The Pittsburgh Steelers brass is in Indianapolis this week at the NFL Scouting Combine, but don’t think for a second the only business going on at Lucas Oil Field is strictly based around prospects leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rather, the team has business to tend to outside of the combine, and one of those articles of business would be none other than pending free agent Lawrence Timmons. In fact, it was reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler Timmons’ team and the Steelers have been in talks while at the annual event.
Steelers continuing to talk with Lawrence Timmons’ rep Drew Rosenhaus this week at NFL combine. Timmons wants to finish career in Pit.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 1, 2017
While many fans might be excited to see this news, talks don’t necessarily mean they are close to a deal, rather just the two sides are talking.
Nonetheless, talking is better than the alternative, but will the two sides be able to get a deal done? Coming to terms on a new contract might be more complicated than one may believe.
Timmons is coming off a big season, both contractually and physically, but the Steelers will need to monitor their cap space wisely. After giving Le’Veon Bell the franchise tag, Antonio Brown a hefty new contract and James Harrison his own two-year deal, the team’s salary cap space, which is more expansive than usual, is already starting to dwindle.
Timmons was the recipient of several reconstructed contracts throughout his time with the Steelers, and as is life in the NFL, you can kick the can down the street, but eventually you have to pick it up. The Steelers did just that in 2016 when Timmons earned $15,131,250 after his restructured bonus.
So, what needs to happen for Timmons to get a new deal?
He would be wise to realize the opportunity he has with the Steelers. The team made it to the AFC Championship game and are already reloading for the upcoming season. Being a part of a contender, and not just chasing the money, is something which should appeal to Timmons at this stage in his career.
Most importantly, Timmons would have to take a big pay cut. The Steelers simply shouldn’t be willing to pay Mike Tomlin’s first draft pick as an NFL head coach even half of what he earned in 2016. Not that he would expect it, but if Timmons isn’t interested in a Ramon Foster and William Gay type contract, it might equate to Timmons testing free agency for the first time in his NFL career.
What do I think will happen? I think the Steelers sign Timmons to a team-friendly 2-3 year contract which they can get out of if they feel Timmons’ play doesn’t match his pay.
How do you see this situation unfolding? Timmons retiring as a lifetime member of the black and gold? Or one of the several Steelers greats who end their careers in another NFL uniform?