December 30, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer (27) carries the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Sign Jonathan Dwyer For 6th Round Tender

It was surprising to see this come so early in the day today, but Schefter’s tweet proves two things.  Jonathan Dwyer wants to play for the Steelers as the featured running back and it sends a message to the rest of the free agents originating from the team – tighten your boot straps.

The Steelers have been working hard for the last month in trying to get themselves within reach of the salary cap so that they can sign the folks they need to and get ready for the draft.  As no insult to the RFA’s on the roster, the Steelers offered many the tender as listed in the CBA.  For Dwyer, his 6th round tender equaled $1.323 million.  Other folks offered tenders were RB Isaac Redman, DT Steve McLendon, and WR Emmanuel Sanders.  All of them could test the open market, but I think that Dwyer’s immediate signing is more of a message of suck it up and let’s do it rather than a moment of desperation.  He fully understands the situation the team finds itself in and his own among the other qualified running backs on the team – which as of right now is only Baron Batch.  Other RFA’s not given a tender yet are Stevenson Sylvester (shocking considering the release of James Harrison) and punter Jeremy Kapinos.

For the sake of the team’s ability to stay under the cap with the leas amount of collateral damage, I hope all the RFA’s sign the tender they’ve been offered.  It will keep the Steelers from having to match deals or lose a player and hope the compensatory pick works out.

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