Ranking Steelers best free agent signings under Colbert

James Farrior (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
James Farrior (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Farrior and the Steelers
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 27: James Farrior #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a defensive call against the Atlanta Falcons during a pre-season game on August 27, 2011, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

James Farrior, ILB

Contract: 3-year, $5.4 million

Steelers Stats: 154 G, 154 GS, 1085 tak, 30 sack, 8 int

I mean, could it be anyone other than James Farrior? Farrior came to the Steelers after five middling seasons with the Jets where he was largely considered a draft bust. Colbert and the Steelers worked some magic though, and he became an absolute Steeler legend after ten years with the team.

He was the anchor of the Steelers defense that dominated most of the 2000s. He served as the lead communicator and presence in the middle of the field that any good defense needs. He also had the athleticism to cover players, indicated by his 8 int’s he recorded with the Steelers.

For ten years the Steelers never needed to worry about his spot, he was that good. Even as he reached his middle thirties and his athleticism was wearing down, he was hard to take off the field since he was key in reading and communicating what the offense was planning.

While Farrior will never likely make it to Canton (his criminal two Pro Bowlers and one All-Pro won’t be enough to get him there), he easily claims the top spot on the list of outside free agents Colbert brought to the Steelers. Even as the team looks to the future with players like Devin Bush at the position, it is a stretch to imagine the team finding the value or player Farrior was for this team in his prime. A “hearts and smarts” player, Farrior goes down as Colbert’s best free-agent addition, and quite frankly one of the best free agents ever signed.

Trading back will be best case scenario for the Steelers. dark. Next

After 20 years manning the GM position, Colbert’s time with the team is slowly winding down. While some fans are itching to see him replaced, his track record will be a hard one to ever match. While he has had his fair share of misses in free agency, he has added some pivotal players that would play pivotal roles on the Steelers. While the splash isn’t always there, Colbert has a good sense of working the market in the favor of the Steelers.