Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Chris Carter (54) is congratulated by safety Will Allen (20) after recovering a fumble against the Cleveland Browns in the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Free Agent Spotlight: S Will Allen

Moving right down the defense in this series of free agents for the Pittsburgh Steelers, we’ve now come to the secondary. Safety Will Allen is a 10-year veteran in the NFL who departed from the Steelers last season via free agency but made his way back to the roster early on in 2013. He becomes an unrestricted free agent again on March 11th.

Will Allen was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft from Ohio State. He spent six seasons with Tampa Bay before signing with the Steelers in 2010. Over the course of his 10-year NFL career he’s totaled 214 tackles, 6 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles. In 2013 for the Steelers he accumulated 34 tackles with one interception and one forced fumble in twelve games.

Allen was a valuable addition to the defense last season. He’s a safety that can make a play for the ball as opposed to making a hard hit on a player. He’s got great coverage skills and adds veteran depth to the secondary.

While the Steelers obviously need to get younger on defense, particularly in the safety positions, Allen could provide an insurance policy to back up a young Shamarko Thomas. Thomas can learn a lot from Allen being that he’s primed to be a physical safety with good coverage skills as well. The Steelers know from last season that if left on the free agent market, Allen will most likely find work somewhere so it might be a value to them to sign him to a contract as opposed to hoping he’s available if injury strikes sometime during the season. If there’s a choice on what veteran safety to keep and which to let go, I think Allen is the wiser choice for the Steelers.

What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you think the Steelers keep Will Allen in Black & Gold this year?

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Tags: Nfl Free Agency Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Defense Will Allen

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