Steelers' Hampton doesn't want franchise tag
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — If the Steelers don't sign nose tackle Casey Hampton to a multi-year contract within the next five weeks they they should give him the freedom to look elsewhere, the five-time Pro Bowler said today.
Hampton is an unrestricted free agent, and he said "it will be a problem" if the Steelers use a franchise tag on him. A franchise tag would essentially prevent the 6-foot-1, 325-pound Hampton from hitting the open market when the free agent signing period begins March 5.
"You say we're family and you'll take care of me, and I feel like that's a slap in my face if you franchise me," Hampton told the Tribune-Review following a Pro Bowl practice at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. "That's not right. You don't do business like that. I want to be treated fair, and I think franchising me is not fair."
If the Steelers tag Hampton, 32, they would have to offer him a one-year contract worth the average of the top five salaries for defensive linemen in 2009.
Using a franchise tag on the player that has been an anchor for the Steelers' defense would prevent other teams from negotiating with Hampton or force them to give up two first-round draft picks if they made him an offer that the Steelers declined to match.
Hampton turned in one of his better seasons in 2009, notching a career-high 2.5 sacks while making 42 tackles and earning his fourth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl.
The Steelers have said they want Hampton, their first-round draft pick in 2001, back. Hampton wants to return to Pittsburgh as long as the Steelers make the kind of commitment to him that he said he has given to them.
"I love the organization. I love the owners. I love the coaches. But this is all about being fair and doing what's right and I'm big on that," said Hampton, who will play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday night. "I want to be in Pittsburgh. There's no question about that. Can we make it right• That's what it's going to boil down to."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Healthy, confident Steelers LB Shazier ready for full speed ahead
- Steelers won’t change scheme after Pouncey injury
- Crowd sparse to protest Vick at Steelers’ facility
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin leaving `light on’ for injured players
- Steelers notebook: Legursky returns to provide offensive line depth
- Starkey: Steelers stopping themselves with suspensions
- Veteran quarterback Vick is vowing to make Steelers proud
- Steelers won’t change contract policy for Antonio Brown
- Heinz Field shows off its new closed-end look in south end zone
- Steelers ink QB Vick, new teammates OK with signing
- Steelers notebook: Mitchell injures left ankle in practice