Aug 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley (56) on the sidelines against the New York Giants during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Morning Huddle 3/11/2014

Steelers season goes all year long so whether we’re looking ahead to the start of free agency, predicting the possible draft choices, or looking around for mentions of your Black & Gold we’ve got you covered. Here’s what’s being said about your Pittsburgh Steelers around the block.

Steelers to release Woodley

ESPN is reporting that the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to release LaMarr Woodley when the league year opens on Tuesday afternoon. He’s set to be designated as a post-June 1st salary cap casualty but he’ll be able to sign with another team immediately. The post-June 1st designation means a decreased cap-hit the Steelers will incur for cutting him. So that’s the end of that. Woodley was once the highest-paid defensive player in Steelers history and now will be the highest-paid cut in Steelers history. I’ve always liked Woodley and I hoped he would have returned to his 2008-2011 form at some point but it didn’t look like it was going in that direction.

Big Ben’s contract should be a priority for Steelers

Trib columnist Dejan Kovacevic thinks that the Steelers should be focusing primarily on extending/restructuring the contract for Ben Roethlisberger. The team has a history of extending the quarterbacks’ contracts while there are two years remaining and Ben is in that same position now. On top of that, Ben seems grossly underpaid in comparison to the quarterbacks on his “level” in the league. While Kovacevic does raise some valid points about the benefits to both Ben and the organization should they come to terms now I don’t see a reason to turn this into this summer’s Ben controversy. Seems like the man can’t just play some golf and prepare for the new year without constant speculation that the other shoe is about to drop. For the past two summers it’s been all about whether or not he’ll be able to get along or continue to get along with Todd Haley and now the attention seems to have shifted to the contract situation in spite of both Roethlisberger and Colbert and the Rooney’s all stating their desire to have Ben retire a Steeler. I’m not saying that we all have to have blind unwavering faith and devotion to the franchise, but sometimes it’s just not cool to go looking for problems where there might not be any.

Steelers looking for CBs in free agency

Could it be possible that the Steelers are looking to replenish a position in which they are thin at via free agency? That’s what ESPN’s Scott Brown says. We know that the Steelers have expressed interest in Tennessee’s Alterraun Verner but he also says that they’ve looked into Carolina’s Captain Munnerlyn and Miami’s Nolan Carroll to add some depth and experience in the cornerback position. Naturally your first thought goes to could it be that the release of Woodley could create enough room for the Steelers to be more active than expected in free agency?

What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? What do you think about the release of LaMarr Woodley? Do you think the Steelers not extending Ben’s contract this summer is a sign of trouble? What cornerback would you like to see added to the Steelers roster?

Follow me on Twitter @Kimmy_KimKimM and follow all of NPC’s posts @NicePickCowherC

Like us on Facebook

Next Steelers Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep1:00Cleveland BrownsBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Alterraun Verner Art Rooney II Ben Roethlisberger Captain Munnerlyn Kevin Colbert Lamarr Woodley Nolan Carroll Pittsburgh Steelers

  • disqus_UxcsDwRD2u

    I’m kind of upset that they resigned Ike Taylor…don’t get me wrong, i appreciate everything he’s done while a steeler, but last season he got burnt often…they signed him for 1yr at 2.75 million, they should’ve paid him at the most 1 million….

    • Craig

      It’s fair market price. A veteran CB with his skill level would get that much – even as a backup. At some point there’s a line where a player won’t say ‘yes.’ While the Steelers knew they would let him walk, they also knew what number they needed to offer. They saved a huge chunk of money in this deal. He’ll be a #2 corner and not have to cover the other teams’ #1 receiver – much better results that way.

      • [email protected]

        Craig, could not find your reply to my comment above, but you basically said we would lose by millions, not a million. What price tag do you think lands Verner?

  • bk

    Nolan Carroll? this guy gets burnt more than toast in a faulty toaster… So I’m sure they will sign him…Spend on a FA NT or Safety first.. If they could stop the run then the
    secondary could concentrate more on coverage… Spend Woodleys money on L. Joseph ..

  • [email protected]

    Uxcs, I could not agree more – nice to have Ike back for a final tour, but what were they thinking on the salary? I mean the guy would have had ZERO interest in the FA market, and I think we overpaid by a MINIMUM of $1 million, perhaps more. If this impacts our ability to get a good FA CB, this will be looked back on as a HUGE mistake! Craig, you really think he would have received this much on the market? WHO would have taken him at that price?

    • Craig

      Like I said to your comment in the other Taylor post – that extra million is a good insurance policy. Allen may not be able to hang with the big boys yet at the #1 spot. Gay is a nickel corner at BEST. Taylor would fit well in the #2 and if Allen gets hurt or not up to snuff, Taylor is more than capable of stepping in. Would you rather have Gay there?

      If we lose out on a FA corner it will be by millions not one million. It’s a decent move and safe play. Would Ike get that out on the open market – there are enough starved CB teams (at LEAST seven) that could use Taylor’s veteran knowledge and experience.

      • [email protected]

        Craig, I have no problem with Ike, but as it turned out we paid $5 million per year for a good young safety. Verner, a GREAT young CB, signed for $6.6 million per year or a $1.6 million difference. Had we cut Ike (who again I have always liked and understand your point about insurance) we could have covered the difference, picked up Verner who is already proven (as opposed to a less known CB draft pick), and used the #1 pick on the ‘big WR’ like Evans or perhaps Ebron. Could you imagine having Verner at CB, Evans opposite AB, or perhaps a two TE set with Ebron and Heath? Sounds good doesn’t it?
        Turns out we missed out on Verner by ~$600k/year, not ‘millions’.

        • Craig

          Where do you get that the Steelers missed getting Verner by $600k? Did someone report that the Steelers made an offer? Did they include the dollar figure/terms of the deal?

          • [email protected]

            Craig we actually missed him by $1.6 million if you would consider taking the $5 million we gave to Mitchell and devoted it to a Verner deal – my bad. And of course the Steelers didn’t make an offer, we both know that.
            But getting back to the original premise, $6.6 million (which Verner signed for) would be doable if we had not signed Mitchell and overpaid Ike by probably $1 million if not more.
            Don’t get me wrong – I think Mitchell will be effective for us, but I think it’s possible we could have solved our CB problem, which may be more difficult to solve than the S issue given Ike’s eroded skills and the challenge of having to draft a rookie CB and get him up to speed (or play Ike which could be perilous at this point).
            Admit it, when you originally wrote it would be ‘millions’ more than we could afford, you were thinking like $2 million + more than the Steelers could pull off, right?

          • Craig

            I was thinking around $2-3 million off. Alas it was only $1.6 ;) Oh and it wasn’t necessarily what they could ‘pull off’ but rather what they would stop at offering for Verner.

            I think Mitchell will be fine. I’m still glad they kept Ike and if it cost us a million extra that ok. It seems obvious with the majority of their ‘moves’ devoted to the secondary so far, they are setting themselves up for the draft to get a CB early. Surprisingly, I’m impressed compared to the last several years at this point in FA. Maybe Colbert woke up from sleep walking the last few seasons.

            Definitely looking forward to the draft now to see who they get. And absolutely getting geared for this season.

          • [email protected]

            I don’t know, Verner had a lot of interest so I’m sure he didn’t sell himself short by taking the first contract offer he got, LOL!!!!!
            Yes, I’m pretty stoked for next year as well – I don’t think we are that far off in competing again, and it’s encouraging to see the proper moves being made (especially getting rid of Woodley – he WAS great for a couple seasons, but the operative word is WAS! – let Oakland overpay him!!). Still think we paid a bit too much to bring Ike back for 1 year, but I guess we’ve beat that horse to death.
            This is the best Steelers offseason thus far that I can remember going back quite a few years. I think Woodley was a major reason why we were asleep the last few FA periods. I mean, how can you bid on people when you have no money? Even the Rooneys don’t have that much charm!!!
            So, who do you think we take at CB? Gilbert? Dennard? in first round? Or do we get Evans in rd1 and take Fuller in rd 2?

          • Craig

            Steelers haven’t drafted a CB in first round since Chad Scott, and I don’t expect that to change this time around. I’m thinking a second rounder for CB. 1st round will go to a tall receiver – I think that is becoming a huge point of negotiation with any deal for Ben right now, even though all sides have agreed to stay silent.