March Madness indeed. For those thinking that this offseason was going to be a regular one, you’d be wrong. Steeler Nation is seeing more Steelers sign with other teams as free agents than the usual Steelers re-signing of their own guys. The biggest hole has been left on the defensive line, where two of the three unrestricted free agents have already found new teams.
Al Woods has signed a 2-year, $5 million contract with the Tennessee Titans, pricing him right out of the Steelers range entirely. You can’t blame him for jumping on that kind of money and in my opinion; you can’t really blame the Steelers for not shelling out that kind of money for a player who hasn’t seen all that much playing time, even if he does offer versatility on the line. This is a player who the Steelers probably wanted to try and keep but can definitely move on from.
Ziggy Hood has signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have definitely been beefing up their defensive line since free agency opened. Hood was drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft and was the only remaining player left from that draft still on the roster until he became an unrestricted free agent this week. Now he’s officially a bust based on the fact that he never really performed to his full capabilities coming from a tackle position on a 4-3 defense in college to playing end on a 3-4 defense for the Steelers. The Steelers weren’t likely to throw any more money at Hoods after it’s become more than obvious that this just isn’t the defensive scheme for him.
Now the defense is in the market for some new big guys. Can’t be too thin on the defensive line, particularly in a 3-4. This does mean that veteran DE Brett Keisel’s chances at coming back for one more season with the Black & Gold have gotten a whole lot better but also means that the Steelers are going to be in the market for some big guys. Per ESPN’s Scott Brown the Steelers are bringing in Buffalo’s DT free agent Alex Carrington for a visit. Carrington played in only 3 games in the 2013 season due to a quadriceps injury. At age 26, 6’5” and 301 he could definitely fill the need for youth and bigness, so to speak, on the defensive line.
Where do you think the Steelers go from here to fill the needs on the DL?