Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Larry Foote

Just not sure what to think about the Larry Foote situation. When Joey Porter's Pit Bulls first heard the news that the Steelers had "released" him, we were kinda upset. Here was a good, solid player, reliable and sturdy, who has never missed a single start over five years of 16-game seasons. A mainstay.

Sure, he never made a Pro Bowl and, although plenty fans wear No 50 Foote jerseys, he wasn't exactly a household name ... but Foote's been a good player for the Steelers, a standup fellow who seems like a great guy, and it seemed unfair that the team would unceremoniously release him. After all, he's only 28, he just keeps getting better, and he's signed to a relatively reasonable contract.

THEN we heard that he had asked for his release, and that he'd been pushing for it all of last season and ever since. He reportedly said he's unhappy. Why? Seriously, why?

Larry, what have YOU got to be unhappy about? Dude, you're 28, you're making $2.8 million a year, and you own two Super Bowl Rings as a linebacker on the NFL's top-ranked defense -- which just happens to represent, arguably, pro sport's best-run franchise in all the world, literally.

Granted, it's none of our business. Sounds likes a personal issue, and if he wants the Steelers to release him, it appears the team is willing to accommodate his wishes. Reports out of Detroit indicate that Foote may want to play for the Lions, winless last season. Sounds odd -- going from the elite Steelers to the woeful Lions -- but Detroit is Foote's boyhood hometown. Perhaps more to the point, Detroit also is home to the birth-mother of Foote's young son, Trey-veion. According to the nice NYT article linked above, published just before Super Bowl XLV in February 2006, "With the blessing of Trey-veion's mother, Foote gained legal custody of the child, and in the fall of 2004, Trey-veion moved from Detroit to Pittsburgh to live with Foote. He sees his mother regularly, especially during the N.F.L.'s off-season, which Foote spends in Detroit."

It may be that Foote wants to move to Detroit for the sake of his son, and that would be admirable. Without more information, those of us on the outside -- fans and media alike -- are left to speculate. If Foote wants to move to Detroit and (play for the chronic-loser Lions of all franchises) for the sake of his son, that's admirable. Say so. We'd understand.

But if he wants out of Pittsburgh -- with one year left on his current contract, mind you -- only because, on the eve of free agency, he may lose playing time to the younger, up-and-coming Lawrence Timmons, well, that's another story. Be careful what you ask for. You just may get it.

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