Dawson's career with Steelers likely over

Thursday, March 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Pittsburgh-AP) -- Former All-Pro center Dermontti Dawson says he want to play football this season -- but it doesn't look like he'll be a Steeler.

Dawson's agent, Ralph Cindrich, says the team hasn't budged in contract negotiations with the 35-year-old, seven-time All-Pro center.

Cindrich says he's been willing to restructure the one (m) million dollar signing bonus Dawson is due on March ninth, but hasn't heard anything back.

The Steelers are trying to clear up salary cap room to re-sign running back Jerome Bettis.

Pittsburgh could opt to release Dawson and then re-sign the center to a cheaper contract.

But Dawson and Cindrich say if that happens Dawson will test free agency.

Others who also may hit free agency in two days are wide receivers Courtney Hawkins and Will Blackwell, offensive tackle Shar Pourdanesh and linebacker Mike Vrabel.