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Old 05-09-2012, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Posted by Josh Alper on May 9, 2012



Itís a busy day for visitors at Steelers headquarters.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the team will be playing host to three veteran free agents in search of jobs on Wednesday. Linebacker Brandon Johnson, kicker Dave Rayner and linebacker Matt Roth will all be in Pittsburgh to meet with the team.

Johnson played every game of the last four seasons for the Bengals, mostly as a reserve and key special teams contributor. He would likely play the same role if he wound up with the Steelers and they have a need with the departure of James Farrior earlier this offseason.

Rayner would provide competition for Shaun Suisham. He played one game for the Raiders last year and then wound up in Buffalo after Rian Lindell went down with an injury. Rayner made 10-of-15 field goals for the Bills and heís made 72.2 percent of them over the course of his career. Suisham has made 37-of-46 field goals in his two years with the Steelers.

Roth played just nine games for the Jaguars last season because of a concussion. He picked up 3.5 sacks in those games and the Steelers are probably looking at him as depth behind James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley as a pass-rushing outside linebacker.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...elers-a-visit/
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Matt Roth would be an interesting pickup, but almost has the size of a DE in a 3-4 at 6'4" 278lbs. Still from reading up on him seems quick with a burst.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/p...torical/419936

The kicker's percentage is horrible.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

I loved Roth coming out of college but he was good, not great, in CLeveland and then left for a contract becasue of a dispute with Cleve management. Love to see another kicker other than Suisham!
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

I'd be happy with these three coming in, can always use help on ST, need to find someone to compete with Suisham please and I also liked Roth out of school - He was in Cleveland - how could he be happy?
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Sure, we need an upgrade over Suisham. But I don't think it's Rayner.
Do the math. 10 out of 15 = 67%. Career average = 72%.
Suisham, 80% last year. Next candidate please! Let's keep looking.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Rayner and Suisham both suck, we need to be going for Longwell. I know he's old but he's still pretty good.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanda10506 View Post
Rayner and Suisham both suck, we need to be going for Longwell. I know he's old but he's still pretty good.
Ryan Longwell Would Be Option For The Steelers If Not Well Long Past His Prime

Monday, May 7th, 2012 by Dave Bryan

The Minnesota Vikings released veteran kicker Ryan Longwell and already the cries have started from some in Steeler Nation suggesting that that the Pittsburgh Steelers should sign the 15 year veteran.

Longwell has spent the last six years in Minnesota and he has a career field goal percentage of 83.2. Last season he connected on just 78.6 percent of his attempts and that included going 0-3 outdoors from 40 yards and out.

In addition to his problems kicking outdoors last season, Longwell was also not impressive on his kickoffs either. NFL.com has Longwell documented as only having 19 touchbacks in 2011 on 77 kickoffs with his average distance coming in at a paltry 64.6 yards per kick. Keep in mind that 10 of the 16 games that Longwell kicked in last season were indoors as well.

The Steelers current incumbent is Shaun Suisham, who connected on just 74.2% of his own attempts in 2011 during the regular season. He was just 7 of 13 outside of 40 yards, but did have 28 touchbacks out of 72 kickoffs last season. His average kickoff distance was 66.5 yards, which was not great, but better than that of Longwell.

While Longwell certainly is attractive when you look at his name alone, he is way past his kicking prime now and certainly would not be a huge upgrade over Suisham at this point.

Suisham signed a four-year contract prior to the start of the 2011 season and the deal included a $1.35 signing bonus. That contract still gives him no reason to feel safe though as the Steelers could cut him any time after June 1st and take a dead money hit of $337,500 in 2012 and a $675,000 dead money hit in 2013. Basically they would save $1.35 million in cap space in 2012 minus his replacement cost.

A veteran such as Longwell would cost the Steelers a minimum of $910,000 should he sign a qualifying veteran one-year deal. That deal would come with a cap hit of $540,000 plus whatever signing bonus he were to receive, which would not exceed $65,000 on that type of contract.

As you can see, the Steelers would only save roughly $760,000 in cap space by trading one average kicker for an even older average one. They also would be saddled with a $675,000 dead money hit in 2013 to boot. (Sorry for that pun. I couldn't resist)

While 2011 might have just been a down year for the nearly 38-year old Longwell, he is a mighty risky free agent add based on his age and downward trend. Should the Steelers ultimately decide they are unhappy with Suisham by the start of the 2012 season, there will be plenty of free agents to choose from after the final roster cut downs take place.

The Steelers did sign undrafted kicker Grant Ressel to push Suisham in camp, but even Ressel had his problems in his final season at Missouri as he was 9 of 16 on the season. Ressel missed the final five games of 2011 with a strained hip flexor and some speculate that might have been the root of his accuracy problem early in the season after having a stellar 2009 and 2010 season.

http://network.yardbarker.com/all_sp...ction/10736465
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Longwell is not the answer. Keep looking. Suisham is the worst kicker we've had in many years and I worry about any kick over 35 yards. Also, I've noticed that while many teams kick the ball through the endzone on kickoffs, we don't. We need a stronger leg.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by tucker6 View Post
Longwell is not the answer. Keep looking. Suisham is the worst kicker we've had in many years and I worry about any kick over 35 yards. Also, I've noticed that while many teams kick the ball through the endzone on kickoffs, we don't. We need a stronger leg.
It's called steroids!
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Three free agents pay the Steelers a visit

Grant Ressel really has to come in and hit everything, including kicks in camp. He has to show strong leg strength on kickoffs and then he still might not make it. As often the case with a veteran there has to be a bad game in there where he chokes, then Ressel may be given a call. Vets do have their salaries guaranteed the full year as well causing more problems in releasing Suisham mid season. Here's hoping Ressel has found a good sports shrink and excels.
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