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BTSC Steelers Six Pack: Day Three of CBA Negotiations Edition

IX - Earlier in the week, Dale Lolley broke the story that the Steelers were set to use the Franchise Tag on linebacker LaMarr Woodley. We never followed up though with the official announcement, which came on Friday. Neither Woodley nor his agent commented on Friday about the news. Woodley, who earned $550,000 in 2010, will see his salary increase over 1800 percent in 2011 as he's scheduled to earn ~$10,000,000 or the average of the top five highest paid players at his position. Now, it's still possible that the Steelers and Woodley work out a long-term deal before the season, but with so much uncertainty surrounding what the new CBA might look like, let's hold off on speculating about what may happen next.

X - The NFL and the NFLPA are meeting for the third consecutive day on Sunday to hopefully make progress on hammering out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Beginning this past Friday, both sides agreed to a week of meetings at the National Mediation and Conciliation Service. The director of the agency, George Cohen, has a track record of helping broker deals of this variety, as he played an integral role in helping Major League Soccer avoid a work stoppage. MLS is a peon in the sporting landscape compared to the NFL of course, but here's to hoping that Cohen can successfully mediate a deal this next week, or at worst, get both sides significantly closer together than they've been up to this point.

XIII - You've got just over four days to catch a glimpse of Brett Keisel's famous beard. On Thursday, Keisel will shave the legendary beard for charity. Like so many of the Steelers' charity efforts, the proceeds will go to the UPMC Children's Hospital.

Celebrity barbers will have the task of shaving off the beard at Diesel Nightclub on Pittsburgh's South Side Feb. 24. See & Be Seen will be there to bring you all of the great video and photos.
XIV - Looking for some sources to follow for CBA updates? Here's a few Twitter accounts to keep a close eye on.And remember, you don't need to tweet about what you had for breakfast in order to get some legitimate utility out of Twitter. Sign up for a free account and follow some good sources of information even if you're wholly uninterested in participating on the platform.
  • George Atallah, NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs.(@GeorgeAtallah)
  • Greg Aiello, NFL Public Relations maverick (@gregaiello)
  • Andrew Brandt, President National Football Post, Lecturer on Sports Business at Wharton School (Go Quakers!) (@adbrandt)
  • Daniel Kaplan, reporter for Sports Business Journal (@dkaplanSBJ)
XL -  With the possibility of a lockout looming larger than ever, Steelers players are beginning to think about contingency plans for their offseason workouts. Surprise, surprise, Hines Ward is leading the charge to make sure that the Steelers are prepared and ready for the 2011 season amidst all the CBA hysteria.

"We have to," Ward said. "It's more for the younger guys. They won't have any workout programs. A lot of those guys have been going since the combine last year, training hard and then going 28 weeks of football."

Also in that article is some nice commentary from Ed Bouchette about the running back situation for the Steelers. The loss of Frank Summers to San Diego, and the potential loss of Mewelde Moore to free agency should not be a huge cause of concern says Bouchette, who cites the Steelers' long history of finding capable backs in far and wide places.

XLIII -  Earlier in the week, I mentioned that the Steelers had lost Frank Summers to the Chargers and re-signed DB Da'mon Cromartie-Smith. The Steelers made a number of other minor transactions this week as well, re-signing six members of last year's practice squad to offseason contracts (terms unavailable). The list: wide receiver Tyler Grisham, defensive end Sunny Harris, tight end Eugene Bright, linebacker Chris Ellis and tackle Kyle Jolly. The Steelers also signed local product Wes Lyons to a future deal for the '11 season. Lyons, a 6'8" wide receiver, played his high school ball at Woodland Hills, and his college ball at nearby West Virginia.