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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Steelers ready for mini-camp, make roster moves

The Steelers will hold their mini-camp Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the only mandatory workouts of the offseason.

That means all players will be expected to be there or risk being fined - with the exception of linebacker Larry Foote.

Foote's still on the roster for now, but likely will be given a pass on attending mini-camp as the team tries to trade him in the next few days.

A number of teams have their mini-camps this weekend and if somebody has a starter go down with an injury, it could open the door for a deal.

If not, Foote – who has asked to be traded or released – will be cut, freeing up $2.9-million in cap space.

That money, however, isn't everything that's needed for the team to be able to sign its rookie class.

The Steelers's rookie pool is $4.284 million, meaning they'll still have to clear some cap space to be able to get everyone in by training camp.

© In other news, the Steelers made a flurry of roster moves Thursday, most notably signing wide receiver Shaun McDonald.

McDonald, you may remember, was on my free agent watch list.

In 2008, McDonald had 35 catches for 332 yards and one touchdown in 12 games for Detroit.

The Steelers also signed some camp bodies, adding punter Dirk Johnson and kicker Piotr Czech – don't say that one out loud if you're at work.

Long-snapper Jared Retkofsky was released. He was signed last season when Greg Warren was lost for the season to a torn ACL. The Steelers signed Pitt long snapper Mark Estermeyer as an undrafted free agent earlier this week.


Ben said...

Is Warren done or will he be back? I know longsnapper isn't the most important position by any stretch, but I hate to see guys lose their jobs because of injury -- especially the lower-pay guys.

Patrick said...

agree with Ben

I also remember Warren absolutely laying someone out last year. He was always hustling down the field. I like him.

With that said, it doesn't take much to remember how valuable a long snapper can be. But I can't beleive that someone already on the roster can't be taught that. If the Steelers are going to keep AQ Shipley on the roster, I think he should learn to long snap and we can save a spot that can be used for an extra DB, WR or LB.

I guees the argument is that the extra player at those positions barely ever see the field and a long snapper definitely sees the field multiple times.

So maybe I just talked myself out of that argument.

Thanks for listening!

I'm glad about the McDonald signing and think he will fit in nicely. I was beginning to cringe at the thought of Holmes being suspended for the opener and our 3 starting WR's being Ward, Sweed and Wallace. Eeven if Holmes isn't suspended, one prolonged injury to Holmes or Ward and the Steelers had a major problem on their hands. McDonald solves that.

I also like the Keiwan Ratliff signing. After losing McFadden, but adding 2 draft picks and now Ratliff, the CB fight is suddenly incredibly competitve and deep. I know we've discussed this before, but I hope it doesn't mean the end of days for Townsend.

Dale Lolley said...

Unless the kid from Pitt beats him out, Warren will be back.

I don't think Deshea will be in trouble because he can also play safety so he gives them some flexibility. I'd say Ty Carter is the one in trouble.

Anonymous said...


On carter, do you think they could keep only 3 safeties (troy, clark, mundy) or are you thinking roy lewis has a real shot of taking carter's spot?

Patrick said...

Desheaprob has a larger cap number than Ty Carter is my thinking, but they would need to make that move now and I doubt they would cut Townsend unless he was awful in camp. And I doubt that happens

I could wave goodbye to Ty Carter without a problem. Seems like a good guy and all, but I don't like him as a safety valve with the way Troy is designed to play.

Ben said...

Does Ryan Clark get resigned? Historically, a guy like him doesn't, but he kicked a lot of ass last year. Gotta lay off the helmet-to-helmet or he's going to wind up paralyzed though.

I have a feeling that cutting Deshea would cause a lot of problems in the locker room. Not that that would stop the Steeler F.O. from making necessary roster moves, but I think they want to keep him around to help groom the young guys they just drafted. Also, how comfortable can they be with William Gay starting next to Ike? Gay has shown flashes of playmaker ability, but he is far from proven. Going further, who becomes the nickleback? Fernando Bryant? As of right now, the rookies haven't played a single down in the NFL, so you can't put all your eggs in that basket. I think Deshea has to stick around for at least another year.

Dale Lolley said...

They see Keenan Lewis as a guy with safety potential as well. They won't throw that at him right away, but it's a possibility down the road.
Deshea is very respected in the locker room and by the staff.
I like Roy Lewis, but with two new bodies plus Mundy to get over, he's got his work cut out for him.
Put it this way, they lost one corner and one safety but drafted two corners and Mundy wasn't on the roster.
Do the math.

Dale Lolley said...

I'm starting to wonder about the McDonald signing. After originally posting it on their web site, the Steelers have pulled the signing off.
Makes me wonder if they don't have the money to do it without cutting or trading Foote.

Anonymous said...

It was a shame that the Steelers did not try and sign Gerald Cadogan of Penn State to a free agent contract. There was a bidding war on him, which is strange as anyone could have drafted him.
I met him at the combine and he is smart, can add about 30 pounds of muscle and would have been a solid late round pick.
Teams were down on him for having more interests than football, which was in my opinion stupid.
The media believed he was a sure "Steelers" type player that day. Odd with the needs of the team that he wasn't looked at. What is your take Dale?

Dale Lolley said...

They didn't like him.

As for the McDonald signing, it's official now.

George Lichter said...

It will be interesting how the team does this fall with McDonald on the roster. I'm excited!

-George Lichter

VCTMbrian said...

As most assumed, Foote was a no-sho...