help the Steelers manage the salary cap.
There has been no appreciable drop-off in the 30-year-old Faneca's play and, barring injury, he would seem to have a number of productive seasons remaining - one reason why the Steelers' hard-line stance has puzzled some fans.
Faneca attended the team's May minicamp only because he risked a fine if he didn't. At that minicamp, he lashed out at the team's Rooney family ownership during one of few such outbursts by a star player in club history.
Faneca also said that his treatment by ownership should give pause to other Steelers veterans as they near the end of a contract.
``I do things right. I go out there, I play hard and give it everything I have. I think guys in the locker room see that and, to be treated like this, I think it sends a message, a quiet but strong message,'' Faneca said on May 11.
Faneca, a six-time Pro Bowl guard, has not made such strong comments since then. But it is evident he is displeased at playing without contract protection for next season.
``In my mind, I've earned the right to be treated fairly. And to make me go out there this year and play football with no security, just to go out there and play football, for what I've done for this organization, in my mind, it's not right,'' Faneca said.
The Steelers traditionally cease contract talks once a season starts. Their first game is Sept. 9 against Cleveland.
With the contract talks almost certainly behind him, Faneca is trying to concentrate on getting ready for the season even though new coach Mike Tomlin has yet to reveal his starting offensive line.
Tomlin hasn't chosen a center, where Sean Mahan is running ahead of Chukky Okobi, or a right tackle, where Willie Colon was playing ahead of Max Starks until Starks worked with the regulars Thursday.
``That will come in time,'' said Faneca, who clearly wishes the team would settle on a lineup. ``I think we just keep marching on and they'll let us know about all that stuff.''
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