Question: If you were the head coach of the Steelers right now, would you be trying to have Alan Faneca resigned to a contract? If he is your best O-lineman, why let him go to free agency next year?
Paul Lambert, Minot, ND
BOUCHETTE: Yes, I would want management to try to sign him to a contract extension beyond this season, his last under contract. The Steelers tried to sign him and for all I know, have tried again. The two sides are so far apart that it's just not going to get done. I don't know the offer and I don't know the demand, so I cannot tell you who might be asking for a fair deal or not.
The bottom line, though, is the Steelers obviously have determined what Faneca is worth to them and no more, while Faneca has decided that's not enough. This is a lesson in good-old-fashioned capitalism. If you go to an auction and there's a piece there you covet, does that mean the sky's the limit for you to pay? Perhaps, and the Steelers have overpaid players in the past. Faneca, on the other hand, knows that if he sticks by his guns, he'll likely get more money next year in free agency. That's the way the system was set up. The Steelers could make him their franchise player next year and keep him, but I don't see that happening.