Re: Steeler free agents
Ed B. of the Post-Gazette has this take (which is in italics) on potential departures:
NOW we can start talking about free agents. Clip and save this so we can keep score. The Steelers will try to sign Antwaan Randle El but I believe someone else -- New England? -- will offer him a great deal more and he will leave. Brett Keisel will be a top priority and if they can sign him, don't look for Kimo von Oelhoffen to return. If someone makes Chris Hope a good offer, and I believe they will, he'll be gone, too. Bryant McFadden is ready to start so if another team wants Deshea Townsend as a starter, he too will leave. Jeff Hartings will take less to stay and they will have to cut Chukky Okobi, which will break that Pittsburgh native's heart. Charlie Batch will re-sign and remain the No. 2 quarterback. Tommy Maddox will be released in the first few days of March. Verron Haynes will re-sign. Duce Staley, who will make $2.5 million this year, will stay and take the spot left by Jerome Bettis. Clint Kriewaldt will re-sign, as will Quincy Morgan, who could become the No. 3 receiver next season.
I don't think Ken Whisenhunt will leave. The Raiders will offer him a five-year deal worth about $12 million but Al Davis' reputation precedes him. He's a meddling, impatient owner who's best days are far behind him.