'99 Pittsburgh Steelers
Free Agent List

CLICK HERE for league-wide free agent signings & info.
Free Agency:
As the rest of the NFL once again plunders our dwindling pool of talent, one question comes to mind... why do these other teams always seem to have an endless supply of money while we're always broke???
Don't know the difference between restricted & unrestricted (let alone what a transitional free agent is)? Fear not! CLICK HERE for easy to understand free agent term definitions!

The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!

Submitted by Thomas Bragg
Critical Time is Wasting Away!
As of this moment, the Pittsburgh Steelers have done virtually nothing to improve their ballclub from 1998. Time is of the utmost importance to the Steelers, and it is quickly fading away. This team needed to sign at least one or two free agents during the free agency signing period, and it hasn't happened. Offensive tackle and wide receiver are areas that should have and could have been addressed, but the fact remains... they have not. The Steelers had the steal of free agency sitting in the palm of their hand in wide receiver J.J. Stokes, and they let him get away! Stoke's would have been a major asset to their offense and to Kordell Stewert, but like always, the Steelers found a way to screw it up. The Steeler's would've had more than enough cap money to sign Stoke's if somebody in the front office had GOTTEN OFF THEIR ASS and made a decision on tackle Will Wolford. Wolford has made it clear that he intends to retire, but he has yet to make it official to the team and the league. By doing this, his current salary still counts against the Steeler's cap money, meaning there is less money to sign a much needed free agent! Wolford needs to be given an ultimatum... either you're going to play or not. If somone had done this in the organization, the team would have had an additional million or two to spend on free agents (namely J.J. Stokes). The same exact thing is going to happen in the Steeler's negotiations with free agent offensive tackle Wayne Gandy. The Steeler's need an answer from Wolford so they will know if they are going to have enough cap money to go after Wayne Gandy. As I stated earlier, time is fading fast, and if the Steelers don't do something quick, 1999 is going to be a repeat performance of 1998!

Thomas D. Bragg

Submitted by Thomas Bragg
Who is Alex Van Dyke?
Lemme see now... just who did the Steelers sign anyway? Was it Alex Van Dyke or Dick Van Dyke? Sometimes I think the Steelers front office personel are about as sharp as a big 'ole bowling ball! The Steelers had J.J. Stokes sitting in the palm of their hand (without question the best available wide receiver in free agency) and what do they do? They say thanks, J.J., but no thanks. This same team turns right around a couple weeks later and goes out and signs a TOTAL UNKNOWN in Alex Van Dyke! This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! In three years with the Jets this kid was a third string backup. This guy couldn't come close to cracking the starting lineup for Bill Parcells, so how in the hell is he supposed to be a starting wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1999? The Steelers have enough questions to answer about guys such as Will Blackwell, Hines Ward, and David Dunn. All this move did was bring in a guy with just as many questions concerning him as the three players mentioned above. In my way of thinking, the signing of Alex Van Dyke is a ridiculous move that never should have been made. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but I seriously doubt it.

Submitted by OhDiane9@aol.com
The Whole Ball O' Wax
I must say, this is a GREAT page; very cohesive and up to date. After reading the previous comments I feel the need to put my two cents in.

Sure, we had a bad year, but couldn't you see it coming? How long can we continue to survive free agency, year after year? There were many factors influencing the poor season; Ray Sherman's poor play calling & Kordell's inability to focus were only part of the problems. We fans have been spoiled by the abilities of Bill and Tom to make something out of next to nothing. They did it year after year. We should be thankful. 97, 96,and 95 had the EXACT same potential, but the boys were able to pull it off. We can't be that lucky every year. That being said, you know we'll be back with a vengence! We've got weapons. Look for Ward and Blackwell to get a jump. Look for Bruener to be a force. Look for somebody- who's name we don't even know - to come to the forefront.

As for all the bandwagon jumpers, GET THE HELL OFF! You've stolen tickets from those of us on season ticket waiting list. I'd be happy to see the few games at Three Rivers per year that I could before you all fouled it up. Peanut heaven or not, it was a treat to be there! (I've been on the waiting list for five years).

In closing, Keep the faith. Go Steelers! Luv ya, Black n' Gold !!!!

Submitted by Brent "L Train" Landgren
Wishing for the Good "Ole" Days...
We could sit here all day and argue who the biggest Steelers fan is, and I think I am one of those people, which means I am just like you. Where do we begin? I don't really know. We don't have any money, but where is that money? Levon is getting a lot, but let's be honest, he deserves it, so what are you going to do? The same can be said for Jerome, Dermontti, and a couple of others.

What are we going to do about our offense that sucked? I just don't see how it is going to get better, even if we get Boston or Holt in the draft. We have a QB that nine times out of ten is not really sure where the ball is going. Let's be honest... how many times have you seen Kordell throw a ball and said to yourself, "Where the hell is he throwing the ball," or, "How did you not see that guy just looking and waiting for the ball to come so he can pick it off." I hate to see Lester go, because Jerome is not the same runner without him... that's obvious.

I am like all of you, how can you let Carnell go? I swear, can you remeber what our D was at one time with Lloyd, Greene, Kirkland, Brown, Lake, Woodson, Steed, and then you add guys like Harrison and a Perry or Washington, that is a championship D. Now Carnell did get beat a lot deep, and maybe Scott will come back and be good, but even that is up in the air.

Back to the offense, and I am sorry, but Hawkins and Blackwell aren't scaring anyone. I really am kind of excited about Dunn, I think he is going to be good. I don't know, I just hope that we don't have another season like what we had last year, and to be honest I am more afraid than confident.

Brent "L Train" Landgren

Submitted by kde
Hey, We Don't Get Burned With Overpaid Players
I am a little dissapointed by your thoughts about free agency. Your facts are right on the money. The Steelers dont pursue free agents and other teams keep their own. My contention is not with those points.

Where we differ is on this being a bad thing. The Steelers never get burned by overpaying a free agent bust. They don't sign certain players because they feel they are no longer able to help the team, or someone can adequately replace them.

I saw on Sports Center that of all the free agents the Steelers lost, only two have gone to the Pro Bowl since leaving. Couple this with the fact they have made the playoffs 6 out of 7 years (7 in a row if some guys didn't quit), three AFC Championship games and a Super Bowl, and I'm happy with the way they run their organization.

I also think that the Steelers do a nice job of taking care of their key players. Long term contracts are given to guys they feel will help the team years from now. I'd much rather see them err in letting someone go to quick than hanging on to a useless player.

In short, I am happy with the way they do things and I think that good business sense and integretity is what makes the Steelers the best organization in sports, and I would recommend not changing a thing.

Submitted by Brian Weaver
Steelers University?
McMillen and Wife,

Just wanted to pass my congratulations to you on a great Steeler website and voice my feelings on free agency. You guys do Steeler fans everywhere proud by hosting this site and giving us some place to air our gripes.

I (like Steeler fans everywhere) loathe free agency... I have more Steeler jerseys that are unwearable because our roster has begun to remind me of college football... guys play here for four years than move on. However, try to think of a Steeler free-agent who has gone somewhere and become an impact player... there really are none. Thigpen, Lloyd, Hastings, Mills, Brown, Williams, etc have all broken our hearts and gone to play somewhere else, but their careers have never really been the same. I expect to see the same thing happen this year with Carnell and C.J. (The only exception to this rule has been Kevin Greene, but he has never really been the same since leaving Pittsburgh).

One thing I do feel is trust for Cowher and Donahoe. I really believe they know what they are doing and definitely have the Steelers best interests in mind when evaluating free agents. If you look closely at last year, we were never really out of any game, other than the first Oiler game, and if Kordell could have made a play or two, we could have just as easily have been 10-6 or 11-5. That is our biggest concern going into next year... if Kordell can rebound and lead our offense.

Let's face it, I would be extremely shocked if we get a big name free agent. First of all, we don't have enough space under the cap. After Wolford retires we still only have 4 million in cap room. Our needs are LT, WR, and S. LT should be the first prioirity... you have to have someone to protect the QB's blindside and for run blocking. It's time to see if Will Balckwell has the ability to be a big play receiver and David Dunn should have a bigger role this season... he's a big, strong guy who could make a difference. Along with Courtney Hawkins and a Wide Receiver with the No. 12 pick, our receivers should be fine, and don't forget Hines Ward.

Another huge concern is Safety, where we are probably still going to lose Darren Perry. Even though he has been a starter since he came into the league, he never really had the speed to play back there, and now maybe we can upgrade by playing someone young like Lance Brown or Jason Simmons, and possibly move Chad Scott back there if Deshea Townsend is ready to play every down. But most of all, remember Bill Cowher is possibly the best coach in the NFL, so we'll be ready for next year and a run at Atlanta. Thanks again for the great website.

Brian Weaver

Submitted by Ron Brison
On the Brighter Side...
Hey Tim,

I know the season sucked and the forecast is grim, but aren't we overlooking the main thing? Now is the time of year when all the Steelers gear goes on clearance! That's right, Tim, I got two T-shirts, two sweatshirts, three different caps, and a smegging big Steelers parka for less than $100!!! Almost enough to hire a couple of highschool WR's. Hey... does the management need donations? If we all sent them one lousy buck each year, we could keep any future Lakes from getting away!

See ya!

Submitted by ws89@unix1.ccac.ed
Signing Bonuses & Loads of BS
Well, here's the thing... the Steelers can't offer the signing bonuses that other teams do, which is really what lures players away no matter how much bull they talk about better oppurtunities and fresh starts. The steelers have the 8th lowest ticket prices in the league, and the LEAST amount of seats to sell, so that translates into little money, which brings me to a question... how many of you so-called steeler fans reading this who probably do the most bitching about not resigning free agents voted NO to the .5% sales tax increase to fund a new stadium? This is why the steelers cannot remain competitive. Let's take Neil, for example. The steelers offered him almost 3 million a year with a 2 or 3 million signing bonus, but the jets offer him 4-5 million a year with a 5 million dollar bonus. Well, he leaves. Why? Because of the salary difference? Wrong. I know his kids have to eat, but 3 million a year or 4 million a year is not that much different, but 2-3 million in guaranteed money up front, well, he'd be a fool to pass that up! Why do you think Carnell Lake left? He's never going to stay in Jacksonville for the length of his contract with his current salary. He knows that teams like the Jags constantly restructure contracts, and players in their 30's are the first targets, but they offered him an obscene signing bonus... guarateed money that the Steelers couldn't touch.

Oh, one more rant... how many Steeler fans are offended by his talk of a fresh start? Excuse me, but what (besides money) could the Jags possibly offer him that the Steelers didn't? The fans loved him here, the coaches loved him here, and the players loved him here. Why would he need a "fresh start"? A bunch of BS, if you ask me. And one more thing (really this time)... I just have to state that I have lost tons of respect for CJ. He was my favorite player, and all season long, he pulled a Neil... "I love Pittsburgh, the Steelers are going to have every chance to re-sign me, blah, blah," and the first chance he gets, he jumps ship less than a week into free agency. Another load of BS. He was my favorite player, but he isn't worth the money the Eagles gave him. Okay, I'm done.

Submitted by David Beers
We keep him... we keep him not... we keep him... we keep him not... I used to pick at flowers like that to make up my mind when I was a kid, but then I grew up, somthing the front office in Pittsburgh has to do. I'm going to (try) keep this message clean, but dammit, I'm getting fed up with this bullshit. Don't sit and tell me about salary cap, because I think the Steelers are the only ones in the league that have one. There are other ways... there have to be.

Look at the Jags, just look at who they have picked up in the past week, all the best so far. HOW? Signing bonus? Incentives? We're going to take care of you and it's in writing? Under the table cash? I don't know how, but they are doing it.

I have a friend who's a Browns fan, and in the 80's, the Browns would come so close to going all the way just to come up short each year, and each year they would let some solid players go. Each year, my friend would tell me if the Browns would have just kept this guy or that guy, they would have made it to the Super Bowl. I used to think it must be horrible to have a team take you to the edge like that every year and let you down. I'm starting to know how horrible it really is.


Submitted by Thomas Bragg
Major Mistake About to be Made!
The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting ready to make another HUMONGOUS MISTAKE! It's not like they haven't made enough already this off-season. They have no passing game or wide receivers to speak of, and now they're on the verge of losing their running game! The Steelers refusal to get Tim Lester back in a Steeler uniform is ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS! This guy is one of the best blocking fullbacks in the NFL, and he is a major reason that Jerome Bettis is the running back that he is today. Not only has Lester been Bettis' lead blocker for most of Jerome's career, but Bettis has shown repeatedly that he is nowhere near the same running back when he doesn't have Lester in front of him. The fact is, Jerome knows this, which is the reason why he offered to renegotiate his contract just so the Steelers would have enough cap money to resign Tim Lester. If the Steelers don't resign Lester, they not only will be losing one of the best blocking backs in the league, but worst of all, they are going to make an ENEMY out of Jerome Bettis. If Bettis is not happy, the effort and production are not going to be there, meaning your running game is going to suffer big-time. The Steelers had better think long and hard about this one, because this is one that can KILL YOU IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE! THINK ABOUT IT!

Thomas D. Bragg

Submitted by Holly Manley
Players Haven't Been Treated Well
I just read Justice B. Hill's article about free agency and Carnell Lake on Steelers Live. Justin, take a walk. You started naming players, that as I recall wanted to stay with the organization and if they wanted more money, what they were asking for was not that much. Greene, Bell and Woodson were not exactly treated as well as they should have been when their contracts were up. Woodson and Bell were ignored.

There is something happening, I don't know what, but it is really wrong to blame these players who go for the bucks when they see other players passed over when they gave their careers to the black and gold. A perfect example right now is Tim Lester. It seems Jerome Bettis has more loyalty to Lester than the front office has.

If a player wants to stay and retire a Steeler, hey, that's great. If they don't, there must be a reason and whatever that reason is, I support it. It may hurt, but what is the old saying unless you walk in someone else's shoes.

CARNELL, THANK'S FOR THE MEMORIES. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS! JOHNSON (The Eagles), what a waste of talent. You'll go nowhere.

Submitted by Harry E. Payne III
What can you do? Keep cheering and wait!
Let's face it Steeler fans... last year was a big learning experience for us all. I sat in a bar every Sunday and watched my team play like the old 'Bucs or the Saints. As the weeks progressed, I started to realize that loyalty amongst my fellow Black and Gold brigade was falling by the wayside. I saw a bunch of spoiled brats bitching at players on the screen without understanding what was really going on. What was really happening was that those guys were actually doing the best they could, considering our lack of talent. My love for the Steelers was reborn because I kept cheering, and I realized that you've got to go through some pain in order to enjoy the good times yet to come. Yeah, we sucked last year! Yeah, we probably will this year too! But if you really love the Steelers, you'll endure these hard times with our boys out on the gridiron. If not, keep your tired ass at home!

Submitted by T. Walker
Free "Frickin" Agency
What is a Steeler fan to do? For so many years, we have succeeded while losing "pro-bowlers" to free agency. They say it will catch up. The question is, did it already catch up to us this year? Also, how many "pro-bowlers" did we have this year?

There is a lot of emphasis placed on this honor that may not be justified. There are outstanding players on many teams that never make the pro bowl because of poor seasons. That does not mean they are not talented or have the potential to go to the Super Bowl in 2000 (True Steeler fans will get the idea).

I hate free agency, and that is why my respect for Mr. Lethon Flowers has been deeply strengthened. I respected him as a player after his "pro-bowl" performance this year, but to hear his comments on why he stayed in Pittsburgh nearly brings me to tears as it harkens back to the the Steeler team mentality of old.

It is scary to think of how close we are to the cap, and it is easy to blame the front office, especially after this last season. A lot of the money was spent on quality players last year. Could you imagine what this seaon (or next) would be like without Levon? And an even scarier thought is what happens when and if Kordell blossoms and we have to renegotiate with him during free agency next year?

Although it may seem like it at this time every year, free agency and team planning this is not a "this year, one time, immediate, proposition." And it is easy to sit at home and say management is too cheap and doesn't care about the team. The Steeler's proud history says otherwise. We are not that far away from a Superbowl. Is C.J. that big of a loss? Uh, maybe? Do I respect Carnell Lake as a football player and am I upset that he went to Jacksonville? Yes. Can I blame him for grabbing the cash cow? No. Do I wish he was still a steeler? Hell yes! Can I (realistically) expect someone better to come and take his place? You bet your ass I can! Because I'm a Steeler fan, and as we like to announce to the rest of the bar in North Idaho, "Chewin tabacca, chewin tabacca, spit, spit, spit, If you ain't a Steeler fan, you ain't shit!"

T. Walker - Hayden Lake, Idaho

P.S. Being in Seahawk Country I think that, money aside, Moon would be a great back-up for Kordell.

Submitted by Jonathan Pasterick
Don't Give Up the Ship
I understand the frustration of the annual ransacking of the Steelers talent pool, but I think people have to realize that this happens to all great teams these days. While we focus on the Steelers, we don't pay attention to the fact a lot of other big-time winners, such as the Cowboys and Packers, stopped being so due in large part to the fact that their depth was sapped by free agency.

As for CJ, I was all for the guy, but in all honesty, I couldn't justify paying what the Eagles did for a guy with average hands, average speed, and average size, like CJ had, even with the occasional circus catches he gave us. Assuming the Steelers use their first pick to get a receiver (and praying David Boston is still around at the number 13 pick), CJ would've likely become a multi-million dollar No. 2 receiver. With all that money, we'll see how much CJ helps the Eagles.

I agree that the front office is a little tight with the change (and hopefully the added revenue the new stadium will provide can help in that department), but at least the brain trust for the Steelers (namely Donohoe and Cowher) are among the best drafters in the league, so they don't slip too far out out of the picture. Don't lose faith.

Submitted by Thomas Bragg
Things Can't Get Much Worse
Last week it was Carnell Lake... this week it's Charles Johnson. Just two weeks into the free agency period, the Steeler's have lost a PRO BOWL safety and a starting wide receiver. It's getting so bad that I'm getting afraid to watch any kind of sports coverage on T.V. or on the web because the Steelers' players are DROPPING LIKE FLIES!

I was never a huge fan of Charles Johnson because I never thought he lived up to his billing from the time he came into the league in 1994 . When he was drafted, a lot of the general managers around the league were saying that he was going to be one of the next great receivers to come into the league. For his career as a whole, I couldn't rate him more than a five or six at best on a scale of one to ten. In his defense, however, he was a seasoned veteran that would make a big play on occasion. On a team that had as many problems offensively as the Steelers had, he was a guy that they needed to keep. The wide receiver position on this team was already on life support and now that the team has lost CJ, it probably just died.

If this AWFUL trend continues, the Steelers are looking to have one of the worst seasons in the history of the franchise in 1999. There is no way that this team can be expected to compete with the likes of Denver, Jacksonville, and the Jets when we are losing starting players, some of whom are Pro Bowl-caliber players! The Steelers organazation says they are commited to winning, but their actions say something completely different! When you continually lose the amount of top talent year after year that this team has lost and you do nothing about it, there is no way you can be commited to winning. BOTTOM LINE IS, THEY'RE SELLIN' IT, BUT I AIN'T BUY'N IT!!!

Thomas D. Bragg

Submitted by Silk
Go On, ADMIT It!
My fellow die-hards,

As much as it hurts us all to see the likes of quality players such as Lake and C.J. jump ship for the almighty dollar, keep in mind, this is happening all over the NFL. I think many of us remember too well how great it was to see great players play their entire career with the Steelers, then retire a Steeler.

I feel that we have made the right decisions on who we are going to pay the big bucks and who we will let test the market. Every team has to make these decisions, and most do not handle this process well. How many times have we seen teams load up on outragous contracts for players who cannot make a huge difference in the overall game plan. (e.g., Eric Green, Neil O'Donnell, this list can go on with examples outside of the organization as well).

We also need to realize that Kevin Gilbride has a different game plan than most of us may be used to. Therefore, the signing of Mark Bruener could be much larger than we may realize. Gilbride utilizes the tight end and the fullback in the passing game much more than any of the Steeler offenses did over the past seven years. This may also be the reason we may not sign Tim Lester (blocks well with stone hands).

Keep the faith in our decision makers, and remember... not many teams can reload as well as our beloved Steelers (6 playoff appearences in 7 seasons, 3 AFC championship games in 4 years... not bad for the Free Agency Era).

Keep the Faith,

Submitted by AOD4LIFE@aol.com
Go On, ADMIT It!
I hear you "hate free agency," Tim. I can understand, but you aren't placing blame where it is due. Face it... our front office sucks. The owner is not dedicated to winning. Face it: We are the cheapest team in the league. The Steelers organization now has a reputation for being cheap and petty. Bill Bidwell is laughing at us, 'cause he was the cheapest owner till he started spending and winning. DEEP DOWN, YOU KNOW THAT I HAVE A POINT.

Submitted by Nick Vollentine
Hey, I've been visiting your site frequently for the past year and it's always got the best information I can find.

Well, now that the Steelers have lost Lake and CJ, I'm wondering who they could pick up to boost the team. All the unrestricted free agents at this point are old and weak. The only option I see fit for Pittsburgh is to snatch Fleetwood and Julio. They could probably afford them too.

Nick Vollentine
Baltimore MD

Anybody want Ernie Mills? Anyone?

Submitted by Michael C. Eaker
Is There Something I'm Missing?
You know, the last time I checked, it requires receivers have a passing game. When your offense sucks as badly as ours did last year, one might think we'd make an effort to at least keep the receivers we have. GO FIGURE.

Michael C. Eaker

Submitted by AOD4LIFE@aol.com
Bruener a Bank Robber?
I think Mark Bruener owns a gun and mask, 'cause he just robbed the Steelers! His deal works out to $11 million, and after a season of 19 catches? Huh. I guess by that reasoning, CJ had 65 catches and is worth $37.6 million. Do the Math. This team that would not sign TE Eric "Sherman Tank" Green, a FAR SUPERIOR player (though troubled). Who the hell is really running things up there? I was hoping to see Bruener leave and take the Tight End position out of the offense. The reason for the pennypinching may be because Kordell is gonna be a free agent next year and will need a deal comparable to that of Jake Plummer. Look for Kordell to need about $40 million over 8 years and a $10 million signing bonus. If the Steelers let him go to free agency, the price may rise, so look for negotiations to start during the season. And if Kordell leaves? Well, then it's time to trade for the future and draft picks, because historically, BIG-TIME Quarterbacks aren't found outside of the draft and the first round at that. Unless you want to settle for the mediocrity of the journeyman quarterbacks.

Submitted by Thomas Bragg
Secondary Looks Like Swiss Cheese
The one player that the Pittsburgh Steelers could least afford to lose has been lost . The departure of Carnell Lake is a loss that will have a major effect on the Steelers defense for years to come. His playmaking abilities and veteran leadership are traits that the Steelers will sorely miss next season. This Steelers team desperately needed a player like Lake coming off their AWFUL 1998 season. What makes this whole mess even worse is the fact that we lost him to the HATED division rival Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are already on the verge of becoming not only the dominant team in the AFC CENTRAL, but now they are probably going to be the team to beat in the AFC (especially if the John Elway retires)! The Jaguars already had a championship caliber offense and now with the acquisition of Carnell Lake on defense, they probably will challenge for a Super Bowl. Lake's departure from the defense is a MIRROR IMAGE of the loss suffered last year when the Steelers lost Yancey Thigpen on offense! Opposing quarterbacks and receivers will be LICKING THEIR CHOPS next season thinking about how the Steelers secondary, which looks like SWISS CHEESE without Carnell Lake being there. One would think that the Steeler's organazation would learn from past mistakes and not repeat them, but unfortuntely, the Steelers NEVER DO ! There is NO WAY the Steelers can hope to be a competitive as long as they CONSTANTLY lose PRO BOWL CALIBER PLAYERS year after year. ALL I CAN SAY IS, US AS FANS BETTER HAVE SOMETHING ELSE TO KEEP US OCCUPIED DURING FOOTBALL SEASON, BECAUSE WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO WATCH THE AWFUL BUTT KICKINGS THAT THE STEELERS ARE IN STORE FOR IN 1999!

Thomas D. Bragg

Submitted by AOD4LIFE@aol.com
Farewell, Carnell... See 'Ya Soon!
I do not begrudge Carnell Lake (a class act) for leaving. He will be missed. However, after watching him get burned so much last season, that may help us. On a team that has Beasley and Logan (Two West Virginia boys), now we will have somebody to throw at. I will be quite happy to see Charles Johnson burn Lake on the deep post. Anybody who thinks that Lake hasn't lost something needs to look closer. Carl Pickens made a career off of Lake. LOOK AT THE MATCHUP STATS! But anyways, I'm not as bitter as I sound. We must adapt and overcome.

If CJ does not sign, we are screwed. I know that 5 teams are talking to him (including Jax), and some are restructuring their payroll to offer him a private jet or a King's Ransom. CJ is more priority that anyone else. We lose CJ, and we're set back another year at least.

Submitted by Thomas Bragg
If the pittsburgh steelers hope to have a better 1999 than 1998, then they must re-sign Carnell Lake, Tim Lester, and Mark Breuner. These three players are ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL if the steelers want to return to there winning ways.

It will be nearly impossible for the team to re-sign all of their free agents, but keeping these three guys IS A MUST! Getting Carnell back to his old position at strong safety next year will be the best medicine in the world not only for him, but for the team as well! The same can be said for Tim Lester, because Jerome Bettis might be "THE BUS," but Lester is the man DRIVING IT! Bettis needs Lester's blocking ability in front of him. Jerome has shown in the past that he is not the same runner when Lester is not there. Another guy the Steelers cannot afford to lose in free agency is Mark Bruener. If the Steelers would ever UTILIZE all of Bruener's talents (not just his run blocking abilities), this guy could EASILY be one of the top 2 or 3 tight ends in the entire league. Contrary to what some people think, Bruener could be a great pass catching tight end provided somebody would throw the ball in his direction occassionly.

As I stated earlier, if the Steelers want to return to WINNING, then signing these players IS A MUST! It's a given that they will lose some players due to free agency, but if they lose Lake, Lester and Breuner, this team is going to be IN A WORLD OF HURT FOR A LONG TIME TO COME !!!

Thomas D. Bragg

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