Pittsburgh Steelers Sign Will Allen, What It Might Mean
Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Chris Carter (54) is congratulated by safety Will Allen (20) after recovering a fumble against the Cleveland Browns in the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to officially announce the re-signing of safety Will Allen as of Wednesday morning. But reports from Twitter and a capture of Allen’s agent’s thoughts on Twitter show that the Steelers and Allen have agreed to a new deal.
Quite honestly, I figured that Allen would not be re-signed in this off-season. I gathered that the Steelers would re-work/extend Troy Polamalu’s contract. Shamarko Thomas performed well in his rookie season, and should continue a climb upward as he works under Polamalu.
Now that Allen is returning, Ryan Clark will be allowed to walk as a free agent, and ESPN should quickly pick him up as their next mediocre former professional analyst. Clark’s production on the field plummeted while his affinity for appearing on talk shows and SportsCenter went way up. This does not mean that former Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas is completely out of the picture. The Steelers met with Delmas a couple weeks ago, but nothing has materialized beyond that. The Steelers are still over the cap by over $10 million now that Worilds has agreed to his transition tender – however, that could lower more if the team strikes a long term deal that allows them to remove the transition tag and get him a salary for 2014. More cuts are coming, and the Steelers could use the freed up cash to sign someone like Delmas who would add valuable depth at safety.
Could Allen’s signing stir up a camp battle come July and August? Possibly. I know what you’re thinking – a battle with who? Thomas is a SS and there’s no one behind Allen. I don’t think the Steelers are set on having Thomas play at strong safety only. He’s taken snaps at the FS position along with the traditional ‘new guy’ servitude on special teams. There’s a possibility that with the vet Clark going bye bye that the FS position could be a rotating carrousel between Allen, Thomas (and Delmas if they get him). Until the defense can prove it can stop the run, Polamalu will be forced to play that utility LB position he took snaps in almost all season. That will force Allen/Thomas/Delmas to be the over the top cover man – something all three are suited for (and where Clark was awful at last season).
Allen re-signing leaves a bit of indifference on the ‘feelings chart,’ but it is far from a WTF kind of move from the front office. So far, they seem to be playing things very wisely – being aggressive where they need to be and not taking huge risks where they don’t….. at least so far.
What do you think of the Allen move?