Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Steelers have busy two days

The Steelers have had a busy couple of days, signing tight end Leonard Pope on Tuesday to a one-year deal and bringing back wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery on Wednesday with a two-year deal.

It's a typical Steelers move as they prepare for the draft.

Pittsburgh never likes to go into a draft with obvious needs and tight end and wide receiver were looking like obvious needs with just a couple of weeks remaining before the draft.

They are now not quite so pressing.

Are their other needs? Sure. Another guard or two - or possibly a tackle - would certainly be of some use. So would an inside linebacker and young quarterback to groom as a No. 2 behind Ben Roethlisberger.

But tight end and wide receiver are now way down the list.

© Cotchery signed a two-year deal worth $3 million, a pretty bargain basement price.

It was a prudent move to sign Cotchery for two years.

With Mike Wallace looking like he's not going to sign his tender offer - why would he and lose all of his bargaining power? - and both Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders scheduled to be restricted free agents at the end of the 2012 season, having Cotchery locked up for the next two season at least gives the Steelers one veteran under contract for those two seasons.

Do I expect Wallace or Brown to go anywhere? No. But it will be awfully difficult for the Steelers to keep Wallace, Brown and Sanders long term. And signing Cotchery to a two-year deal means the Steelers can bring a young receiver along slowly.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't CB a pretty pressing need? I haven't heard anyone talk about that. I think they only have four under contract, and they usually keep six on the roster. And of the four, only Ike is really a proven commodity.

I'm surprised they didn't re-sign Gay or pick up a similar cheap veteran as insurance. Maybe they still will before the draft, but I don't know who's still available.

Anonymous said...
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Lance said...

I believe Trai Essex signed as well, so that helps the pressing need at G/T since he can swing both.

A lot of interesting prospects visiting today, Hightower, RB LeMichael James, TE David Paulson, and G Amini Silatolu.

I am not sure how much leverage Mike Wallace has, he needs another accrued year to be eligible to be an unrestricted free agent, so it looks like the Steelers are holding the better hand all the way around.

Eric T said...

At CB they have Taylor, Lewis, Brown, Allen and a couple PS type players. Would not be surprised if they got one later, but I wouldn't call it pressing.

ToddinSyracuse said...

Dale,

Have you seen Essex lately. He was just resigned, but from a recent pic I saw, it could be TE. Dude is down more than a few new born babies...

Henigin said...

I'm not sure I see why TE was a pressing need. Miller/Johnson/Saunders was at least an average 1-2-3 depth chart at TE.

What the Steelers really need is a FULLBACK! Is Dan Kreider on a roster somewhere or could we get him back? (joking)

Also... since the Steelers are looking to sign a WR long term, why not offer the same or a bit lower contract to Brown, and then just let Wallace play under the RFA tender this year and franchise tag next year? I know that's not the Steelers' way of doing business, but certainly is an option. I actually think there is more risk of someone signing Brown to an offer sheet next year as a RFA than there was with Wallace this year, and this would take care of that problem.

datruth4life said...

Dale,

If you are the Steelers, would you sacrifice 1st, 3rd, & 6th to get a perennial Pro Bowl player at LG for the next 10 years? That is a question that the Steelers have to ask themselves about G David DeCastro. There is a chance that he could fall to the 16 to 20 range in the draft. LG is arguably your weakest spot on the team and this guy is arguably the best G prospect in the last couple of years. I also think Cordy Glenn will fall in this range as well. If you are asking me right now from film that I have seen on who will be the better pro and go to more Pro Bowls between DeCastro and ILB D. Hightower, I would have to say Hightower. I know the Steelers have 10 picks and several needs, but I also think that impact players win championships and if you have a chance to grab a Pro Bowl at a position of need, you should think long and hard about making that happen. Thoughts?

datruth4life said...

Dale,

Ooops, I meant to say that I think DeCastro will be the better player and go to more Pro Bowls, NOT Hightower. Just wanted to say that if the Steelers think a guy is a game-changer and the type of player that you want to take to M&T stadium in late December in a game that you have to have against the Ravens, then you have to think long and hard about that.

Jim said...

Is it just me or do we seem to have a lot of pass-rushing OLB's visiting? That would seem to be one position that we are completely set with 2 starters and 2 backups.

datruth4life said...

Dale,

I watched some film this week on a Division III kid at CB that looks like a Steelers type of corner to me in the 4th to 5th round. His name is Chris Greenwood from tiny Albion College. His Pro Day numbers: 6'1.5, 193 lbs, 4.34 40-yard dash, 43-inch vertical, 11-2 broad jump, 16 reps at 225 lbs. Granted, he was playing against many players who will never see a NFL training camp, but his click & close ability on film when the ball was thrown was very impressive. Loved his hands as well. He is as raw as onions, but could be quite a piece of clay for Carnell Lake to work with over the next couple of years. He's already on the Steelers radar. Just wanted to share in case he is mentioned as one of the 30 visits to the Steelers over the next couple of weeks.

Steve-O said...

We took Cortez Allen with very similar credentials so it's not out of the realm of possibility but they can only have so many of those types in the draft. I'm guessing he signs as an ADFA

Steve-O said...

I meant UDFA.

Dale Lolley said...

CB is not a pressing need. They love Allen and Brown and Lewis played pretty well last year.

Yes, they'll bring in some late-round guys, but I don't see it being the need that many national guys think. Now maybe they take a guy they can make a free safety or move Lewis to FS, but it's not a strong, strong need.

As for tight end, with Saunders suspended, who knows what his future is?

At guard, I don't see giving up three picks to get a guard, unless he was guaranteed to be the next Alan Faneca. Even then, I'd have to think long and hard about it. Giving up a third-round pick is tough. That's a guy who was definitely going to make your team.

marc said...

i would just like to see them take BPA in each of the first three rounds at OL, NT, LB (in no particular order).

love seeing cotchery come back. he must not of had much interest elsewhere, or interest from teams he thought could win i guess.

someone mentioned a lot of visits from pass rushing OLB's. well, they do need to plan for harrison's replacement. i don't see him lasting much longer. i think he's the type of player that once he falls off, it will be a hard and fast fall.

Anonymous said...

LeBeau's defense is predicated on the LBs making plays, particularly the outside guys. Why wouldn't they bring in rush LBs for visits?

They have 30 visitors(plus locals), but only ten picks(and will probably wind up with less). I wouldn't read anything into other than that they want to be prepared for all contingencies/are always looking to keep the OLB pipeline filled.

Henigin said...

Saunders suspended... somehow I missed that one. Maybe I was counting the days until leap year day or something.

marc said...

interesting rumors out there about wallace potentially holding out. any thoughts on that dale?

Eric T said...

marc, his thoughts are in the post:

With Mike Wallace looking like he's not going to sign his tender offer - why would he and lose all of his bargaining power?

marc said...

well, that doesn't really address the issue of holding out of camp or not. you can still bargain but show up for team activities, no?

Dale Lolley said...

Nope. If you don't sign the tender, you aren't under contract and can't participate in offseason activities.

Now, he could sign his tender and then come in and negotiate, but he would lose all of his bargaining power.

Anonymous said...

Addendum to CBA allows unsigned Tendered players to still participate in offseason activities short of training camp, while maintaining their bargaining leverage. Has to sign/enter a participation agreement with the club, which would still pay a player like Wallace his tender amount if he were subsequently injured.

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Extra-protection.html

Dale Lolley said...

But why would they? If they get hurt during OTAs or mini-camp, then what do they have?

Anonymous said...

There's an important difference between can't and won't. I thought you might appreciate the heads up on a little known change in the CBA. Sure, he won't show up for OTAs, but he could/can.

Henigin said...

Dale - do you have the ability to enable dates to be included in the timestamp for comments? All I see now is "7:58 AM" etc. for all comments, and don't really know how old the are.