Sometimes I wander around the library and end up checking out ridiculous books that I never intend to read. It's kind of like when you go to the grocery store hungry and later, after a big meal, wonder if you really needed to buy seven boxes of fruit snacks. Well, a couple weeks back I checked out a book that discussed different perspectives on time. I didn't intend to read the book, but I really wanted to take a test that would reveal my personal perspective on time. There were many subcategories, but what I learned is that each person is focused on the past, present, or future. If you are focused on the past, you love to say things like "remember when...". If you are focused on the present, you probably wouldn't hesitate to call in sick to work to go skiing on an awesome powder day (and forget that when you show up at work with windburn the next day it might be tough to believe you a had a one day stomach flu). It turns out that my focus is not rooted in the past or present, but rather on the future. It's why I prefer to call it a night early, because I'd rather feel good the next morning than drink that extra jager bomb. Or maybe I'm just a loser.
Why do I mention all this? Because the post gazette reported that Willie Colon just signed a one year deal. Colon was a two year starter at right tackle and was given the highest tender offer as a restricted free agent, so it was unsurprising that he re-signed with the Steelers. But the length of the deal is a surprise. I expcted him to sign a long term contract.
There have been many cries to revamp the entire offensive line, but the Steelers have kept the line that played in the Super Bowl intact. However, it might not be because they love the line, but because they can't do any better in 2009. Only two starting lineman have contracts that will keep them with the Steelers beyond 2009, Chris Kemoeatu, who signed a four year deal this offseason, and Darnell Stapleton. Max Starks signed a one-year tender as the Steelers franchise player. Colon signed a one-year deal as a RFA. And Justin Hartwig is entering the final year of his contract. The front office has publicly stated that it is trying to sign Starks to a long-term deal, but there is little incentive for the left tackle to sign a deal that will pay him less than the $8.5 million he'll earn in 2009. The Steelers entered 2008 with uncertainty about the future of the line. It's apparent they will enter 2009 with the same uncertainty.
If nothing changes, the Steelers will need to address both offensive tackle positions (with Tony Hills as the only possible replacement still on the team) and the center position again next offseason. With the visits by Joey Galloway and Chris Carr this week, the front office is trying to eliminate depth issues at wide receiver and corner, freeing the team to draft at other positions of need. If these players are signed, I would expect this draft class to be heavy on offensive lineman. By drafting lineman this year, there won't be any pressure on them to start immediately. Instead they can spend a year learning behind the current line, while preparing to take over for 2010. I know the Steelers like to take the best player available, but if Kevin Colbert is as focused on the future as I am, this draft class will feature multiple lineman in the early rounds.