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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Busy day for Steelers

The Steelers added a pair of safeties and a pair of wide receivers Monday in perhaps the busiest free agent day in team history.

After visiting Miami, safety Ryan Clark decided to accept the Steelers' offer of $14 million over four years to remain in Pittsburgh.

That deal was struck at roughly the same time that former wideout Antwaan Randle El was also agreeing to terms with the team on a three-year deal to return to Pittsburgh. Randle El, who received a three-year deal, spent the past four seasons with the Washington Redskins.

Earlier in the day, the team announced the signings of safety Will Allen to a three-year deal worth $4.5 million and a three-year $3.975-million deal with wide receiver Arnaz Battle.

The signing of a pair of veteran wide receivers to long-term deals likely means that former second-round pick Limas Sweed has played his last football with the Steelers.

Sweed was placed on injured reserve at the end of last season so that he could deal with undisclosed personal issues.

The signings of both Clark and Allen, who played for head coach Mike Tomlin in Tampa Bay, means the team will not make an effort to bring back veteran safety Tyrone Carter.

Both Battle and Allen are also top-notch special teams players as well.


Patrick said...

strange about Sweed. What I find really ironic about him is if he makes those simple catches, the whole situation is probably different. I don't like the idea of giving up on him, but he hasn't held up his side of the bargain at all apparently.

The Randle El signing is a little wierd. I'm a big El fan, but the things he did best, can he even do anymore? If he can play though, the WR core is going to be real solid. Hopefully this also knocks Logan off the roster and saves a spot.

These signings also have to make this team one of the oldest in the league. Even Allen is 27. At some point, this is going to have to be blown up and a rebuilding season experienced. Prob 2011.

Maybe we can get lucky enough to get Foote too? (sarcasm)

adamg said...

Good signings, imo. Allen and Battle will be good STers who are also quality back ups.
ARE could make Logan expendable on KR/PR. Not sure who the new OT will push, but maybe Tomlin isn't all that sold on Colon at RT. Possibly a Colon move to RG?

I hope the Steelers will look to re-sign Leftwich, if his arm is healthy, too.

Darren said...

These moves solidify special teams (ARE is also a special teams pickup) and upgrading over Carter is a big plus.

I think it's agreed that special teams and Carter cost the Steelers at least one game last year.

How many more games did they need to win to make the playoffs?


I saw a post on ESPN from a 49ers fan who was not happy to see Battle go. That is always a good sign.

marc said...

it appears the steelers are positioning themselves to take the best player available in the draft. i believe that is one thing colbert has said they try to do each year.

i also hope sweed stays with the team and tries to make his way back. it would be nice to see him overcome whatever he has going on right now.

dale, did the steelers wait until the last minute to make this offer to clark, or was that on the table the whole time and he just finally decided to go with it?


emac2 said...

I think all of the Sweed talk is off.

You don't bring in a player like EL (and tell him he is going to be the 3) if all you are getting rid of is your 4.

I think we either have a trade coming or, more likely, Ward is retiring.

I could see trading Santonio though and would support that since we are not going to resign him next year.

Come on Sweed! Put down the crack and come on back!

Anonymous said...

Logan is a much better returner than ARE at this point in their careers. Didn't watch many skins games but most I saw El just wasn't was he was before. As any redkins fan

I do like him as a back up and 4th/5th receiver. Ward, Holmes, Wallace, El, Battle, Sweed, Grisham. That's seven right there without UDFAs and possible draftees. Two, one minimum, will be gone by the start of the season. Hopefully it's not by boy Grisham!

Dale, do you seriously think this is the end of limas in the burgh? Are they THAT down on him?

Benjamin said...

"I think we either have a trade coming or, more likely, Ward is retiring."

You must be crazy. Hines will be back.

marc said...

where does it say El was told he would be the #3?

that's an interesting thought that ward might retire. if he did, i could understand it. but, he's made no mention of it (publicly) so you've got to think he's coming back for at least 1 more year.

imo, if holmes hits free agency next year he is 100% gone.

Benjamin said...

Ward was consistently expressed his desire to play as long as he can. He's named 35 and 36 as specific years when he would consider retirement. He will not retire this off-season.

emac2 said...

Ward has been hurting bad for a couple of years now and isn't the kind of guy that plays less then 100%. At some point he is going to realize that he might pay for an extra year with a lifetime of pain and walk away.

I have no reason to think this other then the signing and his recent health though.

As for the EL playing the 3... that was a quote from him about what he was told by the Steelers.

My real fear is that this return to the good old days is because Ben is going to jail and we are circling the wagons for a tough media year.

marc said...

If El thinks he is playing the #3 WR, he is delusional. Wallace is hands down our #3 WR. more than anything, El will spell ward in the slot, alternate returning kicks, and help mentor our young WR's.

and maybe he'll throw an occasional pass as well.

Pgh Saint said...

Wasn't Randle El a quarterback in college?
With the Big Ben pants on the floor case, are they thinking of El as a possible partime quarterback.
I also wonder if the Big Ben behind the scene problems were the reason for quarterbacks coach Kenny Anderson retiring?

emac2 said...

``We've talked about just playing No. 3 receiver. That's all we talked about. I'm not even sure about punt return, now that I think about it. The way I always look at it, I'm going to go in and be No. 3.’’

Anonymous said...

Thinking Ward will retire this year is idiotic.

Dan said...

I can't really care about this FA stuff. None of it really matters until we know what's going to happen with Roethlisberger.

marc said...

based on recent pics of big ben, doesn't look like he's started his offseason conditioning program yet.

Dale Lolley said...

Ward is not retiring. He told me he wants to finish his contract, which has two years left. As for him not playing at less than 100 percent, I'm not sure where that comes from. He's almost always playing at less than 100 percent.

I think the vet signings at WR - to long-term deals - shows that they don't have faith in Sweed coming back.

Also, Allen replaces Tyrone Carter on the roster, so even though he's 27, he's still younger than TC.

They also signed an offensive tackle today, Jonathan Scott of Buffalo. He looks like a swing guy who can play left or right tackle.

Anonymous said...

Someone over at the steelcityinsider forums posted that Sweed tested positive for HIV. Any possibility that he could be right? It has to be something major for the Steelers not to have said anything about it and for no word at all to have leaked out.

Someone at a another forum posted that a friend of a fried told them Holmes failed another drug test. Any truth to that Dale?

Or is it just random posters just passing along fake info?

Anonymous said...

Attention turds, Ryan Clark is back.

And that didn't come from a friend of a friend who posted on a forum about the medical condition of some person they have never met.

Dale Lolley said...

I'm not going to comment on stuff like that.

emac2 said...

I was referring to 100% effort not 100% healthy - that probably goes out the window at spring training unless you go with the new math that allows 110%.

I was referring to him as being a player that will continue to play all out and throw his body around like a kid. He is much more physical then most receivers and he isn't that big. Some guys would just ease back on the effort a little but Ward will go full out until his body falls apart.

When he starts asking himself how he can play a little softer to spare his body I think he will pack it in.

None the less I am simply speculating because I don't think EL would have been signed as a 4 and think something is up with one of the top 3 we haven't heard yet.

alexrkirby said...

I think Randel El's play has dropped off quite a bit in the last 4 years. He would be lucky to be the 4th wr on alot of team. He will not unseat Holmes, ward or wallace that is for sure.

Dale Lolley said...

They always tell free agents they'll get a chance to compete for a job. I'm sure ARE was told he'd get the opportunity to compete for the third spot, not that he'd be it - period.
That's just not the way the Steelers operate.
Ward is coming back for sure. It's always possible that Holmes had another problem, but I have heard nothing to this point.
Could be they just wanted to upgrade the WRs considerably after finishing last season with David Boston and Tyler Grisham on the active roster.

Patrick said...

David Boston was on the active roster? ha

I know you meant Joey Galloway, but Boston is pretty funny.

Dale Lolley said...

Same difference, same washed up receiver from Ohio State.

Patrick said...

ha I guees so, I don't even remember the last time I saw Boston on a football field. Boston was always worth a laugh to me.

Anonymous said...

any concerns over paying ARE and Battle over $1M each per year to be our #4 and #5 WRs? Seems like a lot of cap room to tie up, especially if ARE might not handle returns.
Of course, we paid Madison $1M to be a gunner, so hopefully Battle can do that and also play WR.

Tim said...

I get that the Steelers are acting as though Sweed will not be back because of whatever problem he has.

But if he sorts it out, and comes back to compete, will they give him a fair chance? I think that when it comes to playing ball, he should be on the team. He still has the goods to be a star.

Anonymous said...

If Big Ben is convicted and eliminated from the roster, there will be a lot of cap room to play with.

Benjamin said...

What salary cap?

Anonymous said...

"any concerns over paying ARE and Battle over $1M each per year to be our #4 and #5 WRs? Seems like a lot of cap room to tie up, especially if ARE might not handle returns."

Don't worry, only one of them will stay. They need the roster spot for grisham :)

SKINLEY said...

What Benjamin said....there is no cap this year.

Dale Lolley said...

As mentioned, there is no cap this year. And players who are released don't count against any future cap. The only thing they'd be on the hook for is the signing bonus.

alexrkirby said...

Does the rule guaranteeing the salary of veterans apply in an uncapped year? If it doesn't the Steelers can unload these guys at anytime with no repercussion.

Anonymous said...

I also heard a rumour from a reliable source within the Steelers organization that Sweed in fact is HIV positive.