Pittsburgh finished off its most aggressive week in free agency ever with six signings in seven days, and that's pretty much it the rest of the way for the Steelers. They will consider re-signing a few of their own free agents and perhaps if another one pops loose that intrigues them, but for the most part, the party is over for them.
For a team that signed two low-level free agents nearly two months after the period began in 2009 and which has not been active for years, the Steelers made what for them was a splash by re-signing S Ryan Clark, and adding former Steelers LB Larry Foote and WR Antwaan Randle El along with S Will Allen, WR Arnaz Battle and OT Jonathan Scott. Before free agency began, they signed NT Casey Hampton to a new deal and franchised K Jeff Reed.
The eight contracts total $63,259,000, including $14.1 million in signing bonuses.
"We had the flurry of activity," said director of football operations Kevin Colbert. "We'll continue to monitor our own (free agents) as well as others, but really the focus is going to shift more heavily toward the college draft."
The Steelers still need to add cornerbacks, defensive linemen and backup linebackers. However, their plate is full at wide receiver by adding the two veterans to go with Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace.
1. Cornerback: Even though the Steelers drafted corners in the third and fifth rounds last season, they got woeful play at the position and could lose starter and RFA William Gay and veteran UFA Deshea Townsend.
2. Defensive line: Although they re-signed NT Casey Hampton and drafted a defensive end in the first round last season, the Steelers' three starters are all in their 30s. They need to groom someone to take over for Hampton and one defensive end over the next two years.
PK Jeff Reed (tendered at $2.814M).
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--QB Charlie Batch is a reliable, when healthy, backup and that is the issue because he missed all of 2008 and ended 2009 with a broken wrist. He wants to return.
--LB Rocky Boiman was a late edition to try to save their drowning special teams. He's not likely to return.
--SS Tyrone Carter won't get a contract from the Steelers again unless he finds nothing from anywhere else.
--DE Nick Eason, if he's willing to return at a minimum salary, could re-sign.
--DE Travis Kirschke, although he turns 36 this year, has been dependable and could re-sign if he does not go elsewhere, especially if they get nothing at the position in the draft.
--RB Willie Parker has seen his last days in Pittsburgh. They would love to have him back as a backup to
--CB Deshea Townsend thinks he can still start in the league and the Steelers have no plans for him to do that. If he finds nothing of his liking in free agency, they will offer him a contract to return.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--RB Carey Davis (not tendered as RFA)..
--OG Darnell Stapleton (not tendered as RFA) was their starting right guard until an injury put him on injured reserve.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)
--*OT Willie Colon (tendered at $2.521M with first-round pick as compensation) entering third season as starter at right tackle.
--CB William Gay (tendered at $1.101M with fifth-round pick as compensation) had a disappointing first season as a starter but not bad enough that they want to lose him.
--P Daniel Sepulveda (tendered at $1.101M with fourth-round pick as compensation) was middle of the road and not likely to receive a high tender. He was drafted in the fourth round.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
--LB Patrick Bailey: ERFA; terms unknown.
--FS Ryan Clark: UFA; $14M/4 yrs, $3M SB.
--NT Casey Hampton: Potential UFA; $21.3M/3 yrs, $11M guaranteed/$6.5M SB.
--S Will Allen: UFA Buccaneers; $4.4M/3 yrs, $950,000 SB.
--WR Arnaz Battle: UFA 49ers; $3.975/3 yrs, $975,000 SB.
--LB Derrick Doggett: CFL FA; terms unknown.
--LB Larry Foote: UFA Lions; $9.3M/3 yrs, $1.8M SB.
--WR Antwaan Randle El: FA Redskins; $7M/3 yrs, $900,000 SB.
--OT Jonathan Scott: Not tendered as RFA by Bills; $545,000/1 yr.
Copyright (C) 2010 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.