On the same weekend James Harrison signed a new, two year-deal, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert announced that the team is most likely done signing free agents.
Per Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Gary Dulac, Colbert reiterated Steelers president Art Rooney's previous sentiments about the Steelers pursuing any more free agents this off season. This means that running back DeAngelo Williams will be the only free agent from another team the Steelers signed this offseason, and the Steelers will address their other needs, most notably their need to upgrade at cornerback, in this year's NFL Draft.
"You always want to have a fallback, someone to complement your starting running back," Colbert said. "I don’t care how good you are, it’s really hard to play every down in this league. You want to have someone who’s been there, done that, but still not worn out, either."
Colbert made a similar move in regards to the Steelers running game in 2004, singing Duce Staley to beef up the Steelers backfield that already had Jerome Bettis, backup Verron Haynes and undrafted free agent Willie Parker. But unlike the Williams and Le'Veon Bell situation, Staley was brought in to start, while Bettis would be the short yardage, goal-line specialist.
The strategy couldn't have gone better through the first seven weeks of the season, with Staley being among the NFL's leading rushers that included his 125-yard effort that helped snap the Patriots' 21-game winning streak in Week 7. Bettis, who was excelling in his role as the team's goal-line specialist (who can forget his five carry, zero yards, three touchdown stat-line in the Week One win over the Raiders?), resumed his previous role as the team's starter after Staley went down with an injury prior to the Steelers' Week Eight home game against the 7-0 Eagles. Facing the league's No.1 ranked rush defense, Bettis bullied Philadelphia for 149 rushing yards as the Steelers stymied the eventual NFC Champions, 27-3.