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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Day 2 of free agency

The Steelers made a couple of moves on Wednesday that were much more Steelers-like, re-signing a pair of their own players, center Cody Wallace and long snapper Greg Warren.

Neither move will get much publicity outside of Pittsburgh, but both were solid moves.

Wallace will provide veteran depth behind Maurkice Pouncey, while Warren has long been a solid long snapper since joining the team in 2005.

The Wallace signing means the Steelers likely won't re-sign Fernando Velasco, though that's certainly not written in stone. Velasco, of course, missed the final four games of 2013 with a torn Achilles' tendon. Wallace started those final four games and the Steelers went 3-1.

Three players jumped ship, as running back Jonathan Dwyer signed with Arizona, tight end David Johnson left for San Diego and defensive lineman Al Woods was lured away by Tennessee.

Dwyer had an up-and-down career with the Steelers, leading them in rushing in 2012, then getting released at the end of training camp in 2013. The Steelers later brought him back, but he wasn't in their long-term plans despite the fact they don't have a running back on the roster with any experience behind Le'Veon Bell.

The Steelers would like to re-sign LaRod Stephens-Howling, instead, though they could also look for other veteran help.

 Woods signed with the Titans for $5 million over two years. Considering the Steelers will pay new safety Mike Mitchell just under $2 million this season, that was too rich for their blood, even though they would have liked to have him back since they have little defensive line depth.

Johnson, a former starter at fullback, hasn't played much due to injury in the past two seasons.

Meanwhile, a second defensive lineman, Ziggy Hood, spent Wednesday in Jacksonville meeting with Jaguars officials.

Woods, Hood and Brett Keisel, all unrestricted free agents, combined with Cameron Heyward and Steve McLendon to play the majority of the snaps on the defensive line last season for the Steelers.

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who was second on the team with 67 receptions for 740 yards and six touchdowns – all career bests – spent the day visiting with the Jaguars, as well. Sanders is scheduled to visit Tampa Bay today.

The player the Steelers signed Mitchell to replace, free safety Ryan Clark, will visit with Washington today. Clark joined the Steelers in 2006 after two seasons with the Redskins.

Finally, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, released by the Steelers Tuesday in a salary cap-related move, announced on Twitter than he will travel to Oakland to visit with the Raiders today.


Anonymous said...

I don't think he's played a snap there, but do you think Velasco could get a minimum contract to try to earn a spot playing guard?

Dale Lolley said...

He's played some guard in his career. Started three games at guard in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Dale, it looks like the Steelers are willing to part ways with both Al Woods and Ziggy Hood. Does that mean they have a lot of faith in Brian Arnfeldt and a developing Nick Williams or does this solidify Brett Kiesel on a a one year deal?

or both?

bruinmann77 said...

Dale any one else on the long distance Radar for a possible visit

Steve-O said...

I've seen several mock drafts predicting the Steelers to take HaHa Clinton-Dix with the 15th pick. Now that they have Mitchell, I think the prognositcators will start focusing on the D-line again. It'll be interesting to see how this free agency frenzy will impact the Draft. I for one am hoping that Mike Evans falls to us but I think that's wishful thinking on my part.

Anonymous said...

After the lions signed golden tate it's possible evans/benjamin do fall to us.

Wouldn't have thought it was possible last week, but defensive end might be in the conversation for the first pick. Just hope not NT..

bruinmann77 said...

Well it looks like Dwyer is joining Steelers West.

Lance said...

I am guessing the Steelers will draft Evans or Dennard, based on who is available. A lot of folks are crying for Woods and Hood, really? Cam Heyward was the only bright spot on that front 3 and we are afraid of them leaving? I trust the Steelers to have a plan, much like they always do, sign their own GOOD free agents, get a few mid level free agents that fit what they want to do (like Dale mentioned-no cover 2 small dudes) and then go into the draft not NEEDING anyone, although they will surely have needs, CB, WR, TE, DL.

There will be a lot of decent players out there for cheap once the dust settles, I have not seen on team make moves that I am all that impressed with. Overpaying for players that DID produce just does not work, see: Redskins/Raiders

Dale Lolley said...

Dennard doesn't really fit. He's a press-man corner and isn't very fluid dropping into coverage. Gilbert would be a better fit.

Patrick said...

I really think Gilbert is the pick if hes there.

If not him, Ebron should be there and that pick makes a lot of sense.

Patrick said...

I liked Dwyer, too bad he's gone. I thought he'd be a nice compliment to Bell. I know Bell is the horse, but they really need some depth there.

Anyone know what James Starks might get had for? Anthony Dixon might not be a bad option either. Its kind of worrisome to have a 2nd year guy as your most experienced back.

You have any thoughts on a vet they might bring in Dale?

Dale Lolley said...

Starks is a guy I like at a possibility in that role.

They still like Stephens-Howling as well.

Lance said...

I would rather have Gilbert, I just don't think he will be there (of course you never know), I agree he is the better fit.

marc said...

losing woods and likely ziggy hood the steelers will have no choice but to bring back kiesel for 1 more year. probably pickup a FA defensive end for depth and then draft one as well.

dwyer leaving is no big deal. he flashed at times, but clearly just couldn't do it on a consistent basis. too bad, he had potential. larod and a FA will be plenty depth behind bell.

who's gonna fill that FB/big blocker role for next season though?

Kelly said...

Jags just signed Hood. Getting thin on the D line.

Anonymous said...

Carrington will visit steelers. Lost hood and Wood, this guy ain't getting away. He does have leverage, though, knowing we lost two guys one being a starter. But he IS very good and like Wood can play NT. Sign the man!

Anonymous said...

the defensive line is officially a disaster

Eric T said...

In addition to maybe bringing back Kiesel for 1 more year, here are soome other guys worth kicking the tires on for DL rotation:

Adam Carriker
Terrence Cody
Aubrayo Franklin
Jason Hatcher
Cam Thomas

marc said...

go figure, hood ends up with a 4-3 team. people on this blog have been singing that tune for four years. wish him well, though. an enormously nice person.

Dale Lolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.