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News » Pittsburgh Steelers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-03


Pittsburgh Steelers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-03


Pittsburgh Steelers Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-03
The Steelers will lose most of their UFAs and they understand that, especially players such as WR Nate Washington (signed with Tennessee) and CB Bryant McFadden, and they likely will lose them quickly.


They will wait to sign anyone else's free agents, or even look at anyone, until next week.

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

Pittsburgh needs offensive linemen and it will have a hard time getting anyone good since they don't pay top dollar in free agency and there are few available anyway. They also are unlikely to get a blue-chip offensive lineman in the draft.

That's why they made OT Max Starks their franchise player. They need defensive linemen for the future, depth in the secondary and at wide receiver, and a kick returner.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Offensive linemen: The Steelers line was a mess before they faced losing free agents such as tackles Marvel Smith and Trai Essex. Guard Chris Kemoeatu did re-sign with the team Friday.

2. Defensive linemen: They have good players, better than most, but they're also getting old. Five of their top six defensive linemen are over 30.

3. Wide receivers: Their inability/disinterest in signing UFA Nate Washington (Tennessee) means they have two experienced players at the position, Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward, who turns 33 in March.

MEDICAL WATCH: Hines Ward had cleanup surgery on his shoulder one week after the Super Bowl and should be OK for the summer.

--RB Rashard Mendenhall, who broke his shoulder in the fourth game, has been given a clean bill of health.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: OT Max Starks: Tendered at $8.451M; signed tender Feb. 23.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--QB Charlie Batch wants to return as Ben Roethlisberger's backup. The team wants him back.

--P Mitch Berger punted poorly and will not receive an offer because Daniel Sepulveda will return from injury.

--CB Fernando Bryant was signed for depth during the season, his 10th, and likely will not re-sign.

--OT Trai Essex served as the top backup at tackle and guard and will likely return.

--LB Keyaron Fox was a valuable special teams player they would like to re-sign.

--LB Andre Frazier played mostly on special teams and would be a low priority.

--QB Byron Leftwich did a nice job and is now ready to compete somewhere else to start.

--CB Bryant McFadden started on the left side. One of their top priorities to re-sign but his price might be too steep.

--DE Orpheus Roye completed his 13th season by mainly being inactive on game day and he likely will not be re-signed.

--OT Marvel Smith, their longtime starter on the left side, played only the first five games and then had his second back surgery in one calendar year. He is seeing if there is a market for his services.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)

--TE Jon Dekker (not tendered as ERFA) was on injured reserve.

--LB Arnold Harrison (not tendered as RFA) was on injured reserve with a torn ACL.

--S Anthony Smith (not tendered as RFA) was inactive for the post-season.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--OT Willie Colon (tendered at $2.198M with first-round pick as compensation) has been their starter on the right side the past two seasons.

--CB Anthony Madison (tendered at $1.01M with no compensation) was one of their best special teams players.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

--FB Carey Davis.

--G Jeremy Parquet was a backup who played little.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--OG Chris Kemoeatu: UFA; $20M/5 yrs, $3.885M SB$6M guaranteed.

--TE/FB Sean McHugh; RFA; (tendered at $1.01M with seventh-round pick as compensation); $2.57M/3 yrs, $390,000 SB.

--OT Max Starks: FFA; $8.451M/1 yr.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--RB Stefan Logan: FA CFL; terms unknown.

--WR Brandon Williams: FA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

--LB Mike Humpal (released/failed physical).

--OG Kendall Simmons (released/failed physical).

--WR Nate Washington: UFA Titans; terms unknown.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 3, 2009

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Jeremy Bloom Name: Jeremy Bloom
#11
Position: WR
Age: 26
Experience: 1 years
College: Colorado
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