Keep or Sell: Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agents


Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The time is finally hear when we start to hear of teams making offseason and free agent decisions, including the Pittsburgh Steelers. We start contemplating which free agents should stay, which ones should go, who is going to replace them? Here is the list of Pittsburgh Steelers free agents and whether or not they should stay or go!

Plaxico Burress: Plaxico shouldn’t have been signed back last year. This isn’t even a question. He is gone, probably from the NFL altogether. Too many younger guys. K/S: Sell

Jerricho Cotchery: Jerricho was a pleasant surprise last year. Was it me, or every time I saw a receiver in the end zone it was Jerricho? Jerricho will not command top dollar, and he shouldn’t, because he is up in years and doesn’t offer much more than a third receiver. However, he is a Big Ben favorite and he would probably take a discount knowing the Steelers cap situation in order to stay in the Steel City. He can also be a tutor to the younger guys. But he shouldn’t be offered any more than a 2 year contract. K/S: Keep

Emmanuel Sanders: Manny has never really lived up to the hype surrounding him every year that he will finally breakout. There is no way that the Steelers bring him back for top dollar. I also doubt he will take a discount, so he is good as gone. Welcome Sanders replacement, Markus Wheaton. K/S: Sell

Jonathan Dwyer: Jonathan is really starting to grow in the hearts of Steelers fans. He just keeps on running. The Steelers do need a bigger back, so why not just retain Dwyer for the minimum who is familiar with the system, players and coaches. We already know he gives 100%. K/S: Keep

Felix Jones: I hated the signing of Felix Jones. I thought he brought absolutely nothing to the team except the hatred brought out of Steelers fans when he barely made it out to the 20 on kick off returns. Jonathan Dwyer should be kept over him and there is no question about it. K/S: Sell

LaRod Stephens-Howling: During the preseason, it seemed like Howling would have a big part in the Steelers offense. However, when he tore his ACL, his future with the Steelers was over. He shouldn’t be retained considering there should be plenty of options late in the draft who could be a speed back for the Steelers and be a little bit cheaper. Personally, I hope DeAnthony Thomas is on the Steelers mind. K/S: Sell

David Johnson: David is another guy who just won’t leave the Steelers. It looked as though he had a future with the Steelers when Todd Haley came to town and installed a fullback in the offense, but by now, that job is firmly secured by Will Johnson. After consecutive seasons on injured reserve, there are plenty of other options out there who can compete for a third tight end position better than he can, especially if tight end is considered a mid round need by the Steelers. K/S: Sell

Michael Palmer: Like David Johnson, there are plenty of other options out there. Why keep Palmer when you can bring a rookie to be a third or fourth tight end who can turn out to be an absolute beast? K/S: Sell

Fernando Velasco: Is this a question? Keep the guy. He did a very admirable job taking over the position when Pouncey went down and should be retained relatively cheap since he is coming off of a major injury. You could even switch him to guard and so he has position flexibility. K/S: Keep

Cody Wallace: The Steelers could end up having a really good offensive line with good depth if they keep both Velasco and Wallace. Wallace should be retained, along with Velasco, and the two can be the backups to not only the center position, but also the guard position. Velasco and Wallace at the center and guard positions, Mike Adams at the tackle position, the offensive line will be covered.  Wallace will also come back at the minimum, so good backups with cheap contracts. K/S: Keep

Guy Whimper: If both Velasco and Wallace are kept, I think there won’t be much room for Whimper. Although he didn’t play horrible, the Steelers can probably get away with a rookie backing up Mike Adams. So he would be the backup to the backup. Anyways, I think the Steelers will only keep 8 offensive linemen. K/S: Sell

Ziggy Hood: I have made the case all offseason and will continue to do so, the Steelers need to bring back Hood to a multi year deal, something similar to what McLendon signed last season. There are too many other needs in the draft to take a big guy early, and Hood isn’t as bad as everyone thinks. Just because he doesn’t rack up the stats board doesn’t mean he isn’t doing his job. He knows the system and I believe if he and McLendon switch positions, along with Heyward at DE, this can be very solid D-Line. K/S: Keep

Brett Keisel: If the Steelers bring back Hood, the Beard is gone. Bringing back Hood is a much smarter move because still being in his twenties, he can be part of the future plans of the D-Line and will come back relatively cheap. There is a movement moving out all the thirties on the Steelers defense, and Keisel is in it. We will miss the Beard though. K/S: Sell

Al Woods: Another young player that the Steelers should retain is Al Woods. Mitchell has coached up the guy and it’s time to see him play. He will also come back cheap and can play all the D-Line spots. He can also be a part of a rotation, however he should stick to backup for now unless he can compete for a starting spot on another team. He should bring quality depth. He is quietly improving and one of those young guys who just needed time. K/S: Keep

Stevenson Sylvester: He was once considered the heir to James Farrior. Stevenson Sylvester shouldn’t even be considered bringing back. There are 3 other younger inside linebackers who all show potential, so adios Sylvester. K/S: Sell

Jamaal Westerman: Who are you? (just kidding, but really, we hardly knew you) K/S: Sell

Jason Worilds: To the one we have all been waiting for, Jason Worilds. At all costs, he should be retained. We saw what happened with Keenan Lewis last year, and look where we are at now, desperately looking for cornerback help in the draft. Worilds is the future of the linebacking corps for the Steelers and is looking like he can be a beast. He has a chip on his shoulder and that will only motivate him more. If it means getting rid of Woodley, Woodley is gone. With the ceiling Jarvis Jones has, Cameron Heyward ready for a monster season and Worilds being retained, getting to the quarterback will no longer be a problem. He is one of those guys I have stated all offseason as needing time, and look what time did for him. K/S: Keep

Will Allen: Thanks Allen for coming back and helping us out this past season. However, your nothing more than an old backup. The Steelers will be smart to select a safety in the middle rounds, if they don’t end up selecting one in the first couple rounds, and also have Robert Golden who Carnell Lake is still experimenting with. K/S: Sell

Ryan Clark: Along with Brett Keisel, Clark is more than likely gone. His play diminished last season, and Shamarko Thomas is hungry to play. Thomas didn’t play bad in limited playing time last year. A full offseason should help him and a full season starting will definitely kick start his development into the next Polamalu (One can wish). Keep/Sell: Sell

Mat McBriar: I am one who pays attention to the special teams unit and personally like when there is consistency with the kicking, punting and long snapping positions. Unfortunately for the punting position, that hasn’t happened. The Steelers should have never got rid of Drew Butler, and maybe he will get an invite to camp this year. But McBriar is not the answer to the punting position. Depending on Brad Wing’s leg and staying out of trouble, the job very well may be his job to lose. The punting position will either go to Wing or a rookie, not McBriar. K/S: Sell

Greg Warren: Like I said, I like consistency for the special teams units, and Warren has brought just that to the long snapping position. He is one of the best in the league and should be retained. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to sign him to a two or three year contract either so the Steelers don’t have to worry about the position for a couple years, but either way, they are comfortable with Warren and he should be back next year. K/S: Keep

That’s it. Free agency is the first step this offseason in getting the Steelers back into the playoffs, and that definitely includes signing some of their own back. Please feel free to let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

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