Steelers Free Agency 2013: Cornerback Keenan Lewis is optimistic about possible return

Jared Wickerham

One of the brightest stars of the league's best pass, and overall defense, took to social media on Tuesday to set the record straight on his future.

It is unknown specifically who has been talking about Keenan Lewis, but evidently Lewis does not agree with some of the rumors being attached to his name.

On Tuesday, Lewis posted the following to his Facebook page in an effort to clear the air on his situation:

I was misquoted by a reporter saying it was a mistake not to give me a contract last year. Try to make my image look bad, but here Wat it is, I'm not money greedy, I had my exit meeting today and it went great. I know we in the right direction as far as a contract, I believe strongly I would be apart of Steeler Nation next season. To do a three peat as the number one pass defense period. Here we go

Lewis has showed steady improvement since being selected 12 spots after fellow free agent teammate Mike Wallace in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Lewis impressed head coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to eventually secure the starting cornerback spot opposite of Ike Taylor, allowing the team to part ways with veterans Bryant McFadden and William Gay.

Lewis started all 16 games in 2012, and demonstrated the ability to be a top level talent at his position making himself a desirable commodity when free agency begins in March of 2013, especially after accepting Taylor's role of drawing opponents' top receivers after Taylor broke an ankle in Week 13 and upholding the standard.

As Lewis alluded to in his post, the Steelers finished the 2012 season as the leagues best overall defense and pass defense, and No. 2 against the run. Lewis's contributions to defensive success cannot be overlooked.

Lewis is sure to be a top priority for the Steelers front office this offseason, as Pittsburgh will seek to continue its trend of dominant secondaries. As Taylor's career nears its end, Lewis could be the Steelers top corner by 2015, with Cortez Allen taking Lewis's second spot. If Allen is able to play with the same intensity and intelligence he displayed during Taylor's absence this season, the pass defense's trend could continue long into the future. Knowing they have three quality cornerbacks will also give the Steelers plenty of time to continue to develop younger talents like Curtis Brown, Josh Victorian and Robert Golden.

Lewis sounds content with the Steelers outlook on his situation, leaving reason to believe their offer will be competitive, and he is not demanding an outrageous offer. In an offseason where the team is already over the salary cap with only 38 of 53 players under contract, the Steelers will need players like Lewis to be willing to accept less than what they may be able find elsewhere in order to extend as many expired contracts as possible. However, Lewis is still likely to see an increase from the $1.26 million dollar restricted free agent tender he played for in 2012.

Lewis now becomes the second inevitable free agent (Ramon Foster) to declare optimism toward remaining in Pittsburgh through 2013 and beyond.

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