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mesaSteeler
02-02-2009, 05:59 AM
Steelers face free agency in offseason
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2009/02/02/sports/steelers/doc49868637129c5427087378.txt
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff

TAMPA, Fla. — For the Steelers, the road toward Super Bowl XLIV will start before they know it.

Free-agency begins Feb. 27, and the Steelers have several unrestricted free agents they must decide on.

On the offensive line, there are two Super Bowl starters — left tackle Max Starks and left guard Chris Kemoeatu — who are UFAs.

So are backup tackle Trai Essex and Marvel Smith, who was starting before back spasms ended his season after five games.

“This business is a business,” said Starks, who was a $6.895 million backup earlier this year before stepping in for Smith.

“At the end of the day, it is a sport that we love, you play it as a child growing up and you hope to one day be here (again in Pittsburgh), but it is a business.

“We will have to see what’s going to come up in the upcoming month about free agency.”

Other prominent unrestricted free agents are starting cornerback Bryant McFadden and backup wide receiver Nate Washington.

Because quality corners are a premium, McFadden could attract lucrative offers on the open market. And with rookie wide receiver Limas Sweed, a second-round draft pick, expected to play more next year, Washington may find that he may get better offers elsewhere.

Other less prominent UFAs include reserve quarterbacks Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch.

In addition, the Steelers must decide what to do with veteran inside linebacker Larry Foote, who’s due to make close to $3 million next year. That’s a lot of money for someone who’ll probably be backing up Lawrence Timmons, a first-round pick in the 2007 Draft.

mopit55
02-02-2009, 06:18 AM
steelers must keep max starks and bryant mcfadden.there a lot of offensive linemen in the draft with the first round they can draft a very good player.

FacemeIke
02-02-2009, 08:08 AM
I think Washington is gone. He deserves to be a 1 or 2 somewhere. Foote is gone also. We'll resign Starks and McFadden. I think we should also resign Smith if we can get him at a decent price. His injury problems are the only thing that scare me about him.

KeiselPower99
02-02-2009, 08:20 AM
We need to keep Starks and Kemoeatu. I think B-Mac is gone since Gay played good during the season. And Nate is getting better every year but will probably get a Randle El kinda deal from someone.

SlackerCSB
02-02-2009, 08:45 AM
Thanks for posting this. I was just going to get on here and ask the same thing.

I'd like to see them re-sign Foote, but as a back-up. Timmons has proven he was worth that #1 pick.

We probably can't afford to keep Washington, but unless Sweed does a 180, we'll need to find a #3 and #4 wide receiver.

Losing McFadden would hurt, but we always seem to find replacements in the secondary.

Screw the O-Line, we can replace them all in the draft.

Curtain_of_Steel
02-02-2009, 09:29 AM
O-line should be shown the door. they won't of course but I think we need a major overhaul and upgrade there. Some good patches are out there for a couple years to, Runyan is local to PA and would be a great fit.

Washington, although I like Nate, I'm just not willing to spend 3mill of Rooneys money on him, lol..

Mcfadden, again, love the guy, buy a mix of gay and carter may work? If not I think b level position players would love to come here, without paying top dollar.

Timmons will far exceed anything Foote brings to the table. Not dimenishing Footes play, but Timmons has far exceeded Foote.

Steelers need to lock up Harrision and Woodley now. I think they have only one year left???

markymarc
02-02-2009, 10:17 AM
I would like to resign McFadden and Washington. As far as I am concerned Starks, Kemo, Smith and Foote can be shown the door. I also would still like to maybe pick up 1 or 2 OL FA players in the off season. Winning the super bowl makes this to be a great off season, but there are quite a few decisions to be made personnel wise. Hopefully Colbert and Tomlin continue to make good decisions and make the team even stronger.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-02-2009, 10:22 AM
O-line should be shown the door. they won't of course but I think we need a major overhaul and upgrade there. Some good patches are out there for a couple years to, Runyan is local to PA and would be a great fit.

Washington, although I like Nate, I'm just not willing to spend 3mill of Rooneys money on him, lol..

Mcfadden, again, love the guy, buy a mix of gay and carter may work? If not I think b level position players would love to come here, without paying top dollar.

Timmons will far exceed anything Foote brings to the table. Not dimenishing Footes play, but Timmons has far exceeded Foote.

Steelers need to lock up Harrision and Woodley now. I think they have only one year left???

John Runyan is a 13 year veteran and a RT only. I dont think we need a OLD right tackle and he may retire anyways.

McFadden will be the Steelers highest priority. Carter is a safety, so he isnt gonna replace him. With the likes of Dunta Robinson, Ron Bartell, Namdi Asomgua, DeAngelo Hall on the free agent CB Market......I think we will resign McFadden.

Foote may be asked to restructure, or even possibly be traded before the draft for about a 5th rounder so that Timmons can start. Harrison has 1 more year on his contract and Woodley has 2 years left.

I honestly think the Steelers will be better off to let Kemo and Starks walk, try to extend Smith (if healthy) or sign another veteran LT for 3 seasons (Tra Thomas or John StClair) while they prepare their LT of the future from this year's draft(William Beatty, Eben Britton or Michael Oher).

BlastFurnace
02-02-2009, 11:20 AM
Starks is a must. An absolute Must Sign.

Honestly though...I'm still celebrating. I'll worry about FA when it happens.

revefsreleets
02-02-2009, 11:43 AM
Smith: Gone
Keep: Essex and Kemo
Starks? Tough call...he has now started on two SB winning teams at two different positions. I'm curious as to what the Steelers do here.
Keep Washington if it's reasonable money.
Keep BMac for depth.
Foote: Gone

We COULD get out of this years FA situation in decent shape relative to other SB winning teams.

steelreserve
02-02-2009, 11:55 AM
Well, good. It doesn't look like we have the potential for any disastrous losses. I hope Foote plays out his contract just for the depth he'd give us. But I don't really see it hurting us if anyone from the OL leaves. Washington is completely replaceable, and it'll suck if McFadden leaves, but Gay has developed into such a solid player that I'm not even worried about that.

Amazingly, if anything, we stand to GAIN from free agency if we can make a couple of smart pickups on the OL. That's a pretty enviable position to be in for a Super Bowl champ.

SteelCityKing
02-02-2009, 12:03 PM
Starks is a must. An absolute Must Sign.

Honestly though...I'm still celebrating. I'll worry about FA when it happens.

nicely put. let's revel in our victory and then let business take care of itself when the time comes. as much as i would love to keep our current roster the way it is, i'm sure some cuts will be made and some people will have to be replaced. it's fine, we'll get over it and adapt. but it'll suck to see McFadden for another sqaud and Washington playing for another team like Randel El did. so, we'll see when the time comes...but right now...let's take a sip out of the Iron City 6-Pack. =)

Curtain_of_Steel
02-02-2009, 12:19 PM
Although Runyan is a 13year veteran, he is a durable horse, takes no crap and has a long playing streak going. With that said, I'm not saying sign him to a 5 year deal. 2 years to stop gap that position at a discount while you can build the others is not that bad.

Foote's contract is up, he is gone. No way even if he wants a discount are we taking him, we are set at the lb position.
Washington is out unless he resigned for what he got this year, and honestly we would than have to think, why are we paying Sweed if Washington is resigned.

steeltheone
02-02-2009, 12:25 PM
I think Washington is gone. He deserves to be a 1 or 2 somewhere. Foote is gone also. We'll resign Starks and McFadden. I think we should also resign Smith if we can get him at a decent price. His injury problems are the only thing that scare me about him.

Washington a number 1 or 2.....he is barely a 3...

drizze99
02-02-2009, 12:33 PM
McFadden - Must Sign
Foote - Traded to Lions for draft pick
Starks - Must Sign
Kemoeatu - Let him walk
Washington - Probably won't re-sign because of Sweed
Batch - Steelers will re-sign him for the right money unless Tomilin feels Dixon is ready to be a #2
Lefty - Will walk and get a starting job

XxKnightxX
02-02-2009, 12:36 PM
Noticing how the FA will come up, I have noticed McFadden and judging from his playing and his facial expressions, I dont know guys, he may want to stay I think he likes where he is at, but when Rosehnhaus is your agent, anything can happen.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-02-2009, 12:59 PM
Although Runyan is a 13year veteran, he is a durable horse, takes no crap and has a long playing streak going. With that said, I'm not saying sign him to a 5 year deal. 2 years to stop gap that position at a discount while you can build the others is not that bad.

Foote's contract is up, he is gone. No way even if he wants a discount are we taking him, we are set at the lb position.
Washington is out unless he resigned for what he got this year, and honestly we would than have to think, why are we paying Sweed if Washington is resigned.

Runyan is a RT only. He doesnt have quick enough feet to play LT and you can find decent RT's just about anywhere in the 3rd round of the draft or free agency. Vernon Carey of the Dolphins is a younger and probably better option than Runyan........but so is Tony Hills.

Sweed isnt making much as a 2nd round pick and will be cheaper than Washington. With the $$ they save from letting him go test free agency, they can extend Miller, Holmes, Woodley .............and maybe Harrison in the next 2 years.

IMO, Starks is a average LT that will get paid above average $$ in free agency. Steelers dont ususally overpay guys, so get used to the thought of him leaving. We could use an upgrade at that position anyways.

steelerdave1969
02-02-2009, 01:01 PM
I personally hope that the Steelers can keep Max Starks and Bryant McFadden for sure. I would love to see Foote back atleast as a backup, but it sounds like he is wanting to go home to Detroit, MI. He has already said that he would like to play for the Lions and live in his home state. I think that Lawrence Timmons is ready to take his spot and run with it, he has already started the process now its up to the Steelers maybe to trade him to the Lions for a draft pick, that way they dont lose him next season and get nothing in return.
I wouldnt mind at all to see Leftwich come back as our backup, but I think he knows that he can be a starter in this league somewhere. That being said, I would love to see the Steelers keep Charlie Batch atleast one more season to help Dennis Dixon out on the sidlines to get more up to the NFL game.
All in all, I think the Steelers will be looking for a 3rd WR and Offensive linemen in the upcoming draft, and hopefuly some secondary help.

PolamaluPower
02-02-2009, 02:14 PM
I think we definitely should keep Washington and McFadden. I would love for Foote to be able to stay as well.

TexaSteeler
02-02-2009, 09:02 PM
O-line should be shown the door. they won't of course but I think we need a major overhaul and upgrade there. Some good patches are out there for a couple years to, Runyan is local to PA and would be a great fit.

Washington, although I like Nate, I'm just not willing to spend 3mill of Rooneys money on him, lol..

Mcfadden, again, love the guy, buy a mix of gay and carter may work? If not I think b level position players would love to come here, without paying top dollar.

Timmons will far exceed anything Foote brings to the table. Not dimenishing Footes play, but Timmons has far exceeded Foote.

Steelers need to lock up Harrision and Woodley now. I think they have only one year left???


I agree almost word for word. Especially about the O line. Of course, making Ben scramble increases his passer rating. the negative is the running game isn't unstoppable.

GridironWarrior
02-02-2009, 09:15 PM
How many spots on the Oline can Essex play? I think they may determine what they do with Kemo and Starks. I could see McFadden and Washington back. I think Nate dropped too many passes to be getting a huge offer from anyone.

CargoJon
02-02-2009, 09:16 PM
McFadden - Must Sign
Foote - Traded to Lions for draft pick
Starks - Must Sign
Kemoeatu - Let him walk
Washington - Probably won't re-sign because of Sweed
Batch - Steelers will re-sign him for the right money unless Tomilin feels Dixon is ready to be a #2
Lefty - Will walk and get a starting job

Anybody think Batch will retire and Leftwich will be retained? I'd be very happy with Byron as a backup.

d2609j
02-02-2009, 11:52 PM
I agree we make a strong push for Mcfadden. We need to shore up the O-line.
I would not be surprised to see the Cardinals trade Boldin and make a run after Washington. They have alot of cap room, and would pay more than we would. Team him with Fitzgerald, and Breaston.

steelreserve
02-02-2009, 11:58 PM
Anybody think Batch will retire and Leftwich will be retained? I'd be very happy with Byron as a backup.

That would be awesome if it happened, and Lefty said he's open to it. We ought to at least offer him the total of what we're paying him and Batch. I still doubt he'll actually stay, though; someone will offer him just as much (or more) for a starting job and the lure will be too much.

MJ5150
02-03-2009, 12:23 AM
Man, if Foote is gone that means Farrior isn't far behind. I am going to cry like a baby when Farrior retires.

I don't know if I can take another year of offensive line merry-go-round. They got us a SB, but it sure was stressful keeping up with those guys and throwing my terrible towel at the screen a handful of times every game.

-Mike

stelpit
02-03-2009, 12:36 AM
sweed cant catch the ball = over paid still need to prove himself !! nate needs to stay find the money, the OL needs help alot of good young guys in the draft but that takes time to develope can we wait ?? CB they are good and better under under tomlin but they are not great i think you see whats avalable i love troy but hes got to takle and then there is the idea that guys will restructure and free agents will come because we are the steelers and we win and they want the RING!! IMO

nort10
02-03-2009, 02:07 AM
lecharels bentley is out there, he could possibly replace starks IMO

The Duke
02-03-2009, 02:16 AM
lecharels bentley is out there, he could possibly replace starks IMO

he officially retired a few weeks ago

nort10
02-03-2009, 07:38 PM
bump

theplatypus
02-04-2009, 06:33 AM
sweed cant catch the ball = over paid still need to prove himself !! nate needs to stay find the money.


Sweed was known for having great hands at Texas. I'll chalk up his drops to being a rookie. I would be very surprised if the Steelers don't expect Limas to replace Nate next year. Let's not forget the drops and muffed punts by Tone early in his career.

revefsreleets
02-04-2009, 08:41 AM
We'll keep Washington, I think. Sweed will get his chance next year, but saying he's a rookie as an excuse doesn't cut it. He's played football before, and his job is to catch passes.