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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

McLendon visits Packers, signs with Steelers

Restricted free agent nose tackle Steve McLendon visited the Packers on Wednesday, a move that sent shock waves through Pittsburgh's front office, so much so that the Steelers signed him to a three-year contract extension on Thursday.

The Steelers tendered McLendon, who is expected to move into the starting lineup this season, at $1.3 million and had the right to match any offer he might receive as a free agent. But they would have received no compensation if he signed elsewhere and they decline to match.

Instead, the Steelers signed him to a three-year, $7.25 million deal, which is a decent price for a 27-year-old nose tackle with little mileage on him.

The Steelers still list McLendon at 280 pounds, but he's actually about 330.

Even so, he's a different style of nose tackle than Casey Hampton, who remains on the free agent market.

McLendon is more of a gap shooter in the mode of Kemo von Oelhoffen, than he is a rock at the point of attack.

Incidentally, Hampton's agent, Ralph Cindrich, told me on Twitter Wednesday that he expects his client to sign with somebody - possibly New England - once training camp begins.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I mentioned in another article that the Steelers are hamstrung as far as cap issues go. If the Pack signs McLendon, this will come back to bite the Steelers big time. Who will fill the middle, a 35 year old Hampton? Maybe, but what is troublesome is the exodus of young talent, Wallace, Lewis, Mendenhall and now possibly MeLendon. Maybe someone is asleep at the wheel, feel like we're in a poker game and are getting snookered. The good news is that the RFA period should be over in a couple of days, so maybe we'll get lucky.

Tom said...

If McClendon leaves does choosing a Defensive Tackle within the first two rounds become a no-brainer? Or do we gamble late rounds on a NT prospect and hope Ta'amu is ready to make the jump? So many holes in the depth chart needing to be addressed. Pressure is on the front office to draft some guys who can be plugged in right away.

Anonymous said...

The good news is the highest ranked player on their board will be a team need....since they need just about every position.

the front office just seems so flat footed this off season.

Anonymous said...

This offseason has been really bad for the FO. I've never seen the Steelers lose this much YOUNG talent. Our cap situation is so bad teams are thinking of trying pick off our guys. That is why teams think they can steal our players. We don't have ANY cash to match.

Dale Lolley said...

I just don't see the need to go get a nose tackle. Just re-sign Hampton. They've got two young ones on the roster.

They found McLendon as an undrafted guy. If Green Bay wants to offer a guy who has never been a starter more than $2 million per year, more power to them.

Steve-O said...

The Steelers built a contender for the last several years, but it simply cannot be sustained in perpetuity, particularly when you have a few misses in the upper echelons of your draft.

The bad news is they are rebuilding but the good news is that they are rebuilding from 8-8 so they still have the potential to be a very competitive team. With that in mind they really have to hang on to their young talent and put a stop to the bleeding. McLendon is their best current NT and unless they take Jonathan Jenkins in the draft (which is way too early at 17) I think they have to find a way to match.

marc said...

can we please stop with the "exodus of young talen" complaints. let's see:

wallace - the steelers decided to keep brown over wallace and many people believe brown is the better all around receiver. they were never gonna be able to keep both, so they made a choice. they hardly got snookered here.

lewis - stepped up and had one very good year as a starter, but lacks the ability to create turnovers. again, the steelers chose to go with someone else they feel is ready to start. they could've kept lewis if they wanted.

mendenhall - ran like crap the last season. attitude problem. enough said.

mclendon - he's such a good young talent teams have been clamoring over him all offseason - not. average NT who holds down the fort. those guys are all over the place. like dale said, if the packers want to pony of the money then good for them. he has yet to earn it.

the steelers are not getting snookered, they're not in dire need of tons of immediate impact players, they're not floundering the offseason. they're managing the team for the short and long term. that takes decisions that sometimes don't bear fruit until down the road, but it works. if you want to panic, then i encourage you to go back over the last 10 years, look at the players they lost, their misses in the drafts, etc and then realize they actually know what they're doing better than any of us.

Patrick said...

If the Steelers are 12-4 next year or the Steelers are 8-8 I wont be surprised, with or without McClendon, Sanders, Wallace, Harrison, Lewis, Allen, Mendenhall, Colon and Starks.

Lets be honest, barring stretches of injuries (and I hate that excuse), with Big Ben and the defense this team will almost ALWAYS be in the division hunt. They should have been in the playoffs last year.

I wish the Steelers had let Sanders go, so that matching McClendon wasn't a problem, but they didn't. Like Dale said, Hampton hasn't exactly been blowing his frequent flier miles with 0 FA visits, so the Steelers chose Sanders at the risk of McClendon. There are arguments on both sides, but generally this organization comes out winning their hedged bets.

Anonymous said...

The Pats set us up, the Pack knock us down if we lose McClendon, that was the snooker. Don’t know how we’re going to do in the coming season, but the Steelers went 8-8 last season, just lost their number 1 receiver, number 1 running back, number 2 cornerback and potentially their number 1 nose tackle. All of these losses were after their first contract, so we lost young talent this year, the previous year it was leadership.

Wallace played poorly last season, we’ve discussed the potential reasons why before, but he had some good seasons with the Steelers. He is one of the most feared receivers in the league because of his speed and opened up the field for the other receivers. The Steelers will replace him with Sanders who will leave next season but without getting a third round draft pick in return.

Mendenhall barely played last year, but again he produced a couple of 1000 yard seasons. Mrs. Isaac Redman thinks that the hubby is currently the number 1 back.

Lewis reached his potential last year, so we let him walk because we have Cortez Allen to replace him. At least the Steelers have a couple of seasons to test him out before he becomes eligible for free agency.

The Sanders decision is water under the bridge, but there is an interesting draft trade possibility with Atlanta. They’re looking to trade up in the first round as they may be targeting someone. The Steelers could net Atlanta’s first, second and fourth round picks, which while lower picks within the round, do provide an opportunity to fill more holes.

Henigin said...

Whatever happens with the Pack and McLendon, I think the Steelers will be able to match if they want to. They could easily rework a contract to push some of the cap $ from Colon forward from June, and have a net zero dollar impact in this year's cap. It will come down to whether they really want McLendon around or not -- maybe the Pack will offer him a reasonable 2-3 yr contract and they have just done all of the negotiations for the Steelers. Let's see what happens over the next week (including the draft) before overreacting...

Lance said...

Weel said Marc, well said.

McLendon could not hold 35 year old Hampton off when he was playing with a bad leg last year...next.

Slab said...

@ Marc- well said. This team was coming off back to back 12-4 seasons, lost a bunch of games by less than a score, played through batches of injuries, and still finished 8-8. It's the NFL, the margin between winning and losing is very slim. They lost a WR who got way too much money, an injury prone RB that they had already soured on, and a CB whose replacement was already waiting in the wings. McClendon hasn't shown himself to be anything more than a backup. If Ben and the whole OLine goes down again, the Steelers will be 8-8, if they don't, they'll compete for a championship.

Anonymous said...

You can read what others think about the move:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/17/packers-have-nothing-to-lose-by-talking-to-mclendon/#comments

Dale Lolley said...

McLendon left Green Bay without an offer, so stop the sky is falling stuff for now. They were just kicking the tires, perhaps in preparation for next year.
It also could have been a ploy to get Raji away from the dinner table and to the negotiating table.

Anonymous said...

https://twitter.com/adamschefter/status/324951887763886080

left because the steelers saw him slipping through their fingers and signed him.

this guy took like....50 snaps last year? at most? is he any good?

Anonymous said...

cue the rash of comments saying the Steelers panicked and overpaid

Pistol said...

I like it!! Sounds like he really wanted to stay in Pit too w what reports are saying about the contract details. Solid move IMO

Anonymous said...

I was worried that when we signed Sanders that we wouldnt have money available for the NT. Guess I was surprised they could structure the contract in a way that the majority of the money was in the second year. A win win if he stays healthy.

NIck

Patrick said...

Ha dale said "gap shooter"

Anonymous said...

Dale...did they officially release Hampton yet? Did I miss that some how?

joe said...

i'm not hampton, but did stay at a holliday inn express last night. hampton's contract is over. so they do not need to release him