Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin
Jeremy: With JW getting the transition tag, and "accepting" it, does this have any bearing on what happens to Woodley?
Ed Bouchette: I've said and written all along that I do not believe they could keep both this season. Kevin Colbert has said they can, although he was less than convincing. I believe this means Woodley is gone. When would be the next question, now or after June 1.
Alan Gifford: Do you think they extend Ben this year
Ed Bouchette: I think it's possible, but it won't happen for awhile.
Coach Fi: What's the earliest something can be decided with Ike,Kiesel, and Clark and is Foote under contract for next yr?
Ed Bouchette: Brett Keisel and Ryan Clark will be UFAs next Tuesday and I don't see anything getting done with either before that. I think Ryan won't be back but there's still a chance with Keisel (2 other DEs, Ziggy Hood and Al Woods also are UFA). Taylor is under contract for a $7 M salary next year. I would look for something to happen there before next Tuesday, either he accepts a paycut or he could be gone
Ed Bouchette: Sorry, you also asked about Foote. Yes, he has a contract for 2015 that is, I think, $1.5 M.
Dennis: From reading your earlier article do you think they will ask Troy to take a cut in Pay and with Ike do you feel he is gone or will be back for less
Ed Bouchette: They can ask Troy to take a cut, I'm not sure he will take one. Perhaps they will try to extend him too, as they are still trying with Heath Miller.
Seth: No way Cotch hits FA, right?
Ed Bouchette: I'm not going to say no way. If they cannot come to terms, they might let him see what's out there and go from there. They have done that before and re-signed their players. Clark was one of them.
John B: if we keep Ike and Foote, what would be the bigger need in the draft ILB or CB?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think ILB is anywhere near their biggest need. They need OLB before that, and secondary and WR and DE.
Jerry: When is Levi coming off the books?
Ed Bouchette: A great guess would be between now and 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Sam: Good Afternoon Ed, Do you think the Steelers will still draft an offensive lineman? It sure seemed to be a need the fist half of the season and I hope that the arrival of Mike Munchak doesn't deviate from that experience.
Ed Bouchette: Somewhere, they will draft offensive linemen with all the picks they are going to have. It does not mean they will draft one in the first 3 rounds.
Jeremy: Shamarko looking to start this year?
Ed Bouchette: If Ryan Clark goes, he'll have to.
Avoid Lloyd: How can the Steelers not keep Ike for next year? There's no depth at that position and rookies don't start
Ed Bouchette: How does Willie Gay and Cortez Allen sound as your starting CBs?
Jim: Ed, with the lack of quality starting talent and depth in the secondary, is it possible the Steelers may double dip for cb an s in the draft?
Ed Bouchette: They could draft three for the secondary between CB and S.
Al: You said he will no longer be a free agent, but regardless, according to how the transition tag works, signing the tag does give teams a chance to give out a contract once free agency, will the steelers be able to match this provided someone does not heavily frontload a contract?
Ed Bouchette: Jason Worilds is not longer eligible to receive contract offers from other teams now that he has accepted the Steelers transition tender.
Guest: Do you think they take reins off Ben this year finally give home more control and play calling?
Ed Bouchette: I think they will allow him to run the no-huddle more often, yes.
BDenny29: Think Heath will get a "retire with the team" type extension?
Ed Bouchette: I don't think about players retiring until it is time. I've heard so many times that such and such signed a contract "which means he will retire a Steeler" and he went on to play elsewhere (James Harrison, I believe, was one of those).
ScottNRoswell: I was outspoken last year about Heyward (bust talk I must say!). How did he turns things around?
Ed Bouchette: He got a chance to finally play.
StillerGuest: What do you think Worilds' contract would have been on the open market?
Ed Bouchette: Less than what the Steelers offered him or else he would have tested the waters.
BR: Do the Steelers have to forfeit any draft picks for Tomlin incident?
Ed Bouchette: That is still unknown, although many reported at the time that they "will" lose a draft pick. Art Rooney II said he will appeal if they do.
Derick: Is Bell the best RB the Steelers have had since Jerome?
Ed Bouchette: Willie Parker wasn't bad.
Gareth: Any use asking woodley to take a pay cut? He cant be worth anywhere near what he makes now wih his injury history and would be a nice safety valve incase Jarvis doesn't work out?
Ed Bouchette: You can always ask. He's due an $8 million salary this year. That's a lot of money for someone who has had trouble staying on the field the past 3 seasons.
Joey D: When will the NFL announce compensatory picks? and what do you think the Steelers will get?
Ed Bouchette: They usually come in by the end of this month, during the NFL meetings.
Guest: Is it finally time the Steelers front office goes against its philosophy and dip into the free agency market more than usual? I'd like to see some immediate help for them to contend immediately.
Ed Bouchette: Not likely if you mean prime free agents. They will troll and try to find some good lies in the rough.
Mr. H: Ed, I know LeBeau is the 3-4 guru, but they don't have the personal on the,d-line (and really the enyire front 7 if we're honest with ourselves)to run it effectively. Why don't they run some 4-3?
Ed Bouchette: If you think they do not have enough linemen to run a 3-4, how in the heck could you think they'd go to a 4-3?
Go Steelers!: Do you think the Steelers will draft another OLB high in this draft?
Ed Bouchette: No, not high (first or second round)
Mike: Do u think steelers are feeling pressure after 2 8-8 seasons. Example the Worilds move.
Ed Bouchette: Look, if they did not sign Jason Worilds, they were looking at possibly their two starting OLB as Jarvis Jones and Chris Carter.
Guest: i was under the impression on the transition tag, it gives the steelers exclusive negotiating rights for ten days
Ed Bouchette: They now have it for an entire year after he accepted the tag.
Mo: With Worlids signing his tender, how does that affect our cap situation? What decisions need to be made (if any) to get under the cap by Tuesday other than Levi Brown and Ike?
Ed Bouchette: I wrote about all of that in my blog this morning. Read it here:
BDenny29: Curious as to what your thoughts are on Wheaton. Obviously not a lot in games, but what were your impressions from practice and such.
Ed Bouchette: Markus did not play enough as a rookie to have too many thoughts. They loved him in the preseason but he caught just six passes all season and all of those came in just two games. Practice does not tell you a lot.
Guest: Do you agree that the release of harrison had more to do with the drafting of jarvis rather than he being the BPA?Eifert Reid and Patterson were still on the board at the time and would have been great fits for us. I just have a hard time seeing how theyd invest a 1st round pick into someone who would be 3rd on the depth chart had harrison been retained
Ed Bouchette: Had Harrison stayed, they might not have drafted Jones, although they still needed to groom someone and at the time did not think Jason Worilds was that someone. Even though they drafted Jones and are keeping Worilds, they still need depth.
kjacksonpgh: Ed, wouldn't you keep Woodley this year, and if he rebounds and can stay healthy then you look brilliant. If he gets hut then you have another year for Jarvis to learn?
Ed Bouchette: Unless they can get a steep salary cut from him, I think they will part ways with Woodley.
Guest: Good Afternoon! Question on Woodleys contract. What would Steelers pay to him if we wait till June to release him? This is in reference to your post this morning.
Ed Bouchette: I took a look at that a few weeks ago. You'll find your answer here:
HoustonJR: Ed, who would you draft if both players were on the board - Big Ben or Terry Bradshaw?
Ed Bouchette: Ben
Guest: Hey Ed. Any chance they move McClendon to end and draft a NT early if there's one they have high on board? Seems he's built more for end in 3-4. Plus would allow Keisel to return and let Ziggy go.
Ed Bouchette: There's always that chance.
Whooo: Does cortez allen have what it takes to be our number 1 corner. He did match up very well late in the season against mike wallace aj green and josh gordon. None of those guys scored tds or had any affect on the outcomes of those games
Ed Bouchette: Maybe he's the next Keenan Lewis, a late bloomer.
Jake: ED, Do you think the Steelers would ever update their uniforms as some teams are doing?
Ed Bouchette: Nothing drastic. They like their look now, which is basically 40-some years running.
Jack Splat: How is Jarvis? Bulked up like Harrison by now?
Ed Bouchette: I have not seen Jarvis Jones since the end of the season. He needs to get stronger, though.
Ed Bouchette: Joey Porter had ONE good year after he left, and the Steelers replaced him with James Harrison, who became the defensive player of the year in the NFL and, oh yeah, probably won them a Super Bowl. I don't call that mismanaging the position.
Guest: Why didn't the steelers just do 1 massive overhaul/rebuild rather than what they seem to be doing now. They would have been down hard for 2-3 years and picked up high draft picks. Instead of 8-8 and mid 1st rd picks.
Ed Bouchette: Silly them, they think they are still contenders and went down to the final game of the 2013 season to prove it.
Ed Bouchette: Cornerback.
Ho: Ed: Steelers FO could've saved $4 mil per season had they signed WORILDS last year, right, no?
Ed Bouchette: Probably, but I don't think anyone was clamoring for that, inside or out.
Ed Bouchette: Thanks for another great chat. See you next Tuesday, just a few hours before free agency begins.