Steelers re-sign Will Allen, another player they let walk in the last year

Joe Sargent

Bringing back Will Allen may help the Steelers, ultimately, but it's another step in a trend of releasing or not re-signing players, only to see them come back later, oftentimes along wtih a release of a player they kept instead.

There are two messages being sent in the Steelers' decision to re-sign veteran safety Will Allen.

One, they aren't pleased with their current level of production from veteran Ryan Clark. He was told at the start of this week leading into the team's Week 6 game against the New York Jets rookie Shamarko Thomas would see an increase in playing time in the base defense.

Two, this team made at least a few errors in evaluating the level of talent they had on this team.

They signed Allen after letting him walk in free agency. Allen signed with Dallas and was subsequently released. Jonathan Dwyer was released in the final cuts and Steeler Nation saw Isaac Redman rush nine times for eight yards, fumbling (officially) once in a loss to Tennessee.

Dwyer has since been brought back, and now, with the return of Le'Veon Bell, he gets a helmet over Redman on game day.

The Steelers also brought back Stevenson Sylvester, a player they didn't retain in restricted free agency, subsequently re-signed before training camp, then released him again in the first round of cuts in August.

To make room for Sylvester, they released Kion Wilson after putting him on the initial roster.

Brian Moorman was brought in to compete against incumbent Drew Butler for punting duties. The team kept Butler and cut Moorman. Then they cut Butler a day later and signed Zoltan Mesko - who is currently 31st in the NFL with a 41.9 yard average, and 27th in net with 37.6.

The team is handing the keys to the buck linebacker position to rookie sixth-round pick Vince Williams because the team did not add a veteran to back up Larry Foote, who was lost in Week 1 to a biceps tear. Williams has been less-than-adequate to this point, and while it's to be expected for a young player, especially one drafted so late, the fact Wilson was inserted into the lineup earlier than Williams, then released, shows another possible missed evaluation during training camp.

Will Allen is a solid veteran player. No one's going to confuse him for a Pro Bowl-level guy, but he played well in replacement of Troy Polamalu last season, and his insertion into the lineup over Ryan Mundy in Week 6 began paying dividends in Week 7. The Steelers locked down opposing passing games after that.

It begs the question why Mundy, and not Allen, was playing in the first place. But we're past that now.

Right?

Marcus Gilbert started the offseason program on the left side, and was eventually replaced by Mike Adams. That move yielded scores of pressure from the left, not the right, and led them to make a rare in-season trade for another embattled starting left tackle, Levi Brown. Reports from Arizona were the Cardinals were ready to release him anyway.

Bloody band-aids cover the open sores of this team and the more this continues, the more it seems like the team is choosing them over sutures. Maybe those sutures aren't available, and if that's the case, why aren't they?

There are fairly clear reasons why this team is 0-4 and while they're not all related to the presence of Mike Adams and Vince Williams, the manner in which the roster is being assembled, then re-assembled with those who weren't good enough to make the team in the first place, is fair to question.

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