Steelers Today - A Pittsburgh Steelers blog


Steelers make moves

March 09, 2010 By: Admin Category: Draft/Free Agency

The Steelers were unusually active early in free agency on Monday.  Ordinarily, the Steelers sit out the first several weeks of free agency, and then after the dust settles, they come in and scoop up a few of the leftovers.

But that was not the Steelers’ approach yesterday.  Instead, the team made some early moves that probably surprised most fans.

The most important of those moves was re-signing safety Ryan Clark.  This was a move that I have been calling for, so I was very happy to see it happen.

The team gave Clark a new 4-year, $14 million dollar contract.  Clark had visited with the Miami Dolphins, but after a few days of free agency, I guess his agent determined that the offer that the Steelers had on the table was a fair one.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark

Even more surprising than the Clark signing was the announcement that the team has reached an agreement with former Steelers receiver and return man Antwaan Randle El.  I certainly didn’t see that one coming.

Randle El was the Redskins’ second leading receiver last year, but he never lived up to the contract they gave him.  He was one of the best return men in recent Steelers history.  However, with the season that Stefan Logan had, combined with the fact that Joe Burnett and Mike Wallace were both very good return men in college, i never expected to see the team bring him back.

But bring him back they did.  Randle El is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh today to sign what is reported to be a 3-year deal.

In addition to players who have previously worn the black and gold, the Steelers also signed two newcomers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Will Allen and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Arnaz Battle were also signed to 3-year contracts on Monday.  Both players will strengthen special teams, as well as add depth at their respective positions.

Apparently, the Steelers still aren’t done.  Former Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Jonathan Scott is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh today, and it is believed that he is also prepared to join the Steelers.  If he signs with the Steelers, he will be re-united with Sean Kugler, his position coach from the Buffalo Bills.

As if all of that activity weren’t enough, the Steelers have also contacted former Steelers linebacker Larry Foote about rejoining the team.  Foote voluntarily left the team after the 2008 season because he wanted an opportunity to be a starter.  But after playing one year in Detroit, he may be willing to reconsider that stance.

Monday was definitely the single busiest day of free agent signings that I can remember in Steelers history.  And they many not be done yet.  I guess missing the playoffs was the wake up call that the Steelers needed.


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11 Comments to “Steelers make moves”

  1. This kind of activity is atypical for the Steelers, you have to wonder what is driving it. It could be the CBA and the prospect of an uncapped year, but I’m thinking all this roster building in free agency may indicate the Steelers plan to have a couple fewer picks in the draft. If they are planning on moving up, who is it that you suppose they’re after?

    Haden and Berry are really the only DB’s they could move up for the way things are projected now. With Clark’s age and Troy’s injuries, I could maybe be convinced it’s Berry, but Haden may be slipping down towards 18 anyway, and the Steelers have too many young prospects at CB and too much levelheadedness to panic and move up for a corner because of one bad year in the secondary.
    I think it’s more likely that the Steelers are going after a top-tier DL or a franchise LT to protect Ben at bars.
    When you think about it, this is a pretty good year to be moving up for the Steelers because they have about as high a pick already as they ever have and the depth at OL and DL means you don’t have to move into the top 5 to get a potential future Pro-Bowler, so they can get a pretty good return with a relatively short jump.

  2. I like the moves the Steelers have made so far. And I do agree that it may be an indication that they intend to move up in the draft. Howver, my guess is that if they are able to sign The Foot Doctor then Farrior maybe the odd man out and they move up in the draft LB Rolando McClain from Bama. If we sign the OT Scott then we can wait to get an o-linemen later in the draft. then we can get the NT Linval Joseph from East Carolina in the 2nd round. Just my measly opinion

  3. I think these are all very good moves and I think “theL” still has a lot to offer any team especially the STEELERS….. good moves one and all way to go coach and management.

  4. I feel that these were all good solid Steeler moves and I am glad Clark resigned. He seems like a decent person on and off the field. I believe these all have to do with the draft and trying to zero in on what they really need. These players will be on Special Teams as Donald mentioned and provide some depth. I do believe that this will be a heavy defensive draft for the D-line and linebackers.

  5. I will say one other thing. If Battle was signed for special teams and depth at WR and now we also signed Randle El. Speculation is that Limas Sweed will on his way out. I think it IS to early to give up on him. way to early. Maybe its just for competition in camp. I dont know. That leaves draft needs MLB, running back and DL. And hopefully Redzone Redman will get the chance at some carries.

  6. This has been very atypical for the Steelers. However, I am not so sure that it signals a pending move up in the draft. Instead, I simply think that they realize that they lack depth at a few positions, and also that 9-7 just wasn’t good enough.

    However, if they were going to trade up, i wouldn’t trade up for a safety or cornerback. I’d trade up and get our left tackle for the next 10 years. I think that Jonathan Scott is there for depth and to challenge guys like Tony Hills in camp. But he won’t start. But if we got a top tier left tackle, moved Max Starks back to right tackle, and Willie to right guard, I really think our line would be much improved. Of course, I’ve been advocating this same point of view for years, and the Steelers keep ignoring me. ;-)

  7. On as different note, I agree with Rodney that it is still too early to give up on Limas Sweed. I know that some fans want him gone yesterday, but he is still very young, and his is a big, fast receiver. Give him one more year to prove himself.

  8. I’m not a Limas fan by any stretch. But if you remember, Plaxico couldn’t catch a cold in a pediatrician’s office his first couple of year’s either.

    I dream often about Eric Berry holding up a Steeler jersey on draft day! And then I wake up and realize we need one of those boring O-Line picks that we only get excited about when December arrives. Faneca part 2.

  9. eric smith says:

    Secondary with Clark, but minus Troy is still a nightmare. Wm. Gay needs to be replaced. Hope move up in draft does happen. Love to see Haden or Taylor Mays.

  10. eric smith says:

    Forgot…think this camp will be Limas’ final chance, which is a lot of pressure, but that’s the biz. Three strikes and your out. I still hope he can be the next Burress.

  11. I agree that it’s too early to give up on Sweed, even if he has a mediocre camp. A franchise LT would be tops on my wishlist too, but they’ll be gone inside the top ten, and that’s probably too big a jump even with the depth already signed.

    Then again, you’re never going to get a franchise LT short of a top ten pick, and if the Steelers want to ever have a franchise LT this is about as good an opportunity as they’re likely to get without becoming so bad that it doesn’t really matter.


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