These famous words were spoken by one Alan Joseph Faneca, Jr. today, as he attended the Steelers' mandatory minicamp (on Mother's Day weekend, no less).
"I've been asking since February, to trade me, to let me go,'' Faneca said in such an emotional interview that at times his left hand was shaking slightly. "I've done my piece, I've done my time, I've done everything I can for this organization."
It's pretty obvious that this guy is going to be a miserable weight around the ankle of Mike Tomlin's rookie season as the head coach. It's also obvious that he's going nowhere fast, because if the Steelers were going to trade him, the draft would have been an opportune time. Faneca said today that he doesn't even want to be a co-captain this season.
So what will the Steeler Braintrust do to quiet this offseason drama? For now, it looks like they're going to force his hand. And since he's proven that he doesn't like paying fines for missing camp, I'm not so sure a lengthy holdout is in the cards.
If you look at this from Faneca's point of view, he's scheduled to make $4.75 million this season. The Bills just handed Derrick Dockery a 7-year, $49 million contract with an $18 million signing bonus, so it's easy to see why Faneca is ticked...especially when you consider that Big Al is a five-time Pro Bowler, and Dockery has yet to see Hawaii firsthand. Then when you ponder the possibility of Faneca getting injured this season and never seeing another big payday, you can further understand his frustration. But hey, if he was afraid of getting hurt, he's in the wrong line of work. The last time I checked, the average blue-collar Pittsburgher doesn't make $4.75 million in a lifetime, let alone one season.
Looking at this from the Steelers' side of the table, however, no one held a gun to Faneca's head to make him sign the contract, and they're right up against the cap as we speak. They have numerous (and younger) free agents coming up in the near future, including Troy Polamalu and Ben Roethlisberger. So they're not going to break the bank for a lineman entering his 10th season.
It's the classic "rock and a hard place" situation for both sides. Faneca, clearly frustrated, was probably trying to ease his way out the door with his critical comments earlier in the offseason. But at this point, it may be better for both sides to just grin and bear it than be at odds for an entire season.