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Steelers close in on deal with WR

Reed, Williams sign contracts with team

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers worked late into last night trying to sign Plaxico Burress' replacement after signing kicker Jeff Reed and cornerback Willie Williams earlier in the day.

Receiver Cedrick Wilson, who had his breakout season in San Francisco last year when he caught 47 passes for 641 yards, spent the entire day and much of the evening with the Steelers as they negotiated a contract with agent Tom Condon.

"It always feels good to be wanted," said Wilson, 26, who believed a contract agreement could be reached sometime last night because "I am definitely interested and they are definitely interested, so let's hope so."

After meeting with the coaching staff and the Rooneys, Wilson went to dinner with Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, and planned to stay in Pittsburgh last night.

If they sign Wilson, it will seal the end of the Burress era with the Steelers. Wilson started 15 games for the 49ers last season before his left fibula was broken. He has been running the past two weeks and the Steelers passed him medically. He would join Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El as the team's top three receivers.

"I like this place," Wilson said last night. "It's a winning program. That's the No. 1 thing, I definitely want to be on a winning team."

San Francisco drafted Wilson, 5 feet 10 and 183 pounds, from Tennessee in the sixth round in 2001 and he moved into a starting job last season. He could replace Burress at split end or play in the slot.

There were other maneuvers affecting the Steelers in free agency yesterday:

Reed signed a five-year contract for $7.5 million that includes a $1.5 million signing bonus.

Cornerback Willie Williams, 34, officially signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract. He received a $500,000 signing bonus and will have annual salaries of $765,000 and $1,235,000.

Williams signed a one-year deal for $760,000 with the Steelers in May after he was released by Seattle and became their starter midway through last season after Chad Scott was injured. He counted just $455,000 against the cap last year. He will count $1,015,000 this year. The Steelers had only $1.7 million of salary cap room before they signed Williams.

Burress failed to show up for his scheduled afternoon visit with the New York Giants, who appear to be the only serious suitors for the free-agent receiver. Burress reportedly was sick and the meeting was to be rescheduled, probably for tomorrow. Burress may have gotten sick when he heard that the Giants reportedly have proposed a six-year, $21 million contract with a $4 million signing bonus -- far below the $10 million bonus that Burress was seeking. The Vikings also may have an interest in Burress.

Guard Keydrick Vincent, an unrestricted free agent, was scheduled to visit Cleveland today unless the Browns were able to come to contract terms with guard Cosey Coleman, a free agent from Tampa Bay, last night.

Vincent's agent, Ken Zuckerman, also has been discussing a contract with Baltimore, and Atlanta contacted him yesterday.

Reed made 28 of 33 field-goal attempts last season, making his final 17 tries. He also made all 40 extra-point tries. He made the team as an undrafted rookie after a tryout with four other kickers at Heinz Field in November 2002. At the time, the Steelers were unhappy with veteran kicker Todd Peterson. They replaced him with Reed, who was signed and released by New Orleans that summer and worked on a farm in North Carolina while he tried out for six NFL teams that fall.

Reed made 17 of his 19 field goal tries as a rookie but was not as strong in 2003, when he made just 23 of 32. However, he rebounded nicely last season and the Steelers showed how much they valued him by putting the first-round tender on him as a restricted free agent.

Jeff Reed you could have missed one more last year to make us Jet fans happy.

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Receiver Cedrick Wilson, who had his breakout season in San Francisco last year when he caught 47 passes for 641 yards, spent the entire day and much of the evening with the Steelers as they negotiated a contract with agent Tom Condon.

Yea they are billing that as his "breakout" year. Aren't those running back numbers? :lol::lol::lol:

Why the heck would we be interested in another Randle El? That baffles me.

I like the Reed signing, he's a damn good kicker IMO.

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Yea they are billing that as his "breakout" year. Aren't those running back numbers? :lol::lol::lol:

Why the heck would we be interested in another Randle El? That baffles me.

I like the Reed signing, he's a damn good kicker IMO.

I do not think Wilson is going to scare many defensive coaches in game planning. Seems to fit with Steelers past practice of trying to finding role type players to fit in.

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I'm catchin' all kinds of flack in Steelernation for my opinions but i am NOT happy with that teams moves thusfar, save for signing Reed longterm.

The only way they can save face in my eyes is to land either Fred Smoot or Ty Law and find a damn good WR in the draft. That scenario appears nearly impossible though. :cry:

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StillerPaul, your from Ohio I see, how did you become a Steelers fan?

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StillerPaul, your from Ohio I see, how did you become a Steelers fan?

I grew up in southwestern PA. Moved here with my family when i was 14, have been here ever since. You'd be surprised at the amount of Steelers fans in this area.

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I grew up in southwestern PA. Moved here with my family when i was 14, have been here ever since. You'd be surprised at the amount of Steelers fans in this area.

There are a lot of steeler fans here in CT too. They seem to be pretty popular no matter where you go.

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Wilson's not bad, SP. You guys can still recoup in the draft, but I agree, it would still help you guys alot to go out and get some help.

btw, All of you Herm-lovers who say "Herm is just as good as Cowher" are out your minds for just this reason--Cowher will take scrubs and make them stars, Herm will take scrubs and go 6-10 and say he didn't have the players.

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There are a lot of steeler fans here in CT too. They seem to be pretty popular no matter where you go.

They are also one of the more popular teams over here, relatively speaking.

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I grew up in southwestern PA. Moved here with my family when i was 14, have been here ever since. You'd be surprised at the amount of Steelers fans in this area.

I'll be joining you in Ohio very soon. Whats the weather been like over there? Snow?

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There are a lot of steeler fans here in CT too. They seem to be pretty popular no matter where you go.

Dude i kid you not, every year we go to Cinci and there are way more Steelers fans there than Bengal fans. It's another home game! They had a big segmment on the local news there about it, saying how much money Steelers fans bring into the city when we visit. I have pictures of tailgating at Cowboys stadium as well, i'd say some 25,000 made that trip. It's unreal how many Steelers fans i've seen at road games over the years.

:shock:

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I'll be joining you in Ohio very soon. Whats the weather been like over there? Snow?

We got about 4 or 5 inches this morning. What part are you going to? Maybe we can get a drink or something if ya are close enough.

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We got about 4 or 5 inches this morning. What part are you going to? Maybe we can get a drink or something if ya are close enough.

I'm moving to Cincinnati next week for school at UC. Cleveland is like a 2 hour trip pretty much right?

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I'm moving to Cincinnati next week for school at UC. Cleveland is like a 2 hour trip pretty much right?

4 hour trip. I have a good buddy in Cinci though, i may be heading down there within a couple of weeks. I'll let ya know, there are alot of good bars and restaurants in the area.

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Dude i kid you not, every year we go to Cinci and there are way more Steelers fans there than Bengal fans. It's another home game! They had a big segmment on the local news there about it, saying how much money Steelers fans bring into the city when we visit. I have pictures of tailgating at Cowboys stadium as well, i'd say some 25,000 made that trip. It's unreal how many Steelers fans i've seen at road games over the years.

:shock:

I just went to the Bengals site to see who they're home opponents are next year. At the top of the site it says "Call our Ticket Sales Hotline today and beat the rush for Bengals Season Tickets.". How funny is that?

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Stillerpaul

It is too bad that I did not know you last year- I took the trip to Cleveland to see them when the Jets played there, went to Pro Football Hall of Fame also-it would have been nice to meet up for some drinks.

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Stiller, here's something that Steeler and Giants fan will both get: Cedrick Wilson=Chris Calloway.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/CallCh00.htm

Not special, but he can start if things go well.

My brief scouting report for the draft site:

WR Cedric Wilson-- 26 year old possesion receiver, who started 15 games in 2004. Could be back, but may have accept a reduced role. Had 47 receptions for 641 yards and 3 TD's in 2004. Improved quarterback play could help a player like Wilson.

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Yea they are billing that as his "breakout" year. Aren't those running back numbers?

No, he didn't play for the Jets last season.

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Stillerpaul

It is too bad that I did not know you last year- I took the trip to Cleveland to see them when the Jets played there, went to Pro Football Hall of Fame also-it would have been nice to meet up for some drinks.

Faba, the next time you're in town we can do that. BTW, thank you for starting this thread. I couldn't tell ya how nice it feels to have Jet fans actually want to discuss Steeler issues with me. :)

R44, do you know if this Wilson guy is a legitimate deep threat or not? This really bothers me, he appears to be another slot guy like Randle El. I'm hoping like hell that they'll draft a deep threat.

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Paul I did my brief report with out consulting ESP Insider, but here it is--they basically agree with me--sounds like Calloway--slot WR, type...

Comment:

Wilson is a vastly undersized receiver with very good quickness and adequate speed. Size is a real concern, but he knows how to get off the line and create separation. Has good awareness. Also will go over the middle and make the tough catch. Will catch the ball in a crowd and is a good, tough competitor. However, Wilson doesn't have great hands and will also unexplainably drop some easy balls. Will look to run before he secures the ball and isn't real reliable. He is, however, a willing blocker that will get downfield and work in the running game. Overall, Wilson's biggest problem is his lack of size.

Looking at that write-up, you'd think he's the typical possesion receiver--I could use that for Chrebet today and no one would disagree--except the "eay drops".

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Paul I did my brief report with out consulting ESP Insider, but here it is--they basically agree with me--sounds like Calloway--slot WR, type...

Looking at that write-up, you'd think he's the typical possesion receiver--I could use that for Chrebet today and no one would disagree--except the "eay drops".

Aye carumba. :cry:

Well apparently it's official. EspnNews just reported that we signed him. :roll:

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He's a good player, but won't be a Plaxico type....If the Steelers start him, they gain very little...

Is he much better than a Chris Doering?

Probably, but he's not a WR who will win games...Decent pickup, depending on how much $ he got.

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He's a good player, but won't be a Plaxico type....If the Steelers start him, they gain very little...

Is he much better than a Chris Doering?

Probably, but he's not a WR who will win games...Decent pickup, depending on how much $ he got.

I'm thinking that Lee Mays can be just as effective as this guy. I just don't understand paying for something we already have. Unless they are trying to duplicate the Pats WR's?

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Stiller, Patriots are WR by commitee and it works...Wilson is what Calloway was for the Giants--a pro WR, but not special.

Giants got much better once he left.

Gainzo, with the career ending injury to top ILB Mike Maslowski, you'd think the Chiefs would be smart enough to stay away from Bell, who failed the Giants physical last week.

Not a smart move by K.C....But if he's healthy and willing, he's good.

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Stiller, Patriots are WR by commitee and it works...Wilson is what Calloway was for the Giants--a pro WR, but not special.

Giants got much better once he left.

Gainzo, with the career ending injury to top ILB Mike Maslowski, you'd think the Chiefs would be smart enough to stay away from Bell, who failed the Giants physical last week.

Not a smart move by K.C....But if he's healthy and willing, he's good.

KC has been so bad on the defensive side of the ball the last few years I think they thought they had to do something to improve. I'm sure they overpaid for Bell. I didn't realize he failed the Giants physical. Very interesting.

Stiller: What are your thoughts on losing Bell?

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Steelers have some of the best scouts in the business ... IMO Cedrick Wilson was one of the real FA sleepers this year

Only reason I didn't place him on my list of desirable free agents is because I missed his name on the list ... Just didn't see it ... but now I remember listing him as a sleeper WR prior to the start of free agency

I think this was a good signing for the Steelers ... Ward, Randal EL, and Wilson is a nice trio, and Wilson just has to be a quality #2-3 with Randal EL ... Hines Ward is clearly the #1

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Steelers have some of the best scouts in the business ... IMO Cedrick Wilson was one of the real FA sleepers this year

Only reason I didn't place him on my list of desirable free agents is because I missed his name on the list ... Just didn't see it ... but now I remember listing him as a sleeper WR prior to the start of free agency

I think this was a good signing for the Steelers ... Ward, Randal EL, and Wilson is a nice trio, and Wilson just has to be a quality #2-3 with Randal EL ... Hines Ward is clearly the #1

Maybe they figure by having 3 smallish, quick WR's they'll be able to combat the Ravens secondary from hell? I gotta believe we'll try to get a physical reciever through the draft.... i HOPE!

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SP, Just to show you I'm not BS'ing, I compiled the UFA list for FA WR's at draftdaddy prior to the start of free agency ... see for yourself

http://www.draftdaddy.com/prospects/rankedFA.cfm

Thanks, Ham. I'm feelin' better about Wilson as time goes by.

Here's some good news about that tackle, Max Starks, i was telling you about as well. I reallllllly like this kid! :D

Tackle Max Starks has caught the eye of the Steelers and last year

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Another question for ya, Ham. Apparently, Cedrick told Pittsburgh media that he can run 4.3 - 4.4 in the 40. I can't find anything on it, would you say that is accurate?

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Another question for ya, Ham. Apparently, Cedrick told Pittsburgh media that he can run 4.3 - 4.4 in the 40. I can't find anything on it, would you say that is accurate?

It's possible ... he's a speedy smurf

IMO Wilson is a Slot WR ... he'll do a nice job as your #3 out of the slot

The bigger question is, can Randal EL be counted on as a #2?

If he can, then you have a nice 3 WR rotation

But yes, it's very possible Wilson is telling the truth ... I don't know if he runs a 4.3, but he ain't slow

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I grew up in southwestern PA. Moved here with my family when i was 14, have been here ever since. You'd be surprised at the amount of Steelers fans in this area.

I believe it. When I was in Canton last year at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, driving around just Akron and such I saw some Steelers fans just walking around.

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It's possible ... he's a speedy smurf

IMO Wilson is a Slot WR ... he'll do a nice job as your #3 out of the slot

The bigger question is, can Randal EL be counted on as a #2?

If he can, then you have a nice 3 WR rotation

But yes, it's very possible Wilson is telling the truth ... I don't know if he runs a 4.3, but he ain't slow

Get a load of this guy's confidence. :shock:

What's your top strength as a receiver?

My strength is my quickness and my speed. My stop and start, I think, is better than any receiver's in the National Football League. It's something that I'll definitely be able to show the league, by having a good quarterback with a great running game and a darn good offensive line. And our defense here is awesome and our special teams are awesome. We were only one game away, and we're definitely going to get there.

Can you stretch the field?

That's one of the reasons why I was brought here, to stretch the field. That's my deal. I'm a 5-10 receiver and I'm built on speed and that's what I'm looking to do.

What's your 40 time?

I range in the 4.3, low 4.4s.

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