Monday, March 04, 2013

Gay signing means Lewis likely gone

The Steelers made a big free agent signing Monday, adding cornerback William Gay at a three-year deal.

It wasn't all that surprising. As soon as Gay was released last week by Arizona, which had signed him to a two-year, $4.95-million contract last season, the natural fit was for Gay to return to Pittsburgh.

It was a move similar to the one made by Bryant McFadden a couple of years ago. Unlike McFadden, however, Gay still has tire left on the tread.

Gay was solid in the slot for the Steelers in 2011 before leaving for Arizona, and that's likely where he'll be asked to play in 2013. That means Cortez Allen will move into the starting lineup on the outside opposite Ike Taylor, though the Steelers will likely call it an open battle between Allen, Gay and Curtis Brown heading to training camp.

It also means that the Steelers will now likely let Keenan Lewis walk - unless he finds the free agent market more soft than anticipated.

The Steelers liked what they saw of Allen last season, particularly when he started in place of Taylor in the last few games. Pittsburgh needs more playmakers in the secondary, and despite Lewis' solid play last season, he just isn't a guy who's going to get a bunch of interceptions.

What the Steelers can do is use the money they might have used to re-sign Lewis to make other moves, ie. sign a running back.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Horrible move. Gay is a very bad cornerback I don't care what any of u say. He is very bad

Dale Lolley said...

Yeah, part of two Super Bowl teams. Horrible, horrible corner.

kelly said...

I don't have a problem with Gay coming back, but I was hoping it wasn't a sign that Lewis won't be back.

Maybe Gay coming back gives the Steelers a little more leverage?

marc said...

kelly,
i'm with you. but we don't know their grand plan for this offseason. it would allow them to target a better FA on the offensive side if they wanted.

also, gay was fine as the nickel back, but gets killed when outside and having to cover more space.

Eric T said...

Good signing. Solid CB especially in the slot. Gives the Steelers flexibility to not over pay what they feel Lewis is worth. I hope he resigns, but going with Ike, Cortez, Gay, Brown/Victorian/Rookie isn't dire.

Henigin said...

"sign a running back"

Dale - any speculation of possible names here? I'm assuming low-priced options only like Chris Ivory, LaGarrette Blount, etc., and not bigger names like Reggie Bush or Steven Jackson.

Eric T said...

Maybe Shonn Green or Ahmad Bradshaw?

Anonymous said...

Michael Turner anyone?? What type of money would he command at this point in his career?

Anonymous said...

Reggie bush would b a beast behind an athletic, moving o-line. We'd never make a serious run at him but I just feel that would be a great signing. Chris ivory would fit in nice as well but I believe Dale said on a previous post that Ivory is a RFA and we can't afford to lose any draft picks!

Jim said...

This seems like one of those moves the average fan will decry but is sound team building by Colbert. You can't have three Pro Bowl corners on your squad and have adequate talent elsewhere (ask Philly!). The truth is Gay is a good nickel corner and adequate when pressed into a starting role in case of injury.

Allen is the only young player on defense who looks like he could develop into a star, which the D desperately needs. Get him in the starting lineup NOW.

Anonymous said...

Dale, is there any chance that this is the end of the road for Ike Taylor? I would love Lewis, Allen, and gay in the slot for the next 5 years.

Patrick said...

I'd love to them make a run at Emmitt Smith. I heard he's good at the zone blocking stuff that the new offensive line coach runs.

Dale Lolley said...

No, Ike isn't going anywhere.

As for the running backs, I like Gooden from Oakland, productive back who has gotten stuck behind some good players.

Dale Lolley said...

Michael Turner is shot.
Steven Jackson would be a one-year rental. If you're OK with that.
Shonn Green couldn't carry the load by himself in New York. He's also pretty much the same as Redman.

other-patrick said...

I really hope Lewis stays. He was really making some sharp plays this year. A shame to only get one good year out of a player.

Dale - DO you think the team will look for a FA TE to fill the gap while Heath recovers? Seems they need someone that can be counted on to play which means a FA or an early round draftee

Anonymous said...

Jared cook and Heath would be a nice combo

ibygeorge said...

I didn't see your feelings on R. Bush.

Lance said...

It should be no surprise that the Steelers are going to go into the draft not "needing" a position. The do this every year so they can go with BPA at a position of need. A team would be stupid to not have a full group at each position going into the draft, and Pittsburgh's leadership are not stupid. If Lewis stays great, but if not it is a pretty clever move bringing Gay back. Allen looks to be a better play maker than Lewis and you can not keep them all, Gay at the Nickle is ok by me, with Allen on the outside. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Lewis stay, but kudos to the leadership for being prepared either way.

I would not be surprised to see a RB/WR/LB/TE picked up in free agency (later of course) just so they do not have to reach in the draft. Another good move by the front office, this is why 8-8 for us is a "bad" year, other teams would cut off their right arm for what we have here.

Anonymous said...

Goodson. Mike Goodson. Not Gooden. You follow football, huh? :)

I like him too, especially for a ZBS, but he's as fragile as a paper cup. Need a better second option for the scheme if he's part of the "top 2" in a committe, IMO.



Anonymous said...

And yeah, they already have two Shonn Greene's on the team already(well, if they kept Dwyer they would).

Yo said...

So going back to the other side of the ball, what about Cliff Avril as a potential free agent at OLB to help upgrade our pass rush?

Dale Lolley said...

Sorry, typing that on my phone and it auto replaced.

Goodson would be part of the equation along with Redman and a rookie. Even if they tender Redman, he'll be unrestricted next year, so you need somebody else. I don't think they give Redman a second contract.

And as I've stated before, I don't think they'll tender Dwyer. We'll find out that in a week.

As for tight ends, I like Kevin Boss as a backup option

marc said...

i would take kevin boss in a heartbeat...solid player.

bytor said...

William Gay is a subpar cornerback. He was a liability when he played in Pittsburgh and unless he's had a dramatic improvement, he will be a liability this year.

ibygeorge said...

Obtaining a quality RB like R. Bush and we wouldn't have to worry about Gay being on the field much.

Anonymous said...

Solid move, Gay is a good nickel CB and remember, the nickel has to be able to handle a lot of reads in the LeBeau defense so his experience will help tremendously. It would have been good to keep Lewis, but at the expense of Allan's development? This move does a lot of things, it adds experienced depth and allows for flexibility. BPA in the draft and lots of corners available in the later rounds. Freeing up money by not having to sign Lewis means more money available elsewhere as Dale mentioned. Can't wait!

Dale Lolley said...

They actually got two good years out of Lewis. He was solid in the slot in 2011. Very solid as starter in 2012.

Gay plays well in the slot. Solid in coverage inside and is a plus blitzer from in there. On the outside, his lack of speed is a liability. But that's why Allen will be out there.

There's an added bonus to all of this. I expect that they will also get a fourth or fifth round supplemental pick for Gay signing with Arizona for a year. Now, they get Gay back and still get the pick.

kelly said...

Hey Dale, not disputing your 4th-5th round assessment for Gay, but I've read elsewhere that it's likely a 7th. I thought a 7th was low, but I have no idea how they figure these things out.

Ron Kurimsky said...

That would be a Huuuuuge error on the part of the Steelers. Gay appears to be a great guy & backup. But, Keenan Lewis has 4X the runaway of Gay. It isn't even close. Losing Lewis would be a really big loss for the steelers. As a matter of fact it would be a playoff show stopper unless they replaced him with a comparable DB. And, Willima gay isn't even close to being comparable.

Dale Lolley said...

The formula for comp picks includes contract signed, playing time and other factors.

Ron, you're still comparing Lewis to Gay. That's not the comparison to make. Lewis to Allen is the comparison.
They can't justify paying Keenan Lewis $6 or $7 million a year to be their third corner for a couple of of seasons until Ike Taylor is done.

And they don't simply want to release Taylor, who's still playing at a high level.

They like Allen's upside better than Lewis. They want him in the starting lineup, where he can create turnovers.

Henigin said...

Regarding Ivory being a RFA, the Saints have to make a decision on whether to tender him at $1.3M/no pick compensation or $2.0M/2nd round compensation. Given that they are cap-strapped and Ivory is their #4 RB behind Sproles, Ingram, and Thomas, I wouldn't at all be surprised if they decide to go with the lower tender. In that case, the Steelers or someone else could potentially sign him with no pick needed.

Henigin said...

Goodson is pretty well known for being dynamic but drops the ball a lot. Seeing how the Steelers rotated benching Redman/Dwyer/Mendenhall every time one of them fumbled, I don't see them getting rid of Dwyer and Mendenhall just to bring in someone who fumbles even more.

Patrick said...

I think you guys are all going to be disappointed when Dywer or Redman is starting and a rookie is behind them.

Maybe they draft Lacey with a trade up in Rd 2? Thats a big maybe. I more expect them to sign a Mewelde Moore type to pair with Dwyer or Redman (but not both) and then draft a back in Rd 3.

Also, in terms of Cortez Allen, I know he was forcing tunrovers last year, which is exactly hat the Steelers D lacks and needs, but are we confident he plays the run well enough to start and will be solid in coverage throughout 16 games? He makes me a little nervous and I expect some growing pains.

I don't mind the Gay signing. Hes decent in the slot and kind of fun to watch as a blitzer. I have zero confidence that Brown is any more than a ST player/4th corner. The new Chidi.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed that Dwyer or Redman were depended on to start games in '12, so nothing will be changing here if that happens.

Colbert has all but guaranteed there will be different running backs on the team when the season starts. It may be only in the form of rookies, but I doubt Redman/Dwyer(whoever is around) will be starting for very long.

Dale Lolley said...

Said it before and I'll say it again, I won't be surprised if Dwyer isn't tendered and doesn't come back.

Patrick said...

its either Dwyer or Redman. Both aren't coming back. I guess Redman makes more sense for a one year tender. I think Dwyer has the talent, just needs to get to the gym, now. Not in July.

Can't blame them if they don't want Dwyer back, but I could see him going elsewhere and being good. For whatever reason, I have a sweet spot for Dwyer. Its almost like he runs agnry. Then needs a quarter off to get back to it (and that is just ridiculous).

joe said...

gay is a good nickel back, hopefully he is getting not much more than league minimum. if he has to start at corner....bad news for the steelers

allen will be a starter, that's good. so why not cut ike and go with lewis and allen now. two young guys at the corners set them up for the future. i like ike, but he has only two years left. is there no chance he gets cut ?

marc said...

not that i am advocating cutting ike taylor, but if you were going to go with lewis/allen as your starters, wouldn't you trade ike instead of cutting him to get more value?

Dale Lolley said...

I love it when everyone in the offseason is crying about a rift in the locker room and a lack of leadership in the locker room and then want to cut one of the leaders.

They aren't cutting Ike. With the way he takes care of himself and works out, he can play another five years. He's a guy the young corners look up to.

Dale Lolley said...

I love it when everyone in the offseason is crying about a rift in the locker room and a lack of leadership in the locker room and then want to cut one of the leaders.

They aren't cutting Ike. With the way he takes care of himself and works out, he can play another five years. He's a guy the young corners look up to.

joe said...

i'm not crying about the so called rift in the locker room. i don't believe "everyone" is either.

i'm not bad mouthing or downgrading ike's play either.

just realizing we have cap issues and young guys who are ready and cheaper. when it comes down to it, i would rather have lewis and allen long term than trying to resign ike to a huge contract. unfortunate results of some salary cap issues the steelers have.

as far as trading ike, a possibility i didn't think of. neither is bound to happen, but i would imagine it has been discussed when looking at future salaries and the cap.

ibygeorge said...

I like Ike!