PG NewsPG delivery
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Home Page
PG News: Nation and World, Region and State, Neighborhoods, Business, Sports, Health and Science, Magazine, Forum
Sports: Headlines, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Collegiate, Scholastic
Lifestyle: Columnists, Food, Homes, Restaurants, Gardening, Travel, SEEN, Consumer, Pets
Arts and Entertainment: Movies, TV, Music, Books, Crossword, Lottery
Photo Journal: Post-Gazette photos
AP Wire: News and sports from the Associated Press
Business: Business: Business and Technology News, Personal Business, Consumer, Interact, Stock Quotes, PG Benchmarks, PG on Wheels
Classifieds: Jobs, Real Estate, Automotive, Celebrations and other Post-Gazette Classifieds
Web Extras: Marketplace, Bridal, Headlines by Email, Postcards
Weather: AccuWeather Forecast, Conditions, National Weather, Almanac
Health & Science: Health, Science and Environment
Search: Search by keyword or date
PG Store: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette merchandise
PG Delivery: Home Delivery, Back Copies, Mail Subscriptions
Sports Headlines Steelers Pirates Penguins
College Headlines University of Pittsburgh Penn State West Virginia
Other Local Colleges Scholastic Sports AP Wire Sports City Guide Sports
Steelers agree on deal with von Oelhoffen

Steed's time here may end shortly

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

By Ed Bouchette, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

The Steelers came to an agreement last night with free-agent defensive lineman Kimo von Oelhoffen. This likely ends Joel Steed's eight-year career with them.

    More on the Steelers:

Cowher hires 2 coaches, keeps 1

Columnist Bob Smizik: Wise Rooney must become a capmaster


Because they do not have much room to maneuver under the salary cap, the Steelers must either release someone or restructure a contract and it appears that Steed will be gone.

Von Oelhoffen came to terms on a contract that will pay him $10 million over four years. It includes a $3-million signing bonus.

Steed, their starting nose tackle the past seven seasons, had knee surgery after the 1999 season. He has been hampered the past two years with knee injuries and a weight problem and could not play more than five plays in a row last season.

The Steelers would save $2 million under the cap by releasing Steed.

Steed is scheduled to make $3 million in salary this season. He signed a four-year, $15.6 million contract in 1998 that paid him a $4 million signing bonus and goes through 2001.

Von Oelhoffen, who played the past six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, will earn the NFL minimum in salary of $440,000 this season. Von Oelhoffen will count $1.19 million against the salary cap this year.

"It's good for the kid, it's good for the Steelers," said agent Mark Barghelstein.

Von Oelhoffen started only five games last season. They moved him around in the defense, putting him at end near the end of the season and that's where he seemed to have his best success.

He split time at nose tackle with former Steeler Oliver Gibson until he moved to end.

The Steelers always liked what they saw in von Oelhoffen when he played against center Dermontti Dawson.

"I know Dirt had his hands full at times," Coach Bill Cowher said. "He played very well."

Von Oelhoffen laughed.

"He got me, too. He's unreal. He's probably the reason why I got better through my career. I don't sleep the night before we play him. My wife says, 'C'mon, you have to go to sleep.' I'm trying to sleep, but every play is going through my head.

"The big thing, for me, is practicing against him, it will just make me better. He is the best ever."

The Bengals drafted von Oelhoffen on the sixth round from Boise State in 1994. His best seasons came in 1997, when he started 13 games, and in 1998, when he started 16. He began last season with a torn arch in his foot and, by the time he returned, Gibson was the starter.

Von Oelhoffen, a native of Hawaii, stands 6-4 and weighs 305 and has good quickness.

"Pittsburgh has the history, the winning," von Oelhoffen said. "I've always had a lot of respect for them. They have that tough image, and I want to be on the side of that instead of always having to get up to play the Steelers."

Von Oelhoffen is scheduled to visit Baltimore and Arizona over the next five days. He was scheduled to fly out of here last night, but said he would stay through today if he thought it would help get the deal done with the Steelers.

The Steelers are desperate for defensive linemen. They lost their best when end Orpheus Roye signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns on Saturday for a $7.5 million signing bonus on a six-year, $30 million contract.

Another former starter, Nolan Harrison, is a free agent.

Von Oelhoffen said he prefers to play end, but would go wherever the Steelers wanted him to.

"I'm not really built as a nose guard," he said.

Steed started the first 14 games last season but did not play in the final two because of his knee injury. He started 102 games in his eight-year career after the Steelers drafted him on the third round from Colorado University in 1992.

NOTES -- The Steelers have cut their candidates down to three for director of football operations, the job that Tom Donahoe held until he was asked to resign. They are Kevin Colbert of the Detroit Lions, Jerry Angelo of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ray Bradway of the Kansas City Chiefs. Bradway had his second interview here yesterday. ... The Steelers called agent Paul Sheehy to open negotiations with free-agent quarterback Mike Tomczak. At the end of the season Coach Bill Cowher said that "it would be very nice to get a veteran [quarterback] in here." Yesterday, he said that statement was misinterpreted and he never ruled out Tomczak as that veteran. ... Richard Huntley, a restricted free agent, will visit the Miami Dolphins today and tomorrow and plans another trip to an unnamed team this week.

bottom navigation bar Terms of Use  Privacy Policy