With all the flurry of extensions, cuts and negotiations, some Pittsburgh Steelers free agents have flown under the radar.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB
Felix Jones, RB
La'Rod Stephens-Howling, RB
Plaxico Burress, WR
Jerricho Cotchery, WR
Emmanuel Sanders, WR
David Johnson, TE
Michael Palmer, TE
Levi Brown, OT - cut/released
Rashad Butler, OL
Guy Whimper, OL
Fernando Velasco, OL
Cody Wallace, OL
Brett Keisel, DE
Ziggy Hood, DT
Al Woods, DT
Larry Foote, LB - cut/released
Jamaal Westerman, LB
Stevenson Sylvester, LB
Curtis Brown, CB - cut/released
Ryan Clark, S
Mat McBriar, P
Greg Warren, LS
Will Allen, S - re-signed
There's lots of good quality guys here, but some of which might just be washed up and find themselves on the hunt for a new job by next week. (March 11 being the start of free agency)
Steel Spike's must re-sign guys:
Al Woods, DT - The D-Line is just plain thin with depth and talented guys. Woods can play every spot on the line. You can't put a price on versatility, but you can throw money at it.
Jerricho Cotchery, WR - One word: Clutch. He's basically Hines Ward, but without the crushing blocks, and the "Pisses off every non-Steelers fan" smile.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB - Knows the offense, and can come in to spell Le'Veon Bell. However, Kevin Colbert should put the Casey Hampton Fitness Clause in Dwyer's contract.
Fernando Velasco, OL - Signed off the street, came in with less than a week of practice and performed well above expectations.
Steel Spike's Fringe Guys
La'Rod Stephens-Howling/Felix Jones, RB's - I see these guys as basically the same player, so basically flip a coin as to who stays.
David Johnson, TE - He's listed as a TE, but has been worked as a fullback. When he hasn't been injured, that is. Maybe bring him back for depth as he knows the system, and can still contribute in 2 TE packages, and as a "6th O-lineman".
Ziggy Hood, DT - I don't really know what to make of Evander. Reports say he's the strongest Steeler, but it's hard to believe when he gets blown off the line by a TE. Good for depth, so I expect they resign him to a modest deal. Maybe mirroring Steve McLendon's deal.
Brett Keisel, DE - Love "Da Beard", but he may be this years Aaron Smith. Sign him for a year or two for depth and leadership.
Cody Wallace, OL - "The Proctologist" does bring some "nasty" to the line, but the Steelers reportedly have that in Nick Embernate. I guess it just depends on if Embernate has recovered from his injury and they feel he can provide equal or better play than Wallace. Commitment to youth would mean Wallace is gone, though.
Stevenson Sylvester, LB - He knows the system, but has really shown nothing to say he can start, or even be a viable ILB backup. Special teams demon, though. So he should get a contract on ST alone.
Steel Spike's guys that are done in Pittsburgh
Plaxico Burress, WR - He's what, 35, and coming off IR. I just don't think he has anything left in the tank.
Michael Palmer, TE - Who?
Rashad Butler, OL - Again, who?
Guy Whimper, OL - Mike Tomlin dubbed him "Abdullah The Butcher", but he only saw the field in emergency situations until they Steelers could find another healthy lineman. Not exactly a vote of confidence.
Jamaal Westerman, LB - Another "who?".
Steel Spike's guys I could see going either way
Ryan Clark, S - I just don't know what's going to happen with "The Hammer". His play deteriorated, but he's also one of my favorite Steelers. Call this one "up in the air" for now.
Mat McBriar, P - The Steelers aren't exactly known for consistency at the punter position, so there's just really no telling what's going to happen with McBriar.
Greg Warren, LS - I want to say eliminate a specialist that does nothing else, but Warren has been the epitome of reliability, and if any of the other centers had shown an ability to be anywhere close to being as good as Warren, it would stand to reason the Steelers would have bid farewell to Greg before now.
Side note: I just started with the Twitter thing, so if y'all are so inclined to follow me feel free to do so, and I'll follow you in kind.
SteelSpike @st33lspikeFollow @st33lspike