Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Expectations: Free Agency


Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had somewhat of a different approach to free agency this year. They made a move on the first day, signing FS Mike Mitchell to a 5 year, $25 million contract. Obviously, with that contract, he will be expected to start the next couple years. They also signed some of their own free agents back, as Cody Wallace and Greg Warren were signed to 3 and 1 year deals respectively.

I have already talked about my feelings on the Mike Mitchell sign, and if you want to know, click this link on how the Steelers secondary is coming together.  I have said all offseason, that either Fernando Velasco and/or Cody Wallace would get resigned. For the moment, Cody Wallace is the only one resigned. Wallace brings valuable depth to a position that was in dire need of it last season. Wallace can play both center and guard, and can do it well. He definitely brought some nastiness to the offensive line. The Steelers signed him to a 3 year deal, so he is looked at as the backup from here for several seasons. The Steelers obviously have faith in him to give him a 3 year deal. Another signing that won’t gather much attention is Greg Warren. To those of you who haven’t read much of my work, I am a big fan of consistency. I like when things stay the same. Greg Warren has been the definition of consistency for the special teams since he arrived in 2005. What other team can say they have had the same long snapper for 9 seasons. Greg Warren and Shaun Suisham have grown as a unit together, now all they need is a punter that will stick around.

Now what to expect throughout the rest of free agency. Many fans are expecting the Steelers to make another big splash in free agency, but I hate to tell you that’s not happening. They just don’t have the money for it. They will focus on signing low end free agents that will bolster their depth, and don’t expect them to look too far outside of the organization. Even if some of their free agents have visited other organizations, none that the Steelers would have considered bringing back have signed yet. Both Al Woods and Ziggy Hood are still free agents, and it would be a wise decision to bring one of the two back to play NT. All three of their free agent running backs are still available, and it would also be a smart move to bring one of them back.

One can only dream, however, is if the Steelers signed Jermichael Finley. This would be a fantastic move made by the Steelers. Because of his injury, he will come cheaper than he would have before, even cheap enough for the Steelers to sign him for several years. This would be the only other big move I can see the Steelers making. I don’t expect them to go after a cornerback, I don’t expect them to go after a NT. Tight end would be the only other big move the Steelers should consider making. There are several mid level market tight ends out there, and the Steelers would be wise to pick one of them up.

Another free agent position fans have speculated about is wide receiver. The only wide receiver the Steelers will be signing this free agent period is Jerricho Cotchery. It has been brought up to me that some would like to see the Steelers go after Hakeem Nicks or Eric Decker, and let me tell you, they are out of the Steelers price range. If they were going to pay big bucks for a wide receiver, it would to be bring back Emmanuel Sanders, and that’s not happening. The Steelers have made it pretty clear that their big receiver will be brought in through the draft. So no, don’t expect anything wide receiver wise other than the signing of Jerricho Cotchery, which there is a report that they are currently working on a deal.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

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Tags: Cody Wallace Greg Warren Jermichael Finley Pittsburgh Steelers

  • datdudedre’

    There’s been a few signings since your post. Ziggy Hood has signed with the Jags, and Al Woods has joined Tennessee. Bringing in ex-Bill Alex Carrington for a visit is a good sign. We clearly need D-line depth, and now we’ll most likely try to re-sign Keisel. But the weak link is clearly NT. Run defense hasn’t been the same since we lost big Casey, and McClendon wasn’t the answer. Any 3-4 defense worth its salt has a solid man in the middle tying up blockers. I’d hate to see a rookie in there, but there aren’t many FAs left. Cornerback simply HAS to be addressed in the 1st or 2nd round, no ifs ands or buts about it. I agree that TE is another FA possibility, since it’s not a deep position in the draft. Jeff Cumberland or Scott Chandler would be reasonable choices, as I don’t expect us to be able to afford even an injured Jermichael Finley. Dwyer has latched on with Arizona, so we’d be wise to keep either Jones or Stephens-Howlings at RB. I, for one, don’t think we need to address the O-line after re-signing Wallace (though I’d like to see Velasco back). WR should be addressed with no less than a 3rd or 4th round pick, even if it is the deepest position in this year’s draft. Our free agency door is already half shut. Maybe a TE or a DE, then every nickel should go into re-signing Worilds.

    • authenticgeye

      I’d go CB or WR 1st Rd, the other in the 2nd Rd, and NT in 4th Rd. I like the idea of picking up a FA TE or RB or signing Jones or Stephens Howling, along with Cochery. But I’m not the coach.

      • datdudedre’

        I would hope we don’t go WR in the 1st round, we just have too many defensive needs. Again, WR is the deepest position in the draft. We’re working on re-signing Cotchery, and Markus Wheaton will be ready to play this year. Finishing 21st against the run (our worst showing since the 1970 merger!) has me wanting a NT earlier than 4th. But I like your plan.

        • authenticgeye

          I see your point. But Ben needs a tall target too. We need that 3rd round pick, too.

          • Levi Combs

            Third round pick could come as compensatory for mike wallace signing. Ben can get his tall receiver in second round. Plenty of options thete

        • Levi Combs

          I really think the plan is for McClendon to stay at the NT. They brought Alex carrington in for a visit, a player on the rise at DE who would start. Can Thomas isn’t starter caliber, he would be depth. I agree wr should wait till the second cornerback in the first

      • Levi Combs

        Couldn’t agree more. NT may be addressed by signing cam Thomas for depth. I’m still hoping there’s a small chance they wil take a look at jermichael Finley. Yes they do need a running back, one can be picked up in FA, one in the draft. Crotchety should be rssigned

    • Levi Combs

      I agree with everything you said except the signing of jermichael Finley. We need to go corner and wr in the first two rounds. And yes my post was a little late haha. Alex carrington seems to me like a mike Mitchell, a player on the rise who is still young. Signing carrington means that McClendon is staying at NT. The Steelers are also looking at cam Thomas, however I think that’s for depth. I think carrington would be a great sign. Finley may be expensive, but if the steelers can get his price down, this would be the sign of free agency. He would a whole nother level to the offense. Add him to a two tight end system, with bell at the running back, and brown, Wheaton, and tall receiver draft pick, an offensive line who played considerably well the second half of the season, get will Johnson involved and this can be a dangerous offense