2014 has been the off season where Steelers Nation reacquainted itself with the phenomenon of "free agent exodus" out of Pittsburgh, as the Steelers roster has been shuffled and reshuffled.
Several times now, pundits have declared Pittsburgh's free agent activity to have come to an end, if for no other reason than salary cap realities, only to see the Steelers make another move, having done the salary cap equivalent of shaking out the couch cushions for change to sign Adam Polesh just last week.
While declaring the Steelers pre-draft free agent activity to be over would only likely spur another move, BTSC have enough breathing space to invite the Black and Gold faithful to ponder these 5 Burning Questions on free agency....
1. The Steelers have made 8 free agent signings thus far, which is certainly a record. If you had Kevin Colbert's ear, what one other player (who must at least have been/be in salary cap striking distance) would you have signed and/or sign post June 1st?
2. Pittsburgh shocked the NFL with their day one signing of Michael Mitchell, yet Mitchell is the latest in a long-line of free agent safeties signings by the Steelers, including but not limited to Ryan Clark, Will Allen, Mike Logan, and Brent Alexander. Why is it that the Steelers so frequently address this position via free agency?
3. Ryan Clark returns to the Redskins this off season not having simply lived up to but having added to the Steelers legacy at safety. Where do you rank Clark in the pecking order of former Steelers safeties such as Mike Wagner, Donnie Shell, Glen Edwards, Carnell Lake, and Lupe Sanchez (ok just a joke to see if you're paying attention!)? Feel free to add former safeties not listed, but either way defend your choice.
4. The Steelers's aggressive signing spree has been fueled by advantage of the NFL's veteran minimum salary cap discounts. Are you and optimist or a pessimist that such spring bargain hunting in the form of Arthur Moats, Brice McCain, Adam Polesh and Darrius Heyward-Bey will pay dividends come the fall?
5. The discussion topic of renewing or not renewing Ben Roethlisberger's contract has taken place with individuals as varied as Art Rooney II and Ian Rapport. Our own Simon Chester has argued against expending Roethlisberger now. Agree or disagree?
And if the NFL can delay the draft into striking distance of Memorial Day, BTSC can add a Bonus Burning Question:
6. "Carlos" my upstairs neighbor here in Buenos Aires is a diehard Steelers fan who insists that the Steelers should have cut Ike Taylor. He's just as adamant about it as he was back in early September when he insisted that Seattle would defeat Denver in the Super Bowl. Is the adamant Argentine right or wrong on this one?
There you go folks. Since its been a while, here's a reminder of the rules. All work done in No. 2. dark pencils. Looking at your neighbor's paper is
allowed encouraged. Please show your work.