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Cardinals could draw from Steelers' policy

2/21/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Steelers do not worry about one of their receivers pulling an Anquan Boldin and demanding a new deal with multiple years remaining on the existing one.

As the Cardinals navigate the Boldin situation, they could benefit from a Steelers-style policy against renegotiating contracts with more than one year remaining.

Last offseason, Cardinals general manager Rod Graves suggested the organization would consider such a policy. Graves declined to discuss details when approached at the scouting combine Saturday, but he did acknowledge that such a policy remains a consideration.

Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, lauded the Steelers' policy as applied to negotiations with defensive player of the year James Harrison.

Neither Colbert nor the reporters interviewing him brought up Boldin or the Cardinals, but the principles apply to the situation in Arizona. The Steelers negotiate only with quarterbacks when more than one season remains on a contract. All other players must wait until the final year. Boldin has two years remaining on his contract.

Colbert: "It's something that we're very consistent with and it eliminates any kind of potential problem because you've been consistent with guys who have been big parts of your success. They all wait their turn. They understand that. They don't even try to test that for the most part.

"James [Harrison] understood that. Our players know that policy. Right, wrong or indifferent, it works for us and it works for them. They accept that. They know there is no reason to try to change that because it's not going to change anytime soon.

"I think most of the players want to stay here if they can. Most players don't want to leave when you have had success."

The Cardinals' willingness to revisit Boldin's contract with more than one year remaining suggests they might consider a window longer than one year. They offered a contract to Boldin before they re-signed Larry Fitzgerald in early 2008. Three years remained on Boldin's deal when the Cardinals made that offer, which Boldin declined.