Don't put it past an agent to plant news there's interest between his client and a team - one like the Steelers usually fits the bill. "Hey, if the Steelers are interested, he must still be good!"
This isn't done for the fans, either. Obviously there's a reason behind an agent's motivation to get the media talking about a player.
We knew about Lance Moore's pending visit well before he actually arrived in Pittsburgh. We read reports identifying other free agents allegedly coming for a visit, including at least one who was mentioned, scheduled for a visit and signed by another team.
We knew nothing about Maurice Jones-Drew coming to down until Adam Schefter reported he was already in Pittsburgh. We were linebackers losing sight of the diminutive MJD behind the behemoth offensive linemen.
Will he explode into the South Side the way he's exploded into the second level like he has so many times over the last eight seasons?
Explode or not, the issue here is simply the fact the Steelers are talking to him in person. There's been little to no action on the free agency market for running backs (unless you consider Jonathan Dwyer or the oft-injured Ben Tate to be big signings...don't answer that, Browns fans, I just ate).
Cap room or not, they're still talking to him. The notion can be considered there's a certain amount of help from one friend to another - whatever relationship that might be. MJD is looking to help boost his market so he comes to Pittsburgh and asks to chat with the Steelers. The Steelers say "sure, why not, we were looking for a fourth to join us for lunch anyway."
Someone drops the line to Schefter, and BOOM! Story is exploding. Speculation flies. Other teams take notice.
But he would fill a role. The Steelers gave rookie Le'Veon Bell the ball 289 times in 13 games. Over a full season, at the pace he was at last season, he would have had 1,058 yards rushing, 491 yards receiving and 10 total touchdowns. That's a huge chunk of offense. The next step in formulating the key component of an offense is to buy insurance.
MJD, if willing, could be that insurance. Unless his agent is the least prepared player representative in the world, it's extremely difficult to think he isn't aware of Bell's production, and the fact Bell's salary is likely to be lower than the minimum for Jones-Drew.
They know all these things, yet, he was still there.
Both sides are aware of the situation and both sides have their own reason have that discussion, and it's just too mutually beneficial to think it's smoke and mirrors.