Published August 01, 2010
LATROBE, Pa. – Steelers kicker Jeff Reed isn't happy after learning he won't be signed to the multiyear contract he expected after being designated as the team's franchise player.
The Steelers told Reed earlier in the year they wanted to work out an extended contract. Any chance that deal would get done apparently ended when right tackle Willie Colon was injured in June and Flozell Adams signed a two-year contract to replace him.
Reed, who signed a one-year contract for $2,814,000, can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
"All I can do is play this year out and that's pretty much it," Reed said Sunday. "I was very optimistic last offseason and that didn't get me anywhere."
Reed has played in Pittsburgh since 2002 and is the ninth-most accurate kicker in NFL history, making 189 of 227 attempts (83.3 percent). He is a league-best 77 of 87 (88.5 percent) since 2007.
The 31-year-old Reed became discouraged after the Raiders signed Sebastian Janikowski to a $16 million, four-year contract that is the richest for an NFL kicker, with $9 million guaranteed.
While Janikowski is a better long-range kicker — he is 25 of 49 from 50 yards-plus to Reed's 6 of 13 — he is less accurate from all distances (229 of 292, 78.4 percent). Reed also is 16 of 18 (88.9 percent) in the postseason, playing on two Super Bowl winners.
"Janikowski's a great kicker but ... he definitely doesn't have any rings and percentage-wise, I'm better," Reed said. "That's the kind of things you take into account. I wasn't asking for that kind of money, but it doesn't matter. Bottom line is this isn't Oakland, and they're going to pay who they want to pay here."
Reed wants to avoid putting pressure on himself to have a big season that might set him up for a multiyear contract elsewhere.
"Life's not fair and I have to move on because if I don't perform, I won't be here anyway," Reed said.
There is no indication Reed's off-field issues made the Steelers reluctant to sign him past this season.
In June, Reed said the NFL ordered him to undergo an evaluation after he became involved in an alcohol-related dispute with Pittsburgh police following an October home game. The evaluation apparently was similar to that ordered for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after he was accused of, but not charged with, sexually assaulting a college student.
Reed was charged with multiple offenses, including disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, after police said he became agitated as they were attempting to cite tight end Matt Spaeth for urinating in a parking lot. The incident occurred outside a bar near Heinz Field a few hours after the Steelers beat the Browns 27-14.
Reed later completed 40 hours of community service with the Salvation Army and was cleared of all charges on April 12.
Last year, Reed paid a fine of $543.50 for damaging a paper towel dispenser and harassing employees at a Westmoreland County convenience store, a few weeks after the Steelers won the Super Bowl.
Despite those problems, the Steelers often book Reed for community appearances, and he is one of their most popular players. Numerous fans were spotted wearing Reed's No. 3 jersey during weekend training camp practices.