With the Steelers struggling and banged up as can be on the offensive line at the end of the season, you would think the team would take a hard look, despite the issues, at bringing all-world guard Alan Faneca back in 2008. Faneca is going to be an unrestricted free agent come February unless something can get done, and he and the team have been back and forth with barbs about him getting a new contract. With the season ending two days ago, there is nothing new to report on the Faneca front, and it appears he will take his services elsewhere in 2008.
Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said after the game about the Faneca situation – “We’ve just been working on the draft; none of that other stuff.” If the Steelers want to move forward in 2008, they had better think long and hard about breaking their stubborn stance on Faneca and start talking – and fast. There is plenty of mending of wounds to go around to try and get the situation right, but like with all things in sports – money can go a long way in doing that.
Colbert went on to say about Faneca and the Steelers as a whole after the Wild Card loss – “It’s too quick to tell after such an emotional game. We’ll sit back and see where we are and where we need to be. Really, there’s nothing else to say.” Where the Steelers really need to be looking is for help on the O-line, and there is no better place to start than with one of their own. Faneca would be highly regarded on the free agent market, and a team like the Cardinals would be licking their chops with their new power run game to get a guy like Faneca in the mold. Oh, and Russ Grimm is there as well.
As for the Steelers, the team needs to do whatever it can to start moving on Faneca. Take a hard look at the issues on the line this season, and unless you want Ben Roethlisberger to have a short-lived career due to taking a pounding week in and week out, you’d better think about getting Faneca back in the fold.