What a week it has been for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many were excited to see the Steelers make a day one signing of free agency. They then signed several of their own free agents back. But not everything has gone perfect for the Steelers. Several of their own guys who could have been candidates for new contracts with the Steel City signed elsewhere. Here’s a recap of the last few days’ events.
Thin on the DLine
Neal Coolong of Behind the Steel Curtain reported that DT Al Woods signed with the Titans on Thursday. Al Woods was widely regarded as one of the most important free agents by Steeler Nation. He really showed the damage he could while playing the nose tackle last year. This would then let Steve McLendon play the end, a position he is better suited for. This would then put less pressure on signing back Ziggy Hood and Brett Keisel. I personally was hoping for either Ziggy or Al to be resigned, putting the defensive line in good hands next year, unfortunately, neither will be.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Ziggy Hood signed with the Jaguars on Thursday, and was signed to be a starter. He is being paid $16 million over the course of 4 years, a hefty sum to say the least for Hood. He deserved more of a contract that Steve McLendon got, 3 years for around $7 million. This signing was reported after Al Woods’ was, and no one ever thought they would have wanted Ziggy Hood back. I wanted him back anyway, but with him gone, it now leaves the Steelers dangerously thin on the defensive line. Not only do they not have a starting right end, they don’t even had proven depth behind them.
Not all is Lost
So one would assume that with Al Woods and Ziggy Hood leaving, the Steelers would bring in some free agents across the defensive line. And your exactly right. Scott Brown of ESPN reported that Buffalo Bills free agent defensive end Alex Carrington is visiting with the Steelers Thursday Night. Alex Carrington is a young guy who really hasn’t had much starting experience. When he did start, however, he made an impact. He has been slowed down by injuries the past couple seasons. If he was signed, he would more than likely take over Hood’s spot at right end, which would mean that McLendon would be staying at the NT position.
Also visiting the Steelers will be Chargers free agent NT Cam Thomas, reports Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Talk. Cam Thomas has hardly no starting experience, so his signing would probably be for depth at NT position. This signing would also signify the end of all the “experts” out there saying the Steelers will take a defensive lineman in the first round. With all the visits by defensive lineman in the first place, doesn’t that show you that they aren’t interested in taking a high draft pick on a defensive lineman. If free agency shows you anything, it gives you a clue on what a team is going to do in the draft. Have the Steelers had any wide receivers or cornerbacks in for a visit? No, because those are the positions they will taking high in the draft.
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