It has now been 24 hours since the NFL free agent signing period began, and the Steelers have already had lots of activity. Let’s quickly review what’s happened so far.
Mike Wallace - Gone! That’s right, gone. Everyone was expecting Wallace to sign with the Miami Dolphins, and that’s exactly what he did. More importantly, he got paid the big bucks, just like he wanted to. Wallace signed a contract that will make him second only to the likes of Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. I guess holding out from training camp and dropping passes is actually a viable way to get a pay increase. Who knew?
Willie Colon – Gone! But unlike Mike Wallace, Willie Colon got cut. You can’t make the club if you’re laying in the tub. And that’s what Colon was doing far too often over the past 3 seasons.
Colon was actually doing well in his new position at guard. But he was paid far too much for a player who has missed 36 games over the past three seasons.
Larry Foote – Signed! The Steelers signed Foote to a 3-year extension. After having left the Steelers once before to sign with the Detroit Lions, I didn’t expect to see him play for anyone else ever again. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
LB Larry Foote
Now if only Sean Spence would get healthy and take Foote’s job permanently.
Plaxico Burress – Signed! Yup, the Steelers signed Burress to another one-year deal. I guess catching 3 passes is enough to earn another contract. Who knew it was so easy? I guess I’m going to have to be a walk-on at Steelers Training Camp this summer. I’m pretty sure I can catch 3 passes. That ought to earn me a spot on the squad.
Ramon Foster – Signed! Ramon Foster is like a bad case of Herpes. No matter how hard the Steelers try, they just can’t seem to get rid of him.
Frankly, I’ve always liked Ramon, and I’m glad to see that he’ll be back with the Steelers next year. And if history is any indication, he’ll end up being a starter by mid-season.
Jonathan Dwyer – Signed! Dwyer must have been concerned about his value on the open market, because he signed his tender offer before the ink was even dry.
David Johnson – Signed! Johnson is back from his injury, and just signed a one-year deal. He won’t be a viable replacement for the injured Heath Miller, but he is a good blocker.
Steve McLendon – Unknown. The Steelers tendered an offer to McLendon, but he hasn’t signed it yet.
Isaac Redman – See Steve McLendon.
Emmanuel Sanders – See Isaac Redman.
Rashard Mendenhall – No news yet. But Mendenhall is an unrestricted free agent, and most people believe that he will follow Mike Wallace out of Pittsburgh. I agree with them. But I actually wish there were a way to get him to stay.
Don’t leave, Rashard.
Edit: Rashard Mendenhall has signed with the Arizona Cardinals since this article was written. He’ll be rejoining his former Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians.
Bruce Gradkowski – Signed! That’s right, the Steelers signed free agent QB Bruce Gradkowski. And I am totally ecstatic about the move. In my opinion, Gradkowski is an upgrade over both Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich. And unlike Batch and Leftwich, Gradkowski doesn’t already qualify for Social Security benefits.
I still remember when Gradkowski was playing for the Oakland Raiders, and he led them to a victory over his hometown team. I’ve always thought he would look good in black and gold. However, I probably shouldn’t get too excited about this signing. After all, Ben Roethlisberger’s backups seldom see any action. But it’s still nice to have Gradkowski on the team.
So what are your thoughts on what the team has done so far? Which moves do you like, and which ones don’t you agree with?