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Friday, March 13, 2015

A little smoke rises from the South Side

The Steelers got busy on Friday as the team signed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to what amounts to a four-year extension that will keep the two-time Super Bowl winner in Pittsburgh through 2019.

The Steelers basically reworked the final year of Roethlisberger's current deal, which was scheduled to pay him $11.6 million with  a cap hit of $18.4.

While the exact figures on the new deal haven't leaked yet, you can expect Roethlisberger to get an average of $20 or so million per year, though his salary in 2015 will be considerably decreased.

Both Art Rooney II and Roethlisberger alluded to this deal giving the Steelers, who entered the day $7.7 million under the cap, some additional cap space.

@ The Steelers used some of that space to sign free agent running back DeAngelo Williams to a two-year deal to be Le'Veon Bell's backup.

I know some wanted the Steelers to go out and sign a Reggie Bush or Pierre Thomas, but Williams, who has spent the majority of his career in a time share with Jonathan Stewart, is a little better fit.

After the LeGarrette Bount debacle of 2014, the Steelers wanted a player capable of accepting a role in which he might not get a carry in some games when Bell is going strong.

Do they want Bell to get all of the carries in 2015? No. But when he's tearing off 10-yard runs every time he's touching the ball in a one-score game, as he was doing last year at Tennessee when Blount stalked off the field, you have to ride that horse.

Blount always considered himself a co-starter with Bell when that wasn't the case. Maybe that's what he was initially sold by Mike Tomlin, but it quickly became apparent that Bell was one of the best running backs in the league. And you have to feed that beast.

@ The Saints are said to be actively shopping cornerback Keenan Lewis.

The Steelers should be interested. The question, however, will be the cost. And Lewis, given the current cornerback market in free agency, could be in high demand.

@ Free agent corner Patrick Robinson, Lewis' teammate in New Orleans, will visit the Steelers this weekend.


16 comments:

datruth4life said...

Dale,
If you were K. Colbert, what pick would you give up to get him? If a 5th rounder can get you Mike Wallace, do you think a 4th is enough to land Lewis? He has 3 more years on his contract at decent salaries for a good CB. Would you bite?
And also, do you think the fearsome foursome of Moats, J. Jones, Lemon and HoJo will strike fear in the hearts of NFL QBs everywhere?

Anonymous said...

Definetely for a 4th!!!! He would be our best cb!

Joe Jones said...

Not a fan of D-Will, but I guess I am now.

Not the worst option but only because it saves us a draft pick that we can use on something else.

Joe Jones said...

Looks like we're going OLB in rnd 1, and in also starting to think that Peters is going to be a lottery pick anyways.

Rnd 4 for Lewis would be worth it.

Dale Lolley said...

Fourth might not get it done. Again, the corner market has been brisk. Somebody else could jump ahead with an earlier fourth.

Plus, now the Saints are reworking his deal. That could be in order to move him - since it would actually cost them money against their current cap to trade him. We'll see.

Patrick said...

has deangelo williams ever returned kicks? If not, then I doubt the FO admits the Archer mistake so quickly, meaning that a RB drafted prior to RD 4 is probably out of the question.

Anonymous said...

If the saints are reworking his deal, it's to keep him. They can't re-work it in a manner to make the bonus acceleration disappear in a trade.

emac2 said...

I would be up for a 4th this year plus an additional lower pick or two this year and or next.

anon - why can't you rework a deal prior to a trade?

They have to resign Harrison so I'm not too worried about OLB but I am wondering if the defense might be better if they cut Cam Thomas and McClendon and get a stud for the middle of the Dline. We might find that getting someone elite in the middle of the line is the best way to improve the pass rush, line backers and pass coverage.

Anonymous said...

Keenan has 6.9 in remaining signing bonus/restructure bonus dollars to be allocated. If he's traded those dollars immediately hit New Orleans cap. Trading Keenan Lewis would result in an immediate 6.9 dead cap hit for New Orleans. No restructure/new contract is going to change that. Keenan Lewis was never on the trade block.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the last anonymous. There's nothing the Saints can do to that contract to get out from under a sizable hit if traded. The restructure last year made that so. It made it very attractive for any team wanting to trade for him. But virtually impossible for the already sadcap Saints.

And I didn't pick up on any allusions in that #7 presser of any hints towards cap relief in that extension.

Anonymous said...

I'm ok with the DWill signing BUT, why didn't we consider Roy Helu? He's a versatile back who signed for the same amount (w/Oakland) with much less wear and tear on the tires. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I like Helu a lot too but I don't he's the type of runner the Steelers were looking for to compliment Bell. He can catch and run very well but is closer to the kind of runner Bell, and to a lesser extent, Archer are

marc said...

I hope they are able to sign robinson today. also, are there any free agent OLB's out there worth picking up at this point?

Dale Lolley said...

Helu has had fumbling issues throughout his career. That could have been a turnoff.

They will re-sign Harrison later in the summer before training camp.

datruth4life said...

Dale, don't you think it's time to just move on from Harrison? He'll be 37 years-old. You're not going to even get what you got from him a year ago. Being a second slower as a pass rusher will get you the result the Steelers got against Baltimore in the playoffs, not nearly enough pressure on Flacco. Draft and OLB no. 1 in the draft and hope a vet shakes loose between now and the start of the season. I want to remember Deebo for what he was in his prime, not what he is right now. Time to just move on, with Deebo and Troy.

Anonymous said...

I think Harrison can be productive as a rotational player. Only way he is a starter is due to injury, which can definitely happen. He's a backup with a ton of experience, there are worse options.