clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steelers Depth Chart: Security of Redman and Dwyer in question at running back

The Steelers badly needed running back depth going into the draft last week, and now they might actually have too much. Who might be the odd men out?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The selection of LeVeon Bell in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft likely means the Steelers will look to get lighter at the running back position before this season.

Although it's no sure-fire thing, it's the next closest thing to it.

The question is which one?

Just last week the team was pretty shallow at the position, having let Rashard Mendenhall walk in free agency and cut Chris Rainey, while only having restricted free agent tenders on Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer (the team's leading rushers this past season) to go along with Baron Batch.

Now add in Bell and just signed free agent LaRod Stephens-Howling, and Pittsburgh is back up to five running backs on the roster heading into minicamp in May (not including fullback Will Johnson).

The Steelers kept five running backs last season - including Johnson - and it was probably a good idea considering the injury situation of Mendenhall. Not that any of them produced in a consistent and outstanding fashion, but they did all rotate in and out due to injuries and inconsistency.

Does Bell solve that problem? His 382 carries with Michigan State last year led the nation, and he's shown a high amount of durability, at the collegiate level at least.

Redman and Dwyer both have approximately $1.3 million guaranteed to each of them this season, so releasing them doesn't save anything against the salary cap. It may simply be an issue of production - a report indicated the Steelers were hoping to trade Dwyer during the third day of the draft, but nothing materialized for them. Some of that could be due to his contract - $1.3 million is a hefty chunk for a player who has yet to make it through 16 games, only racked up 623 yards last year when the starting role on the team was all but begging to be owned by one player, and has had a history of weight issues.

Depending on what the Steelers want to do with depth at the position one or two running backs could get released.

Bell will be safe, but the release of Dwyer or Redman could push Bell closer to the Week 1 starting position.