Is Faneca On His Way Out?

John Clayton is reporting that Alan Faneca wants a trade out of town on Saturday. He is both unhappy with his contract (only one year left) as well as the fact that Russ Grimm was passed over for Head Coach and the way that Grimm’s departure was allegedly handled. Faneca has been one of the best linemen in the league at any position for years. I thought he had an off year last year, but so did a bunch of other guys on the team. He hasn’t always been thrilled with the team but he has always been the anchor of that line. I certainly hope the Steelers are able to sign him to a long term deal and allow him to retire a Steeler, but past history tells us that won’t happen. At the very least I hope that he plays through this season and leaves on good terms. But this issue leads me to another point

It says a lot about the draft this year that with Alan Faneca wanting a trade my biggest fear is that the Steelers will try and move up in the draft. The upper levels of the draft seem to be minefields that can cripple a team for years. Look at the Browns and the issues they have had at the top of the draft with Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, et al. When a high level draft pick busts it can hurt the cap for many years and it can become a cycle. Even if the pick is a success, the rookies make far too much guaranteed money which lowers the value of almost any contribution they make. It is getting close to teams being penalized in the draft process for finishing poorly. There is talent throughout the first round but those high picks make so much more than the 18th or 25th pick. With that in mind, why wouldn’t the Steelers trade down (assuming they can), sign the sure thing Faneca to a long term deal with a $10 million signing bonus and get what they can out of him rather than sink that same money into an untested rookie in the draft.

I think Colbert has done a great job in the draft but this year we will see how much was him and how much was Cowher. It will be a real test for the organization and we won’t know how it has worked out for years. But no matter what, I hope there is a happy ending for the Faneca story, either with Steelers or with the Steelers getting value in return from him and Faneca being happy somewhere else. He deserves at least that.

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