February 2007 - Pittsburgh Steelers Wiretap
Steelers Re-Sign Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith, who was entering the last year of his contract, has signed a four-year extension with Pittsburgh. The deal, which runs through the 2011 season, is for roughly $25 million and rewrites the final year the 31-year-old Smith's current contract, under which he was due a $1 million roster bonus and a salary of $3.5 million. The new deal is worth about $12 million between now and next season, including a signing bonus.
Heinz Field Keeping The Grass
Pittsburgh's Heinz Field was rated the worst of the NFL's 19 grass fields (not counting the since-replaced surface in New England's Gillette Stadium) in a players association survey. However, the Steelers have no plans to make changes. "You're looking for beauty rather than practicality," Steelers owner Dan Rooney said. "We have the best field as far as traction that you can have. You didn't see anybody slip or very few slips during the year. Our field is fine. I have no complaints about our field."
Cowher Joins CBS
Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher is returning to the NFL ? as an analyst on CBS' Sunday "The NFL Today" studio show. Cowher resigned as the Steelers' coach last month following 15 seasons, and less than a year after winning the Super Bowl. He said he wants to spend more time with his family in Raleigh, N.C., but that working on the CBS show will allow him to keep his ties to the league. Cowher, speaking on a conference call Thursday, did not rule out a return to coaching but said, "I'm planning on doing this for a couple of years. CBS will add Cowher to the show without any of the other analysts leaving ? Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason will return, as will host James Brown and former NFL general manager Charlie Casserly.
Steelers To Meet Saints In Hall Of Fame Game
Mike Tomlin will make his coaching debut in the Hall of Fame Game. The NFL announced Saturday that the Pittsburgh Steelers will meet the New Orleans Saints in the preseason contest at Canton, Ohio on August 5. The game will be televised by the NFL Network.
Steelers' Hartings Tells Teammates He's Retiring
Former All-Pro center Jeff Hartings told his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates shortly after the season ended that he's retiring after 11 NFL seasons. "He's done. He told all of us," tackle Max Starks told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Steelers haven't announced Hartings' retirement.