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Friday, January 24, 2014

Free agency on the horizon

With free agency on the horizon, the lists and rankings of NFL free agents will start to find their way onto the internet.

Rotoworld has put out its list of potential free agents here.

There are some interesting notes for the Steelers.

Linebacker Jason Worilds, the Steelers' top target to re-sign before free agency begins, is the second-highest rated outside backer available according to Rotoworld.

Only Washington's Brian Orakpo is rated higher according to the site, with Worilds rated better than guys such as Shaun Phillips, Keith Rivers, Parys Haralson and Larry English.

Actually, it's not a very deep outside linebacker crop, which could play well for Worilds.

At defensive end, Brett Keisel ranks 15th on the list, while Ziggy Hood is the 16th ranked defensive tackle. Al Woods is ranked 30th at defensive tackle.

Ryan Clark comes in at 10th among safeties available - right behind old-as-dirt Charles Woodson - while Will Allen is 34th. Former Steelers safety Ryan Mundy, who played for the Giants this season, is rated 23rd.

At punter, Mat McBriar, who took over at midseason for the Steelers and did a so-so job, is rated third, just ahead of the guy he replaced, Zoltan Mesko. The only two guys available considered better than those two are Pat McAfee and Donnie Jones.

On the offensive side of the ball, La'Rod Stephens-Howling is rated 14th among running backs despite missing all but one game of the 2013 season with a knee injury. Right behind him is Jonathan Dwyer, while Felix Jones is rated 20th.

Former Steelers starter Rashard Mendenhall is seventh on the list.

Emmanuel Sanders is rated as the ninth-best wide receiver available, just behind Anquan Boldin and Andre Roberts and ahead of Riley Cooper, oft-injured Danario Alexander and Jacoby Jones. Jerricho Cotchery is 17th.

At tight end, David Johnson is 20th, while Michael Palmer is 25th.

Former Steelers offensive tackle Willie Colon is the third-ranked guard in free agency this year, while Fernando Velasco is rated as the eighth-best center available despite an Achilles' tendon injury.


ibygeorge said...

Doesn't sound like Worilds will come cheap. Will the Steelers pay more than Woodley is worth?

Anonymous said...

Tyson Jackson could be a nice Ziggy replacement. If they want one.

Zac in Tempe

Dale Lolley said...

They're not going to be able to afford a lot on the free agent market. Pay some of their own. Maybe one or two mid-level guys - a free safety and/or defensive lineman. That will be it.

Noel said...

At times Ziggy has seemed to deserve the "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane" label and I haven't always been a fan of his but he's been a starter on some highly ranked defences. I'm hoping they keep him. He knows the scheme and has been reliable. He's a good example though of a guy who's gym-strong and doesn't play with leverage and the kind of real strength that we've seen other guys play with. That's a knock against him but there's no doubt he can be a solid contributor to the defense even if he doesn't have Heyward's ability to go into beast mode a few times per game.