Faneca says this is his final year with Steelers
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Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
Alan Faneca -- "I don't think I'll have bells on but I'll be there."
Alan Faneca plans to report with his teammates for the start of training camp on time Monday, but it will be his final summer at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.
"I'll be there. I don't think I'll have bells on but I'll be there," Faneca said yesterday from his home in Louisiana.
Faneca, a captain and the most decorated guard in team history with six Pro Bowls, will enter the final year of his contract with the Steelers. He said he will play for another team in 2008 because no talks have taken place for an extension. Faneca will become an unrestricted free agent in March. He skipped all of the team's spring drills except for the required minicamp.
Although still upset about his contract situation, Faneca promised he would not be a distraction to the team this year and will perform as he has in his previous nine seasons with the team.
"I'm going to go about my business and play football. Any distraction would be through the media and how they perceive me going about my business of playing football.
"It's about playing with the guys next to you and playing for a job as well. It's a true sense of playing for a job. It just happens to be somewhere else the following year."
Faneca, 30, said the Steelers offered him a contract early this year but said it was so low it would not have put him among the top 10 guards in the league and called it merely a tool so club management could claim it offered him an extension. He will play for a salary of $3,375,000 this season in addition to a $1 million roster bonus he received in March.
Faneca ripped management on May 11 when he reported for the required minicamp. He said the Steelers treated him unfairly and he had asked for a trade.
"I'm still emotional about it," Faneca said yesterday. "I might not show it as much. I think the one big thing that got misconstrued or misunderstood was that I was making some sort of promise or threat not coming back. I was just stating a fact and putting it out in the open. Maybe I didn't make it a good enough point. It was not a promise or a threat or negotiating tactic."
Faneca said his situation could motivate him even more as people try to evaluate his play based on his unhappiness over his contract and the fact he turned 30.
"I think it's definitely motivation when everyone's talking about your age, your play. People are analyzing you and the situation, that motivates you."
Faneca said while he won't be a distraction, he will answer questions from the media about his situation, at least early on.
"Hopefully, at some point they stop, but they probably won't," Faneca said. 'I'm just going to go about my business. When it reaches the point I'm tired of talking about it, I'll stop talking about it, stop rehashing the old."
First Published July 18, 2007 11:20 pm