Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site: http://www.observer-reporter.com/section/BLOGS08

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Free agency, Day 3

The Steelers lost a second defensive lineman Thursday as Ziggy Hood signed with Jacksonville. Coupled with the loss of Al Woods to Tennessee, it assures the Steelers will have a whole new look on their defensive line in 2014.

That's not a bad thing.

The line was just OK in 2013. Cam Heyward is an emerging star and Steve McLendon is a good, not great, nose tackle.

But the Steelers didn't get much out of the other defensive end spot last season. Brett Keisel is 37 and clearly on the downside, while Hood never became the 3-4 end the Steelers hoped.

Pittsburgh will have Buffalo's Alex Carrington in for a visit later today. He was on my pre-free agency watch list and would be a good fit.

The Steelers are also bringing in San Diego nose tackle Cam Thomas for a visit. Thomas began the season as San Diego's starting nose tackle but was benched after 10 games.

The losses of Woods and Hood also increases the chances that Keisel might be brought back on a one-year deal. But if they do so, it would not be as a starter.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley signed a two-year deal with Oakland worth $12 million, or about $1.5 million than he's costing the Steelers in dead cap money over the next two seasons.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will make his third free agency visit. After spending time with Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, Sanders will head to Kansas City.

24 comments:

marc said...

if they can't sign Carrington, then DL may just move up to #1 on the draft list.

Joe Jones said...

I cant see why Keisel wouldnt sign for cheap. Doubt there's much of a market for him and his legacy in Pittsburgh would be worth it to come back discount.

Also Dale, do you agree that it's obvious the Steelers should trade back from 15 and still grab Nix, while moving up their next pick for a wideout?

Obviously if Ebron, Evans or Gilbert falls to 15, we'd have to give it thought, but in reality we're looking at Nix, Lee, Benjamin, Dennard, etc, so doesnt it just make sense trade back and get one of those guys anyways?

Jim said...

Wilfork wants out of NE. Looks like they asked him to take a pay cut and he isn't having it. What are the chances he & the Steelers could find common ground (probably slim, I know)?

Dale Lolley said...

Gotta have a partner to trade back with. In a deep draft such as this, teams might not be as inclined to give up picks.

Wilfork won't take a pay cut in NE. Why would he sign here for a bargain deal unless, like James Harrison last season, he finds the market isn't what he thought.

Pistol said...

Would Carrington be a depth guy or starter caliber? He just a guy no?

Anonymous said...

Cam Thomas coming in tomorrow. Would rather have him

bruinmann77 said...

I think Keisel would do a 1 year deal and be a reserve he that type of player i believe

Dale Lolley said...

Carrington is a better player than Thomas, in my opinion.

Carrington would likely be a starter, while Thomas would be a depth guy.

Pistol said...

Good stuff Dale thanks. In regards to the draft when do they start having facility visits??? Also, when can we expect a early mock?

Dale Lolley said...

Draft is still a month and a half off. They'll start with the official visits in a week or so once the college workouts are over.

I'll start mocking about a month out

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Oak will use Woodley at his college position, 4-3 DE.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dale any word on Alex Carrington? Did he meet with Steelers Thursday night or is he visiting today? Hope the Steelers dont let him leave without a contract.

Anonymous said...

But what about Carrington's quad? Obviously he gets a thorough physical before he signs a deal but how would they test to see if his torn quad has healed or is healing well? Could his health be part of the reason Buffalo does not seem to want him back? They would be more familiar with his rehab than anyone.

Anonymous said...

I don't think loosing Woods/Hood is a disaster but it's a stretch to say it's a good thing. Especially when you suggest using Keisel to replace them. He's 36. Losing a young talent and falling back on older guys is never good.

See Lewis > Ike Taylor.

John Kang said...

Any chance we could bring back James Harrison for OLB depth? Or were too many bridges burned?

Anonymous said...

all this guy does is trot out old information that we knew yesterday. Not one bit of analysis in this article, which is par for the course with Pittsburgh sports journalists. I think I'll head over to Steelers Depot if I want some real information.

Anonymous said...

Bullcrap Dale's blog is the best.

Dale Lolley said...

Oakland plays a 4-3, so Woodley would have to be an end there. Doesn't fit as a LB in that defense.

Harrison won't be coming back. They want to get younger, not older.

Buffalo had another player emerge while Carrington was out. Plus the Bills got a new D coordinator. But the staff there raved about him last summer. If he doesn't sign here, Pettine will sign him in Cleveland.

marc said...

@anon 10:38, by all means, keep reading steeler depot. it's where you belong.

marc said...

dale, agreed regarding pettine wanting Carrington. and, the browns have plenty of cash. Carrington would be smart to let the browns make him an offer, it will almost certainly be higher than the steelers.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

But he would be playing for the Browns, after Buffalo I don't think Cleveland is where you want to head, strictly speaking about football.

marc said...

the browns certainly have work to do, but defensively they are going to be pretty good, and probably better than last year.

they still need a QB and RB, but their WR/TE corp is good and the o-line gets more criticized than it should. the QB/RB play has been so bad it actually makes the o-line look bad too.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading Dales blog for years. Its great. Anon 10:38 is a DB.

Anonymous said...

Cam Thomas 2 year deal done...So much for Carrington I can't imagine the Steelers have the cap room for both right now. Unless they get a Worilds extension done yesterday.