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

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Free agency set to start

With the free agent period set to start next Monday, here are some players that could draw the interest of the Steelers in no particular order:

OLB/Edge Rusher
Jabaal Sheard: The former Pitt star has fallen out of favor in all of the coaching changes in Cleveland. But he's 25 and had 21 sacks in his first three seasons before getting just two in limited snaps last season. He's also good against the run.

Trent Cole: Yes, Cole is 32. But the Steelers are coming out of this draft with another edge rusher, possibly in the first round. The Steelers could sign Cole to a one- or two-year deal while that rookie gets up to speed. He's recorded 14.5 sacks over the past two seasons as an 3-4 OLB for the Eagles.

Brandon Graham: Another Eagles player. Now that they've cut Cole, the Eagles could go strong after Graham, who had 5.5 sacks last season serving as Philadelphia's No. 3 OLB.

Karl Klug: I love this guy's motor. He's the reason why I didn't just title this OLBs, because at 6-3, 278, he'd have to be used as a situational pass rusher in the nickel and dime defenses. But he's had 14.5 sacks over four seasons as a backup for the Titans in very limited playing time. He kind of reminds me of a young Brett Keisel without the pure length that Keisel has.

Cornerbacks
Patrick Robinson: A former No. 1 pick in New Orleans, Robinson never lived up to that hype. But a change of scenery could help. He does have nine interceptions, which is what the Steelers want out of their corners. At 5-11, 191, he's also more what they want in size as well.

Perrish Cox: Originally, I was more interested in Cox' teammate Chris Culliver. But it appears he will be highly sought after. Cox is a nice fallback option. At 6-1, 190, he has good size. And he had five interceptions in 2014 working on a one-year deal. Still just 28, he's got some football left in him.

26 comments:

Steve from North Carolina said...

Good Stuff as always Dale. Thanks!

One question that is kinda related. Any news on Ben's contract? It seems to me that getting Ben done before FA will free up cap dollars and give them a lot more flexibility moving into next week.

marc said...

sheard would be a great signing, imo. he got stuck behind kruger (a free agent signing from the ravens) and mingo (a high draft pick). sheard's first two seasons were very good until then. many have been critical of the browns for putting mingo ahead of sheard simply because he was a high draft pick. apparently, he is also looked up to in the locker room, based on local reporters' comments.

BlackNGold said...

You don't think there will be an interest in Tamba Hali? Or is he going to be too pricey?

Dale Lolley said...

Talks are still ongoing with Ben.

Hali would also be of interest if he is cut loose.

BlackNGold said...

Yeah I realize he hasn't been cut, just rumored its going to happen. Also, what about Shareece Wright or Brandon Flowers as possibilities at CB?

Dale Lolley said...

Flowers is going to get paid big bucks. Wright's OK but I'm not a big fan.

Joe Jones said...

When Polamalu retires or gets cut how much cap room does that free up?

Enough to go after someone like Hali or Devin McCourty, etc.?

Dale Lolley said...

Wright's OK, but they're looking for guys who can force turnovers. Wright has one career interception

Dale Lolley said...

I don't see them going after McCourty. They want Sharmarko Thomas to start. Hali would be a possibility depending on his price.

Joe Jones said...

One more name Dale. Speaking of creating turn-overs, Antonio Cromartie?
I remember Colbert having reported interest in him when he left the Chargers for the Jets.

Dale Lolley said...

Don't see them bringing in Cromartie. He wants to return to New York.

Patrick said...

doesn't Cox have major off the field issues? I'd be surprised if he isn't someone they would blink an eye at.

Robinson and Sheard are intriguing options. I think Robinson can play safety too - wasn't there a debate when he was coming out about whether he should be a safety.

Troy seems to be all but cut. I think NE and is going to sign him and he is going to have a good season or two with them. That will suck.

Fresh2Def said...

I agree patrick. I can see 43 going to NE as well.

Anonymous said...

Dale, I've seen a few reports lately that Troy Polamalu was not pleased with the attitude of the younger players on the defense. I've also seen that he wasn't pleased with Tomlin for failing to install the "Steelers way" in the young guys. Is there anything behind this?

Joe Jones said...

I highly doubt Troy P has anything left. He didn't show anything last year and he's never been a cover specialist. I think he's done, wherever he ends up.

Joe Jones said...

Much appreciated, dale.

Robbie said...

"Dale, I've seen a few reports lately that Troy Polamalu was not pleased with the attitude of the younger players on the defense. I've also seen that he wasn't pleased with Tomlin for failing to install the "Steelers way" in the young guys. Is there anything behind this?"

Funny how this all comes out now that Troy has one foot out the door, but no Steelers reporter had the guts to report it during the season.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard that reported anywhere.

And what young players does Troy not like? The defense is loaded with old timers. Many of which shouldn't have been starting over the younger guys at all.

SBK said...

It was in a poorly written article by someone equivalent to "Crash" as far as having a grudge if you're familiar with him.

~SBK

Robbie said...

Dejan Kovacevic reported it:

http://dkonpittsburghsports.com/2015/03/06/friday-insider-troy-will-depart-with-pride/

I also heard Mark Kaboly say the same things on the radio.

Dale Lolley said...

Cox was acquitted of sexual assault. Only trouble he's had to my knowledge and was ruled innocent.

As for the guts comment, can't report what I didn't see. Troy was not often around in the locker room last year. He was off receiving treatment for one ailment or another.

Also don't see him making that statement to anyone. Not his style. And if he did, why didn't THEY report it then?

Henigin said...

Dale - any thoughts on Virgil Green? Seems like a great guy to pair with and eventually replace Heath

Dale Lolley said...

Well, he's got 23 catches in four seasons, so I don't know that he's necessarily what you're looking for as a receiver.

Also, the Broncos are intent on keeping him.

Joe Jones said...

What kind of money would you think Gresham would get?
Is he worth it? He's a complete TE just like Heath. Not flashy but big and strong.

marc said...

dale,
any predictions with FA officially starting tomorrow. seems like a lot of the big deals are already done. could the steelers actually make a play on the first day this year?

Joe Jones said...

Are you sure he's not a receiver?
Dalton sure isn't a quarterback..