The Steelers keep signing their own free agents, keep ignoring others and have two more deals they'd like to get done before the draft.
Backup linebacker Keyaron Fox became the 10th free agent of one form or another to re-sign with Pittsburgh since Feb. 27, all of whom played for the Steelers last season. They have signed no one else.
However, they have been frustrated in their attempts to sign linebacker James Harrison to a long-term contract. Harrison, who has a year left on his current contract at $1.4 million, wants to be paid like he was the NFL defensive player of the year. The Steelers don't want to give him quite that much.
Both sides have a point. One, the Steelers still have Harrison under contract and he turns 31 next month. They also could make him the franchise player next year. But Harrison also has been a bargain the past two seasons with salaries of $1.1 million and $1.2 million. He made Pro Bowl in his first season as a starter in 2007, then hit the jackpot last season, topped off when he contributed arguably the best defensive play in Super Bowl history.
Harrison's agent thought the deal could be done quickly. That was two months ago.
The other deal would be to sign quarterback Byron Leftwich. The Steelers have made him a two-year offer but for just the veteran minimum. Leftwich wants more or he wants to sign for just one season. He visited Tampa Bay this week after visiting Washington last week.
Their other option is to sign Charlie Batch. In fact, they want to sign both, but Batch realizes he'd likely be the odd man out if that happens because the Steelers plan to keep Dennis Dixon, their fifth-round draft choice last year.
The Steelers also are knocking their heads against the wall hoping tackle Max Starks will sign long-term. He has a guaranteed $8.5 million as their franchise player, so it will take more than hope to get him to sign a long-term deal that does not start with at least $15 million in guarantees over the next two years as a baseline.
Fox helped boost their special teams and he also is a backup linebacker on a team that starts four of them and always is looking for linebackers.