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Hawaii 5-0
03-11-2013, 07:50 PM
Steelers expecting to lose three starters quickly when free agency begins

by Gerry Dulac

Free agency begins at 4:01 p.m. tomorrow and the Steelers are all but expecting to lose at least three starters when it does WR Mike Wallace, CB Keenan Lewis and RB Rashard Mendenhall.

Wallace is one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market and could be signed by another team shortly after the free-agency period begins. The Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings are among the teams who would be interested in Wallace, maybe the top deep threat in the NFL.

Lewis is among the top cornerbacks on the market and could be pursued by division-rival Cleveland, which is looking for a corner to pair with Joe Haden. The Browns have the most salary-cap room of any NFL team, approximately $46 million.

The Steelers are willing to part with Lewis because they really like Cortez Allen and think he is ready to be a starter. Its the main reason they brought back William Gay last week to be their nickel back. Gay signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract.

The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos are interested in Mendenhall, who fell into disfavor with Coach Mike Tomlin last season and was suspended for one game for failing to show up for a game when he was inactive.

With Wallace and Lewis, the Steelers are expecting them to receive offers well beyond what they would be willing to afford.

http://sulia.com/channel/pittsburgh-steelers/f/73239ec5-1271-468b-822b-6bc5961bd25c/?source=twitter

Sharkissle29
03-11-2013, 07:54 PM
I really do not want to see Lewis go....not good.

harrison'samonster
03-11-2013, 07:58 PM
No, I had been thinking they would invest in him, but with the Gay signing it seems like they are preparing for him to leave

SteelersCanada
03-11-2013, 07:59 PM
I'm fine with Mikey and Fumbley leaving, but Keenan leaving might be a little bit worrisome. I trust the front office, though.

steelfury02
03-11-2013, 08:11 PM
Out of everyone leaving, things just plain old hurt my wittle feelings in this order:

Harrison, Lewis, Starks (still possible to keep but I'm having my doubts)

Everyone else can take a hike

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-11-2013, 09:49 PM
No, I had been thinking they would invest in him, but with the Gay signing it seems like they are preparing for him to leave

I agree, but with Ike Taylor being 33yrs old this spring and having salary of $6mil and $7mil the next 2 years....I'd rather see them restructure Ike's deal with the long term plan of him maybe jumping to FS and keeping Lewis.

Imagine in 2 seasons seeing Cortez Allen and Keenan Lewis at CB, while Ike Taylor pairs at safety with Vacarro or Matt Elam. Its a bit of a stretch, but not that far fetched.

harrison'samonster
03-11-2013, 09:53 PM
I agree, but with Ike Taylor being 33yrs old this spring and having salary of $6mil and $7mil the next 2 years....I'd rather see them restructure Ike's deal with the long term plan of him maybe jumping to FS and keeping Lewis.

Imagine in 2 seasons seeing Cortez Allen and Keenan Lewis at CB, while Ike Taylor pairs at safety with Vacarro or Matt Elam. Its a bit of a stretch, but not that far fetched.

sounds like a great idea, and Ike's in really great shape, and other than the fractured ankle this season has been mr. dependable. There's no reason to think he won't be around for some years to come

tony hipchest
03-11-2013, 09:56 PM
I agree, but with Ike Taylor being 33yrs old this spring and having salary of $6mil and $7mil the next 2 years....I'd rather see them restructure Ike's deal with the long term plan of him maybe jumping to FS and keeping Lewis.

Imagine in 2 seasons seeing Cortez Allen and Keenan Lewis at CB, while Ike Taylor pairs at safety with Vacarro or Matt Elam. Its a bit of a stretch, but not that far fetched.taylor is probably the best tackling CB in the league. do you think he can lay the wood like clark and polamalu do on a consistant basis?

DanRooney
03-11-2013, 09:57 PM
Why is everyone worried about f'n Keenan Lewis. He had 1 good year. He rotted on the bench for 3 years of his contract.

I would not pay that guy big money.

Wallace deserved it but we gave it to Brown...who also had 1 good year. Mistake.

tony hipchest
03-11-2013, 10:00 PM
Why is everyone worried about f'n Keenan Lewis. He had 1 good year. He rotted on the bench for 3 years of his contract.

I would not pay that guy big money.

Wallace deserved it but we gave it to Brown...who also had 1 good year. Mistake.

everybody knows the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league.

keenan lewis earned his money last year.

mike wallace did not. he thumbed his nose at what the steelers offered. then he shat the bed.

end of story.

DanRooney
03-11-2013, 10:15 PM
everybody knows the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league.

keenan lewis earned his money last year.

mike wallace did not. he thumbed his nose at what the steelers offered. then he shat the bed.

end of story.

Might as well release Woodley then too! :tt03:

tony hipchest
03-11-2013, 10:31 PM
Might as well release Woodley then too! :tt03:

YEAH! :applaudit:

...because a $2.74 mil player is the same thing as a $60+ mil player. :jerkit:

please tell us, DanOWisdom how much it would cost to release woodley and how much comp pick compensation we would receive?

the BIGGEST difference is that woodley wants to be in Pittsburgh.

Wallace doesnt.

end of story.


again.

zcoop
03-11-2013, 10:44 PM
YEAH! :applaudit:

...because a $2.74 mil player is the same thing as a $60+ mil player. :jerkit:

please tell us, DanOWisdom how much it would cost to release woodley and how much comp pick compensation we would receive?

the BIGGEST difference is that woodley wants to be in Pittsburgh.

Wallace doesnt.

end of story.


again.

Wrong Tony, Wallace wanted to be in Pitt but the parties couldn't agree on his value. Thats business, right? I don't see any players cheating themselves on their first big contract.

TheVet
03-12-2013, 12:01 AM
I'm sorry Gerry, but losing Mendy doesn't really count as losing a starter. I'm going to pop a bottle of champagne when the news comes.

Sad to see Lewis go, but the Steelers were just in an awful position. How do you gamble bigtime with a player who just had his first good year? Why the hell can't we figure out what we have before the 4th year?

As for Wallace, well at least we won't need to agonize anymore about his hands, or whether/when he'll develop his route-running abilities. If you want to win in the NFL, you can't be overpaying for shiny baubles.

Bayz101
03-12-2013, 12:24 AM
Wrong Tony, Wallace wanted to be in Pitt but the parties couldn't agree on his value. Thats business, right? I don't see any players cheating themselves on their first big contract.

Do you honestly believe Wallace wanted to be in Pittsburgh? He has his mind made up last year, i'm sure of it. He's already said he wants to go somewhere "warm".

Does Pitt have palm trees?

Nah. Wallace made his mind up last year just like Lebron James had his mind made up his last year in Cleveland in the playoffs.

tony hipchest
03-12-2013, 12:29 AM
Wrong Tony, Wallace wanted to be in Pitt but the parties couldn't agree on his value. Thats business, right? I don't see any players cheating themselves on their first big contract.

this is very true.

i knew going back to last offseason that he would command $10+ mil/year because that was the market value for a recdeiver of his skill set.

if he woulda made good on his prediction to hit 2000 yds for the season, im sure the steelers woulda considered it.

but he flopped. he wont cheat himself on taking what the market will bear with another team. the steelers wont risk cheating themselves with taking on that risk.

mike wallace has proven his worth in pittsburgh and that is a pretty damn good 3rd round draft pick. if he lives up to his contract we will get the same in return as a compensetory pick :thumbsup:

teegre
03-12-2013, 12:38 AM
Lewis is the top CB in free agency... but, the market is fairly flooded (which could drop his asking price).

I think that the Steelers are taking a calculated risk. By having Cortez Allen as their big trump card AND being that there are a lot of CBs available, the Steelers can indeed allow Lewis to test the waters... and maybe, by doing so, they can resign him to a more reasonable amount ($7 million).

Of course, the risk is a team w/ cap space to "waste" (Cleveland) throwing an insane amount of money at him ($12 million).

Worst case scenario: Lewis leaves, and the depth chart is Ike, Cortez, and Will I am GAY. Not too shabby.

Of course, I really want the tandem of Keenan & Cortez... but, if it doesn't happen, like I said, the worst case is not really that bad at all.

It's like the worst case is a Shelby Mustang... while resigning Lewis is an Aston Martin. Either way, the Steelers are going to look good cruising along the boulevard.

Steel_Bus_24
03-12-2013, 12:50 AM
Why is everyone worried about f'n Keenan Lewis. He had 1 good year. He rotted on the bench for 3 years of his contract.

I would not pay that guy big money.

Wallace deserved it but we gave it to Brown...who also had 1 good year. Mistake.

Because Gay will get abused when we play the prolific spread offenses.....He just doesn't have the physical talent to go toe to toe with Today's NFLs top slot WRs/TEs

As a number #4 he's good enough, but nothing above that do I trust him to hold down


Lord this past year has just been one clusterF***.that has served to piss me off more then any other in recent Steelers History

Cutting old vets is one thing....thats tough....but the not being able to lock down your up and comers......leaving you with sh** depth is a whole other thing

SteelersCanada
03-12-2013, 12:53 AM
Because Gay will get abused when we play the prolific spread offenses.....He just doesn't have the physical talent to go toe to toe with Today's NFLs top slot WRs/TEs

To put your mind at ease, he'll never be lined up against top NFL receivers because he's not starting. One of his only strengths is to play in the slot, in which I trust him to take athletic TEs because his 'one trick' so to speak, is to provide good enough coverage to take away the slot.

Can he cover someone like Torrey Smith? No. Can he cover someone like Dennis Pitta? Absolutely.

He's going to be behind Lewis (hopefully), Ike and Allen.

IowaSteeler927
03-12-2013, 12:58 AM
Why is everyone worried about f'n Keenan Lewis. He had 1 good year. He rotted on the bench for 3 years of his contract.

I would not pay that guy big money.

Wallace deserved it but we gave it to Brown...who also had 1 good year. Mistake.

Are you serious? Mike Wallace is a turd. He's our version of Darrius Heyward-Bey. Elite speed with mediocre hands, and mediocre route running abilities. What he has in excess though is a piss poor attitude, a major lack of work ethic, and an ego that has him believing he deserves the same money as a class act guy like Larry Fitzgerald. He's a joke and I can't wait to see him gone.

Steel_Bus_24
03-12-2013, 01:02 AM
To put your mind at ease, he'll never be lined up against top NFL receivers because he's not starting. One of his only strengths is to play in the slot, in which I trust him to take athletic TEs because his 'one trick' so to speak, is to provide good enough coverage to take away the slot.

Can he cover someone like Torrey Smith? No. Can he cover someone like Dennis Pitta? Absolutely.

He's going to be behind Lewis (hopefully), Ike and Allen.

in our 2011 home game against the ravens Pitta and Dickson ate us up.Everybody points to the last play with Smith, but they forget how god awful we were on 3rd down that game ....Heaven help us if we have to ever play the Pats again with both Gronk and Hernandez

I do not trust him as anything more then a #4

BLACK_AND_YELLOW
03-12-2013, 06:00 AM
It's like the worst case is a Shelby Mustang... while resigning Lewis is an Aston Martin. Either way, the Steelers are going to look good cruising along the boulevard.

Shelby > Aston Martin :sofunny:

Fire Haley
03-12-2013, 08:49 AM
Wallace deserved it but we gave it to Brown...who also had 1 good year. Mistake.

Like Wallace would have signed for them peanuts - 5 yr $42M isn't even in the ballpark


Dolphins think Vikings may offer Mike Wallace $13 million a year

According to Jeff Darlington of NFL Network, the Dolphins expect the Vikings to get involved in the Wallace sweepstakes, and the Dolphins believe that landing Wallace may cost up to $13 million a year.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-12-2013, 09:57 AM
To put your mind at ease, he'll never be lined up against top NFL receivers because he's not starting. One of his only strengths is to play in the slot, in which I trust him to take athletic TEs because his 'one trick' so to speak, is to provide good enough coverage to take away the slot.

Can he cover someone like Torrey Smith? No. Can he cover someone like Dennis Pitta? Absolutely.

He's going to be behind Lewis (hopefully), Ike and Allen.

True, but if 33 year old Ike Taylor gets injured, then its Gay on the Island if the likely event of Keenan Lewis being gone happens.

Time to look at the chances a CB is taken in the first 2 rounds of the draft if Lewis leaves.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-12-2013, 10:17 AM
Like Wallace would have signed for them peanuts - 5 yr $42M isn't even in the ballpark


Dolphins think Vikings may offer Mike Wallace $13 million a year

According to Jeff Darlington of NFL Network, the Dolphins expect the Vikings to get involved in the Wallace sweepstakes, and the Dolphins believe that landing Wallace may cost up to $13 million a year.

Yeah, Profootballtalk.com is reporting the Vikings are after Wallace with the $13mil. Nicer to play in Miami, but I think it comes down to if he thinks Tannehill or Ponder is the better QB.

GMU Steeler
03-12-2013, 10:50 AM
Like Wallace would have signed for them peanuts - 5 yr $42M isn't even in the ballpark


Dolphins think Vikings may offer Mike Wallace $13 million a year

According to Jeff Darlington of NFL Network, the Dolphins expect the Vikings to get involved in the Wallace sweepstakes, and the Dolphins believe that landing Wallace may cost up to $13 million a year.

Jeez 13 mill for Wallace? That's insane. Anyhow, of those going, I'll miss Lewis the most but if someone over pays I won't be that upset.

67 calsteel
03-12-2013, 12:08 PM
while the will be missed they could help us next years.Compensatory draft picks.The formula is calculated but it is based on Playing time,salary signed and post season honors.
Wallace and Lewis offer best chance for higher picks 3rd/4th
Mendy 5th-7th
Starks 6th/7th
Hampton 6th/7th

As long as we continue are ways of signing low free agents we will probably get at least 3 picks.

ebsteelers
03-12-2013, 12:35 PM
today is more like wet paint drying then anything else..

has anybody signed today?

67 calsteel
03-12-2013, 12:40 PM
I think that the signing period starts at 4pm (east coast)today

ebsteelers
03-12-2013, 12:48 PM
I think that the signing period starts at 4pm (east coast)today

o that could explain it... thought it started at midnight...then again wouldnt wanna deprive the overpaid millionaires of their beauty sleep

VaDave
03-12-2013, 12:55 PM
112 passes thrown at Lewis last year. He broke up 12, with zero picks. While I agree he should get more money than what we will pay him, if somebody pays him a # 1 corner contract, it will be a gross over estimation of his skills.

IMO, Lewis probably played the best season he'll ever play last year. Allen hasn't even scratched the surface.

teegre
03-12-2013, 01:04 PM
Yeah, Profootballtalk.com is reporting the Vikings are after Wallace with the $13mil. Nicer to play in Miami, but I think it comes down to if he thinks Tannehill or Ponder is the better QB.

I agree. CB was not going to be drafted, if it was Ike, Keenan, Cortez, & Will I am GAY. But, if Keenan leaves, I could see a R4 "prospect" being drafted.

Leon McFadden would be my druthers. He was the top CB in his dividion, on a bad team. He played single coverage most of the time, albeit against lesser competition... but, I am confident that he will be a good #2 CB in the NFL (and a great #3 for the time being). Draft him, let him play the #4 role for a year... then the #3 role for two years... and then, like Deshea, insert him as the starter for another five seasons.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-12-2013, 01:54 PM
I agree. CB was not going to be drafted, if it was Ike, Keenan, Cortez, & Will I am GAY. But, if Keenan leaves, I could see a R4 "prospect" being drafted.

Leon McFadden would be my druthers. He was the top CB in his dividion, on a bad team. He played single coverage most of the time, albeit against lesser competition... but, I am confident that he will be a good #2 CB in the NFL (and a great #3 for the time being). Draft him, let him play the #4 role for a year... then the #3 role for two years... and then, like Deshea, insert him as the starter for another five seasons.

Could take Desmond Trufant in the 1st, Corey Lemonier in the 2nd , D.J. Swearinger in the 3rd and Marcus Lattimore or Jonathan Franklin in the 4th.

Count on Ike declining in play, or extending him to play FS at the end of his career. Need a legit CB coming up other than Cortez.

DanRooney
03-12-2013, 04:34 PM
Are you serious? Mike Wallace is a turd. He's our version of Darrius Heyward-Bey. Elite speed with mediocre hands, and mediocre route running abilities. What he has in excess though is a piss poor attitude, a major lack of work ethic, and an ego that has him believing he deserves the same money as a class act guy like Larry Fitzgerald. He's a joke and I can't wait to see him gone.

Mike Wallace's stats over the past 4 years >>> Heyward-Bey's stats.

DanRooney
03-12-2013, 04:37 PM
YEAH! :applaudit:

...because a $2.74 mil player is the same thing as a $60+ mil player. :jerkit:

please tell us, DanOWisdom how much it would cost to release woodley and how much comp pick compensation we would receive?

the BIGGEST difference is that woodley wants to be in Pittsburgh.

Wallace doesnt.

end of story.


again.

Really? Seems like he'd rather be eating a big box of the new cool ranch tacos than playing football.

Hawaii 5-0
03-12-2013, 06:21 PM
Jason La Canfora ‏@JasonLaCanfora:

Former Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall has visited set up with the Cardinals and Broncos

https://twitter.com/JasonLaCanfora

SteelCity4Life
03-12-2013, 06:59 PM
Are you serious? Mike Wallace is a turd. He's our version of Darrius Heyward-Bey. Elite speed with mediocre hands, and mediocre route running abilities. What he has in excess though is a piss poor attitude, a major lack of work ethic, and an ego that has him believing he deserves the same money as a class act guy like Larry Fitzgerald. He's a joke and I can't wait to see him gone.

My sentiments EXACTLY! :hatsoff:

People down brown (yeah I just said that) but they fail to realize that he has the ATTITUDE that Mike Wallace will never have. Then you have the smile affect that Brown gives. Hate to make it Brown vs. Wallace here, but you're kidding yourself if Wallace's shitty attitude, poor route running, and clumsy mistakes justify the money he asks for.

Miami can have fun overpaying that no-show. (literally, no-show)

Brown will step up I believe and prove the right choice.

Spinthenfumbel....who cares? We need a proven RB? Don't think he's the guy but then again our line is pretty mediocre.

Lewis is the most valued of the 3, but he has a lot still to prove.

To me, this is nothing like losing Hines, Farrior, etc. last year.

steeltheone
03-12-2013, 07:17 PM
My sentiments EXACTLY! :hatsoff:

People down brown (yeah I just said that) but they fail to realize that he has the ATTITUDE that Mike Wallace will never have. Then you have the smile affect that Brown gives. Hate to make it Brown vs. Wallace here, but you're kidding yourself if Wallace's shitty attitude, poor route running, and clumsy mistakes justify the money he asks for.

Miami can have fun overpaying that no-show. (literally, no-show)

Brown will step up I believe and prove the right choice.

Spinthenfumbel....who cares? We need a proven RB? Don't think he's the guy but then again our line is pretty mediocre.

Lewis is the most valued of the 3, but he has a lot still to prove.

To me, this is nothing like losing Hines, Farrior, etc. last year. Hines and Farrior were shells of their former selves.

Wallace, Mendy and Lewis are not even in their primes. Big Difference.

teegre
03-12-2013, 10:43 PM
Could take Desmond Trufant in the 1st, Corey Lemonier in the 2nd , D.J. Swearinger in the 3rd and Marcus Lattimore or Jonathan Franklin in the 4th.

Count on Ike declining in play, or extending him to play FS at the end of his career. Need a legit CB coming up other than Cortez.

Lemonier... yes.
Swearinger... yes.
Lattimore... yes.

Now, Trufant at 17 seems high. Ergo, I propose trading back... and then taking Trufant at 25-28. Then, that newly-acquired pick would be a pass-receiver (WR/TE), such as Gavin Escobar or Ryan Swope (or Aaron Dobson...). Of course, they could get the pass-catcher at 25-28, and then acquire a CB with that extra pick (e.g. McFadden).

Side-note: While I really want Elam, I'd take this draft... because, Swearinger is also a favorite... (like grape & cherry: grape is most favorite, but cherry is also a favorite LOL).

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-12-2013, 11:31 PM
Lemonier... yes.
Swearinger... yes.
Lattimore... yes.

Now, Trufant at 17 seems high. Ergo, I propose trading back... and then taking Trufant at 25-28. Then, that newly-acquired pick would be a pass-receiver (WR/TE), such as Gavin Escobar or Ryan Swope (or Aaron Dobson...). Of course, they could get the pass-catcher at 25-28, and then acquire a CB with that extra pick (e.g. McFadden).

Side-note: While I really want Elam, I'd take this draft... because, Swearinger is also a favorite... (like grape & cherry: grape is most favorite, but cherry is also a favorite LOL).

Yeah, unless there are other talents there at 17, who knows. I think if you want a CB and he is the best on the board, take him instead of trying to get him 8 spots later.

Jon Franklin is a guy that I really am liking as a solid back that runs with power, good speed and can catch and pickup the blitz. Lattimore is boom or bust, Franklin is solid return, IMO.

Bane
03-13-2013, 12:26 AM
As I said before, Peyton just can't catch a break. I hope Mendenhall can at least do better behind that line, and with the defense having to respect Peyton.

Broncos likely to sign Mendenhall
Posted by Mike Florio on March 12, 2013, 9:32 PM EDT

We reported over the weekend, which feels like it was a year ago, that the Broncos are interested in running back Rashard Mendenhall.

Interest could soon become something more.

Per a league source, the Broncos are likely to add the former first-round pick, whose rookie contract with the Steelers officially expired earlier today.

Mendenhall suffered a torn ACL in Week 17 of the 2011 season, and he battled an Achilles injury during the 2012 season. He also had an Osama bin Laden Twitter misadventure two years ago, not to mention a decision to stay home after he was informed he’d be deactivated for a December game against the Chargers.

The Broncos don’t seem to be deterred.

Also interested are the Cardinals. But the Broncos are deemed to be the favorite to land him.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/12/broncos-likely-to-sign-mendenhall/

If he becomes Marshawn Lynch 2.0 out there, I just might paint a horse blue and orange and shoot it.

IowaSteeler927
03-16-2013, 05:03 AM
Mike Wallace's stats over the past 4 years >>> Heyward-Bey's stats.

Obviously, he had an Elite QB in Ben Roethlisberger throwing him passes, not Carson Palmer.

Stairway to 7
03-16-2013, 10:34 AM
The Steelers are willing to part with Lewis because they really like Cortez Allen

That's absolute bollocks, they're parting with him because they have no money.

Hawaii 5-0
03-18-2013, 01:32 PM
5 reasons why losing Keenan Lewis isn't a bad thing

By Neal Coolong on Mar 18 2013, 7:00a

http://cdn1.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/9955101/158683762.0_standard_500.0.jpg

Keenan Lewis is a good player, and here's hoping for nothing but the best for him in New Orleans. This is not a significant loss for the Steelers, however.

The dust has settled a bit from a crazy start to the free agency period, in which cornerback Keenan Lewis, and several other Steelers found new teams, while the team added a bunch of other new players.

Looking at those transactions without the rush of the news hitting the mainstream, a few things become fairly clear. The decision to let Lewis test the market, and allowing another team to set that value on him, got exactly what the Steelers thought it would; an increased dollar amount from Lewis's real value.

Here's why:

Lack of Plays
This is obvious but can't be said enough; Cortez Allen forced five turnovers in the team's last two games. Five. At what point in Lewis's one year (ONE year) of starting did he even sniff that? It's not even close to rarely. The issue isn't that he cannot, it's that his one career interception shows he doesn't, and that stat is highlighted even more by his 23 passes defensed this past year.

Is Lewis Even The Second-Best Cornerback on the Steelers?
More than anything, though, Allen showed in his final two games he can play the position as well as Lewis. He brings an element to that position Lewis has not shown. That being said, was it even a sure thing Lewis would start over Allen next year? They weren't going to sit Ike Taylor; contrary to the public scrutiny Taylor brings upon himself, he played outstanding football from Week 7 to his season-ending injury in Week 13.

Equivalent depth
Are you crying over a cornerback trio of Taylor/Allen Gay instead of Taylor/Lewis/Allen + $3.5 million (Lewis's salary with New Orleans minus Gay's salary with Pittsburgh)? I think it's fair to say most reasonably minded and knowledgeable fans would rather have Lewis over Gay, all things being equal. But the few extra million Lewis eventually would cost cuts into depth elsewhere. And perhaps the cornerback position would be stronger with Lewis, decisions on positions are not made in a vacuum. It's still a position that can compete in the NFL, and isn't detrimental to other positions on the field that needed to be addressed via free agency (i.e. tight end, a spot that had one healthy player, second-year David Paulson, heading into the off-season).

Getting Production on the Cheap
The Steelers got sort of stuck the last few years, keeping a core group of players together because they were winning games in bunches. That kept some of the younger players, like Lewis and Jason Worilds, on the bench. Lewis faced unrestricted free agency in 2013, and Worilds comes due in 2014. Should Worilds end up leaving after starting in 2013, he will have only had one year of starting experience after three years as a highly drafted back-up. There's something to be said about the fact they'll get Allen for two years as a starter for little pay. Cheap and productive starters are the keys to championship teams.

Finding Keenan Lewis in the Draft
Lewis is a good player, I wish him nothing but the best. Where the Steelers are in terms of their secondary, he's proved not to have the overall skill as Taylor, the savvy of Ryan Clark or the freakish natural ability as Troy Polamalu. How hard is he to replace in the draft? They took Allen a year and a round later, and they found arguably the better player in a year less in the league. Why could the Steelers not find an outstanding corner in this draft, and groom him to play when Taylor is released/retired? Totally possible. Probable, even.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/3/18/4118234/steelers-free-agency-losses-keenan-lewis-cornerback-depth-cortez-allen-starter