Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Should the Steelers Trade Faneca?

The Steelers missed their chance to trade Alan Faneca before the draft. Now, they have to deal with a potentially disgruntled player. Thanks to the big dollars given to two guards who have never made a Pro Bowl, Eric Steinbach and Derrick Dockery, this off-season, Faneca wants his next contract in that same ballpark. It's hard to blame him. While his agent insists it’s not about the money (heard that from pro athletes before), he just wants respect from the Steelers and insists Faneca has always wanted to end his career with the team. It doesn’t appear either that’s going to happen now.

It’s too late to trade Faneca now. If they don’t negotiate a new deal with him, the best the Steelers can hope for is that Faneca plays out his free agent year with a mission. With tight relationships with Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm, he’s pretty much assured of signing with Arizona next year. At this point, the Steelers will probably get a better compensatory draft pick than what they could get in a trade for Faneca. It’s time to start grooming his replacement and planning for his departure.

It’s too bad that it’s come to this. Faneca has been a great teammate, a true representative of Steeler football, and a model Pittsburgh citizen. However, the economics of the game force teams into tough decisions.

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