James Walker of ESPN has a story on some of the comments of Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, who spoke today after a busy day for the Steelers which included a 3-year deal for Casey Hampton and also putting the franchise tag on kicker Jeff Reed. Some of the highlights included:
* First and foremost, Colbert was happy to get the Casey Hampton deal out of the way. The Pro Bowl nose tackle reportedly signed for three years and $21 million. Colbert said he feels Hampton, 32, still has some good football left in him and hopes Hampton retires a Steeler.
* Pittsburgh will continue to negotiate with kicker Jeff Reed, who received the franchise tag Thursday. The expectation is that both sides will reach a long-term deal before the start of the 2010 season.
“We’ve been in contact with Jeff and he’s aware of the situation, and his agent is aware of the situation,” Colbert said. “My goal is to lock Jeff up long term and have him finish his career with the Steelers. He’s aware of that and aware that sometimes the process gets to this point where we all need to buy some time.”
* Colbert added that there are no concerns about Troy Polamalu’s knee injury and that the safety is progressing fine this offseason.
* The Steelers also view the rapid development of 2009 third-round pick Mike Wallace as a “bonus.” Not much was expected of Wallace in his first year, but he caught 39 passes for 756 yards as a rookie and helped add a deep threat to Pittsburgh’s offense.
* Colbert said he’s very impressed by this year’s crop of college defensive linemen.
“This draft, however, there’s more defensive linemen than I can remember in really 26 years of doing this — not only the depth but the quality of depth as well,” Colbert said.
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