If anyone is questioning Jonathan Dwyer's mindset as he prepares to enter the 2013 NFL regular season as the starting running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, I believe this Tweet may be meant for you:
An upset of today: Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer signed his sixth-round tender for $1.323 million. Didn't want to wait. Wanted to prove point.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2013
Dwyer was a restricted free-agent, and the Steelers offered him the minimum required tender level which still requires a third party to surrender a sixth round pick should they offer him a better deal and the Steelers not match. Some feel the amount of the tender over-estimates his value, but in salary cap reality it is still a fair value for a starting running back.
Should Dwyer excel while no longer playing in the shadow of Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman, his 2013 season will determine whether Pittsburgh will offer him a new contract at this time next year. Should the running game fail at his hands with film-room proof, the team would be allowed to let him walk instead, next off-season.
Evidently, Dwyer sought first to show the team he is willing to do whatever, whenever and wherever. He has watched the fiascoes which were Mike Wallace and Mendenhall, and is proving he will follow more of an Antonio Brown example, realizing the team pays for loyalty, and passes on personal infatuations.
The next step for Dwyer is to make good on his promise to continue to train and raise his conditioning above the gossip over his troubles in the past, and then he needs to adjust to a new run-blocking philosophy; but exhibiting the team-first attitude the Steelers look for when deciding to offer long-term futures?