best and worst free agent signings of past 15 years

there's an interesting list in yesterday's post-gazette showing the steelers free agent signings over the past 15 years.  here's the link:  after looking at it, i've compiled some quick thoughts on the best and worst pickups over that period.  just some food for thought...


best signings:

1.  james farrior (2002):  defensive signal-caller has brought leadership, stability and inspiration.  HUGE and very underrated part of the last two super bowl runs.  thank you, new york jets, for giving up on him...

2.  jeff hartings (2001):  did for the o-line precisely what farrior did for the defense.  i only wish his knees had held up so he could have stuck around a bit longer...

3.  kevin greene (1993):  not a typical steeler signing in that he was high-profile and high-maintenance, but man, what a bookend he was to greg lloyd.  without greene there may never have been a blitzburgh.  he did for that first cowher defense what woodley has done for tomlin's first d...

4. ryan clark (2006):  a perfect partner in crime for troy polamalu.  clark's smarts, discipline and intimidating presence allow dick lebeau to play mad scientist with troy.  and his comeback from losing his spleen is flat-out amazing...

5.  (tie) kimo von oelhoffen (2000) and mewelde moore (2008).  both were steady players on super bowl squads.  kimo was a great bookend for aaron smith and i will forever love moore for his blitz pickup on aaron francisco on the 3rd and 6 play early in the game-winning drive in the super bowl.  francisco had  ben dead to rights but moore stoned him, allowing ben to step into his throw and then into history.  those are the little things that win super bowls...

HONORABLE MENTION:  Norm Johnson ("Norm!"), Clint Kriewaldt, Wayne Gandy


worst signings --

most of these players barely made a blip on the steelers radar screen, which may or may not qualify them as bad signings (if they came cheaply and filled a need, they may have been more functional than bad).  of the ones who do stand out as bad, however...

1.  Duce Staley (2004):  I loved Duce when he was healthy, but what did we get out of him?  7 games and a couple of carries against the Jets in the Doug Brien playoff game?  My expectations for Duce were just so high.  I thought he was going to be a fabulous pickup.  I guess that's why running backs over 30 are an endangered species...

2.  Dwayne Washington (1998):  I will never forget that Dwayne Washington wore #20.  That's because every time a team threw deep down his sideline the first thing that came into the TV picture was the back of his jersey and that big #20 chasing some receiver who was five yards ahead of him. 

3.  Kent Graham (2000):  i remember this because my friend nick, who lived in japan at the time, wrote me to bust my balls.  when people mail you from asia to make fun of the guy you just signed, that's a bad signing.

4.  Sean Mahan (2007):  should have changed his name to Sean Manhandled.

5.  The Entire 1998 Free Agent Class


there you have it.  pick away, if you'd like...

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