Ray Fittipaldo's Steelers chat: 7.17.17
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Ray Fittipaldo
11:48
Welcome to my Steelers chat. Might as well answer some questions while we wait for a decision from Le'Veon Bell...
Mark Cusick
11:49
If the highest paid running back makes 8.0 million and the tag is the average of the 3 highest paid at the position, how does Bell's number get to 12.0 million?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:49
It's not calculated on the 2017 salaries. It's calculated with figures from the previous season.
SacramentoStilr
11:50
Hi Ray....Your take on Ben & Bryant situation? Will it be truly resolved, or will there be friction?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:51
I think it's kind of silly for Bryant to tell a reporter his feelings when he had ample opportunity this spring to request a sit-down with his quarterback. Maybe Ben could have handled it differently, but Bryant walked past him every day for about six weeks. If it was bothering him so much, he should have talked to him.
Duke Clark
11:51
With this new 3 string QB would it be a mistake to try some gadget plays
Ray Fittipaldo
11:52
I don't know that he's viewed as a gadget type of player. I think they're merely going to develop him as a depth QB.
lsb
11:53
Do you think that Antonio Brown has lost a little respect from some within the organisation for posting the locker room video ? The timing of it showed a total lack of thought, it was short term attention seeking from someone who should have had their mind focussed elsewhere.
Ray Fittipaldo
11:54
He was fined for that. I know a lot of people were not happy about it, but if he continues to perform at the level he has the past few years they are willing to look past his immaturity.
lsb
11:54
Considering how poor the Ravens were supposed to be last season and how close they ran the Steelers,  are you nervous that this season there will be very little room for error if the Ravens improve even a little ?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:55
Every team is always trying to get better. The Steelers added Martavis Bryant. One can argue that was the most significant offseason addition for any team in the league. But to answer your question, I think the Ravens are the biggest challengers to the Steelers but only because I don't expect the Bengals to be in the mix and certainly not the Browns.
lsb
11:55
I am worried that the Steelers season will be much tougher than many are predicting. It seems many believe a 12 win season is a given. Am I missing something ?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:56
A 12-win season shouldn't be a given, but they should be regarded as legitimate contenders in the AFC behind the favored Patriots. Most teams in that positions are going to win double-digit games.
Shotgun
11:56
At point do we acknowledge the 2-man front as the "base defense" and the 3-4 as "specialty?" Extra DB(s) playing 75% of time, right?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:56
Yes and it's been trending that way for a few years now.
11:58
His career is not in jeopardy because of any of his injuries, but he doesn't have this team made heading into training camp. The Steelers have a lot of talent at the receiver position and they like the competition that will happen in camp.
lsb
11:58
Which is more likely for Sammie Coates : he returns to top form; or he gets cut after camp ? Have his fingers really healed or is his career in jeopardy due to last years injuries ?
Ray Fittipaldo
11:58
Question to previous answer
Huck
11:58
I have high expectations for the Steeler's defense this year.  Where would you rank them as it is right now?  Top 10 ???   I think so!
Ray Fittipaldo
11:59
If they can stay healthy they'll have a chance to be in the discussion as a top 10 defense. They have some young talent that has grown together the past few years. The play of the secondary will determine if they can take that next step.
Guest
12:00
Ray, I keep hearing people claim in articles that Bell would be best served taking the franchise tag Money this year and again next year since it goes up to over $14 mil. However, that presumes the Steelers tag him twice. In my opinion, the Steelers would be stupid to tag him again if they can't reach a contact agreement now. If the Steelers don't think he's worth $26 mil in guaranteed money now, or they won't pay him that, then they should play him this year and let him leave. Thoughts?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:01
There are no guarantees the Steelers would use the tag again next year. Lots could happen between now and then that would change their minds, most notably another injury to Bell. But it's not out of the question for the Steelers to tag him again. What if they won the Super Bowl and had a chance to repeat. You don't think they'd tag him again? There would be tremendous pressure to do it.
NC Steel
12:01
Ray, Just read your article about Bell. Seems like $10M/yr would be a fair offer to him, especially considering his injury/suspension history and where the market for RBs is today. Do you think Bell and his agent see it this way? Bell is excellent when he's healthy, but his injury history while he's still young, is worrisome. Thoughts?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:02
$50 million over five years with 22-23 million in guaranteed money would be fair for Bell I think. What we don't know at this point is whether Bell and his agent believe it to be fair. We'll find out soon.
Guest
12:02
Martavais Bryant calling out Ben to sit down and talk....story or just the summer doldrums, leaving people like Ron Cook having to make up controversies to keep themselves occupied?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:03
It's a story. The Steelers don't need any controversy however minor it might be.
le'veon bell
12:03
Yay I will be making a ton of money this year no matter what happenzzzz!!!!!
Ray Fittipaldo
12:03
As long as you sign your tag, Le'Veon. And don't get hurt training before you do!
Yinzer in Germany
12:03
Would you rather have Cam Heyward or Aaron Smith in their prime and why?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:04
Such a difficult question. Smith was so good for so many years. Heyward has been good, but he hasn't had the team success that Smith enjoyed.
Brett
12:04
Like Kurt Cousins in Washington, is there any real advantage to Lev Bell signing for anything less than $12M this year?  He is guaranteed that, and next year if the Steelers want to retain him they may have to franchise tag him again.  I think Bell will just play under the franchise tag...if it were me I would.  What do you think?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:06
But what if he signs the one-year deal and blows out his knee in the first game of the season in Cleveland? What would he be worth on the open market then? Or worse yet, what if he blew out his knee in the Super Bowl? Then he'd really be in bad shape. Don't overlook the injury issue. It's very real for a running back.
Lots of stuff but the situation at right outside linebacker and the corner situation will be worth watching.
Steeler Bred
12:06
What are you most excited about seeing (specific player/Def/Off ?) once training camp begins on the 28th?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:06
Question to previous answer.
Derek O.
12:07
Ray, a position battle not being talked about a lot of safety depth. Do you see Daimion Stafford, Robert Golden, and Jordan Dangerfield battling over 2 spots, or do they keep 5 safeties? Also, if one gets cut, who?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:08
I don't think they'll keep five safeties. Golden is strong on special teams and has been OK as a reserve so I think he'd be safe. So it'd come down to Dangerfield or Stafford.
Norm from Leiden
12:08
Hey Ray,  to what degree do you think wanting to be a Steeler enters into L. Bell's, Al V's and  Steph T's bargaining decisions? Is it only fans who expect Steelers to trade income for the privilege of Black n Gold?
Ray Fittipaldo
12:09
They can all hope to play for the Steelers, but it's always a business decision first. It has to be or their agents aren't doing their jobs.
Shotgun
12:09
Got tix for family to see Steelers-Giants in NJ 1st preseason game. If I'm not mistaken, starters usually run on and off the field, then it's a steady diet of guys who will never play in NFL. True?
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