The #Redskins are interested in bringing back Roy Helu Jr. but he absolutely will test the free agent market. Plan all along. 50/50 at best.— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) March 4, 2015
The Steelers want to bring in a running back who can gain tough yards inside the tackles as a means to help alleviate the weight on the shoulders of All Pro RB Le'Veon Bell.
That doesn't mean their options are limited solely to guys weighing 230 pounds or more.
Washington's Roy Helu looks to be the odd-man out in the Redskins' backfield, and even though he plays around 215 pounds, he's a good zone runner, and with Bell facing what looks like anywhere from a two-game to a four-game suspension, they will need a runner who can make an impact on 20-25 touches in those games.
Helu seems like a good combination of youth (he's 26 years old with an average of eight touches a game in four seasons) and ability (averaged 5.4 yards a carry for the Redskins last year).
With so many other veteran options available, including the league's leading rusher and Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray, as well as the likelihood of future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, Helu's asking price may end up falling into a range the Steelers could be comfortable with.
While Helu would likely want to go somewhere he'd see more action, if he's unable to find a long-term deal, the Steelers would be a great option for him. He'd get the duration of Bell's suspension to show his ability as a featured runner, and perhaps hit the market next year with that film in place.
The Steelers seem poised to look at the draft for a long-term back-up, such as David Cobb of Minnesota - a good combination of power and agility that would compliment Bell's open-field style. The Steelers could address the position both in the draft and free agency, and Helu would be a name to remember.