Skip to content

Looking at the Steelers’ offseason priorities

NFL Super Bowl Football

We wrote a post on Wednesday breaking down the Packers free agent priorities.

The folks over at NBCSports.com liked the post enough to ask if we could do one for all 32 teams.   (And there’s so little news this time of year we’ll actually follow through.)

Sure, free agency may not be until August.   Like NFL teams, however, we need to be prepared for every scenario.  Each team’s free agent priorities won’t change in the meantime.

Today, the AFC Champion Steelers get the treatment as we primarily look at expected unrestricted free agents.

The big one: Lamarr Woodley.

Woodley was Pittsburgh’s best defensive player in the playoffs.  He’s a huge part of their future and Pittsburgh will likely use the franchise tag to keep him before working on a long-term deal.  James Harrison has set the bar high for linebacker contracts.

The key ingredients: Right tackle Willie Colon and cornerback Ike Taylor.

The Steelers have three players arguably worthy of the franchise tag.  Colon’s free agent value may be down after missing 2010, but he was arguably Pittsburgh’s best lineman before he got hurt.  They are too thin at tackle to let him go.

Taylor is the best cornerback on the team.  He’s the type of good, not great player with a lot of big game experience that could strike it rich on the open market.  He may prove tough to keep.

The tackle problem

Colon is a free agent.  So is backup left tackle Jonathan Scott, who started in the Super Bowl.  16-game starter Flozell Adams is due $5 million next year, which is more than he’s worth.   Backup guard Trai Essex, who was drafted as a tackle, is also a free agent.

Role players:  Running back Mewelde Moore, center/guard Doug Legursky, linebacker Keyaron Fox, cornerback William Gay, defensive linemen Chris Hoke and Nick Eason.

The Steelers still need a backup running back/third-down specialist, so Moore could be return.  Legursky made himself some money against the Packers.   Fox is good for crushing special teams penalties in the Super Bowl.  Gay never quite developed and could be gone.

Specialists: Punter Daniel Sepulveda and kicker Shaun Suisham

The Steelers have to be the only team with their starting punter and kicker unsigned.  Suisham may not be back after his Super Bowl hook and Sepulveda is coming off a torn ACL.

Long term thinking

Troy Polamalu’s contract ends after the 2011 season.  He’s next in line after Woodley for a big extension.

Permalink 48 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
48 Responses to “Looking at the Steelers’ offseason priorities”
  1. jc1958cool says: Feb 11, 2011 4:39 PM

    steelers should put their attention to the o-line, thats what lost the SB, too much pressure on big ben.

  2. kc4life7 says: Feb 11, 2011 4:40 PM

    Ingrediants? Really? Use spell check once in a while.

  3. BleedingSilverAndBlack says: Feb 11, 2011 4:44 PM

    How about keeping Big Ben from harassing women?

  4. rectumnearlykilledem says: Feb 11, 2011 4:49 PM

    How about getting a QB who doesn’t embarrass the organization off the field and truly suck during big games.

  5. terminalsd says: Feb 11, 2011 4:53 PM

    Get rid of every DB but Troy, Clark, and IKE (Maybe). If they weren’t so cheap the Steelers (Rooney’s) should get Namdi from the Raiders!! All their missing is a shutdown corner.

    Shaun Suisham has to go! Bring back Quadzilla! Maybe he learned his lesson and is focused again. Get a BIG fast WR in the draft. We are starting to look like the Patriots with all these midgets at WR. A whole new O-LINE!

    Hire a good DB coach! Bruce Arians need to go back to OC classes during the summer. Step ya game up Brucey Boy! Your play calling is suspect. Ben needs to go to the lab too and learn that when a WR comes out his break THROW IT! Not every play is going to be a broken 50 yard bomb!

    Go Steelers!!!!

  6. dexterismyhero says: Feb 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    Prolly a trip is already scheduled for Milledgeville…

  7. 13xworldchamps says: Feb 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    Polamalu getting the DPOY of the year award was a joke, He was a shell of himself for the better part of the year and may be in decline, Rodgers just toyed with him the whole game I didn’t even know he was playing until Rodgers zipped that pass to Jennings and Troy tried to make a big hit………How fitting that Clay “Bloodline” Matthews who “WAS” the DPOY made the single biggest defensive play in the superbowl

  8. stairwayto7 says: Feb 11, 2011 4:56 PM

    Doug Legursky dominate fat boy Raji! Raji had ZERO TACKLES! The Jets should keep their QB from sleeping with 17 year old teeny boppers!

  9. eddddddd says: Feb 11, 2011 5:00 PM

    Disparaging remarks for Roethlisberger, how original.

  10. angrycorgi says: Feb 11, 2011 5:01 PM

    I hope they keep the secondary as-is. It’s elite for sure.

  11. tdbragg says: Feb 11, 2011 5:07 PM

    Offensive line and secondary are the main priorities for 2011 . Another good cover corner and another good lineman . They are set at every other position .

  12. bztips says: Feb 11, 2011 5:17 PM

    Anyone who follows closely knows that Woodley is the most overrated guy on the defense. He was abused most of the day by rookie Brian Bulaga in SB, and did literally nothing after the first two plays of the game.

    Team would be stupid to franchise him and then have to pay him big bucks.

  13. hooterdawg says: Feb 11, 2011 5:19 PM

    Its really funny that the folks at NBCsports ask PFT for their input on what the 32 NFL teams need to do in the offseason. NBC could probably get better advice by reading the fan forums of all 32 teams.

  14. Deb says: Feb 11, 2011 5:21 PM

    Think they’ll wait until season’s end to consider Troy’s contract. They’ll want to see how healthy he is for 2011. But they’ll definitely sign Woodley, Taylor, and Colon. It helps that Willie is coming off IR, which will make him less marketable. Assuming Sepulveda hasn’t lost any power after his second ACL tear, I’m sure he, Legursky, and Moore are also priorities–especially since Legursky handled Raji so well in the Super Bowl.

    Flozelle’s options are limited and he won’t start if he returns, so they can sign for much less than $5 mil. Suisham was the only kicker available when Reed was dumped, so they may look around before committing. It would be nice to keep Scott.

    The rest are expendable. Fox’s personal foul before our last drive in the Super Bowl sealed his fate with me. See ya.

    What I want most is for Colbert to spend some money on a stellar free-agent corner. The Steelers don’t usually go after name FAs, but we need to complement Ike in the secondary, and it’s better to get a relatively young corner who already has some savvy. Then we can focus our draft on the o-line and prepping to replace other aging defensive players.

  15. rudy112 says: Feb 11, 2011 5:21 PM

    Start by telling your QB that you can’t be doing JAGERBOMBS the week leading up to the big game.

  16. Deb says: Feb 11, 2011 5:24 PM

    @person inexplicably obsessed with his rectum …

    Since you’re not a Steelers fan, how about you worry about your team’s needs? A guy with your username really shouldn’t talk about other people being embarrassments.

  17. dietrich43 says: Feb 11, 2011 5:30 PM

    Can they draft a retired cop to follow Ben around and keep him out of trouble?

    The o-line and their corners were their two biggest weaknesses coming into the year, and they got exposed in the playoffs. Surprised they made it to the Superbowl with those units.

  18. steelerer says: Feb 11, 2011 5:31 PM

    Steelers need CBs and Oline more than anything on that team. prefer they go after the best cb available(Doubtful that they even attempt trying to acquire Aso, he will probably resign with oakland again) Oline needs alot of work , but not as much as that defensive backfield. Polamalu then could be free to create more havoc on the feild.

  19. Caldon says: Feb 11, 2011 5:32 PM

    Troy Polamalu’s contract ends after the 2011 season. He’s next in line after Woodley for a big extension.
    ———–
    Not if he becomes invisible like he was in the super bowl.

  20. worsethingss says: Feb 11, 2011 5:41 PM

    Maybe a qb that doesn’t choke in the Super Bowl?

  21. fancyleague says: Feb 11, 2011 5:48 PM

    They need to find out what the Raiders and Browns plan to do, then do the exact opposite.

  22. holeinone09 says: Feb 11, 2011 6:04 PM

    Steelers normally do a good job of retaining the “must keep” players. They will keep Woodley. Very likely Colon and Taylor also. Legursky shut Raji supporters up in the Super Bowl, and should be kept for depth. If anybody thinks Troy is out of gas, they are crazy. I think they can also get Adams to stay here at a lower price.

    Some like Gay and Fox will likely hit the road. Gay was poor at pass coverage. Suisham was not bad but they will probably take a look at what is available.

    They ususally don’t jump into the FA market unless dire situation, so I never expect much help there.

    In the draft, critical needs are OL, DB and then DL.

    Hey Ben, just behave this off-season, and come back ready to play ball. That is all you have to do.

  23. igottz5onit says: Feb 11, 2011 6:40 PM

    Look, there’s a reason the Steelers are the most successful franchise during the modern era. They know how to do business.

  24. trickbunny says: Feb 11, 2011 6:43 PM

    eddddddd says:
    Feb 11, 2011 5:00 PM

    Disparaging remarks for Roethlisberger, how original.
    ————————————————

    Um, I don’t think anyone is too concerned with being “original.” I think it’s more about having fun by razzing Steelers fans because, like Colt 45, it works every time.

  25. bensstinkyfingers says: Feb 11, 2011 7:06 PM

    The Steelers should’ve dumped Ben when the latest accusation went down. It’s just a matter of time before the whole reformed good boy act gets boring for him, and then he’ll distract the team again. Really, why would he even go to a bar the week of the Super bowl ? Anyone with common sense would realize TMZ would be all over it. Anyways, it does’nt matter, the Steelers will not be back to the “big game” in the next decade. They will be lucky to win the AFC north with the Ravens and the Resurging Browns.

  26. steelertom says: Feb 11, 2011 7:25 PM

    @benstinkyfingers Thank you i needed a good laugh. “the resurging browns” lmao. They dont even have a OC. Too funny

  27. steelerhawk47 says: Feb 11, 2011 7:35 PM

    Priorities…

    CB
    CB
    CB
    CB
    CB

    Mel Blount is only 62…maybe he can come back…

    The O-line will be fine…

  28. tdbragg says: Feb 11, 2011 7:38 PM

    First off , let me say Ben Roethlisberger got what he deserved in his four game suspension . He brought it on himself by making stupid decisions and putting himself in bad situations . At the end of the day , he served his suspension and everyone connected to Ben in any way say hes a better person for it . The time has come for Ben to grow up and lead by example and so far hes showing that hes doing that very thing . However , I will say this , for everyone wanting to nail the man to a cross in the middle of Heinz field because he took his lineman out to dinner the week of the Super Bowl is LUDICROUS ! Hes a grown man twenty eight years old . He has every right to go to a bar and take his lineman to dinner . They were not intoxicated in any way and upon leaving he left a 200.00 tip to the restaurant . Everyone employed at the restaurant said the players caused no problems and everyone had a great time . What is the crime that was committed ? No bank was robbed , no one was murdered . The only thing that happened was a quarterback and his lineman sat down and enjoyed dinner together . Once again , I have to ask all the ones throwing stones , have you and your friends ever sat down and enjoyed a meal together ? I think we all know the answer to that .

  29. Deb says: Feb 11, 2011 8:04 PM

    @steelerer …

    You read my wish list on that Oakland DB. He has an interesting contract situation so it’s not a given that he’ll re-sign. Unfortunately, we never go after that kind of free-agent talent. But if we were going to start, now would be the time. He’d be worth it.

  30. halftermguv says: Feb 11, 2011 8:18 PM

    Draft offensive linemen, cornerbacks and defensive line and the Steelers will be back on top in AFC North. Start resting Polomalu on games that are out of reach; it was clear that his achilles had never healed in the playoffs.

    Lastly Steeler fans, appreciate that a team projected to miss the playoffs and saddled with numerous major injuries were still in position to win another Super Bowl with 2 minutes to go.

    Even Myron was smiling.

  31. getweird4u says: Feb 11, 2011 8:27 PM

    Your not making the playoffs next year!You heard it here first 8-8!

  32. dmobey says: Feb 11, 2011 8:43 PM

    Got what he deserved?

    Really?

    Serial rapists normally get 40 years, not 4 games.

    ********************************
    tdbragg says:
    Feb 11, 2011 7:38 PM
    First off , let me say Ben Roethlisberger got what he deserved in his four game suspension . He brought it on himself by making stupid decisions and putting himself in bad situations . At the end of the day , he served his suspension and everyone connected to Ben in any way say hes a better person for it . The time has come for Ben to grow up and lead by example and so far hes showing that hes doing that very thing . However , I will say this , for everyone wanting to nail the man to a cross in the middle of Heinz field because he took his lineman out to dinner the week of the Super Bowl is LUDICROUS ! Hes a grown man twenty eight years old . He has every right to go to a bar and take his lineman to dinner . They were not intoxicated in any way and upon leaving he left a 200.00 tip to the restaurant . Everyone employed at the restaurant said the players caused no problems and everyone had a great time . What is the crime that was committed ? No bank was robbed , no one was murdered . The only thing that happened was a quarterback and his lineman sat down and enjoyed dinner together . Once again , I have to ask all the ones throwing stones , have you and your friends ever sat down and enjoyed a meal together ? I think we all know the answer to that .

  33. blackandyellowforever says: Feb 11, 2011 8:44 PM

    Maybe I’m in the minority on this one, but I don’t believe that Ben deserves complete blame for our loss. What about our defense, who let the Packers convert 3rd and 10′s and 3rd and long situations at will? True, Ben’s two picks led to 14 Packer points. Of course that won’t help matters. But to watch Aaron Rodgers (not taking anything away from the guy, great young QB) convert 3rd downs with ease against us made me just as sick. Unacceptable if you’re the Steelers D. I guess I was hoping that the D would clamp down and hold in crucial situations, show their mettle, much like they did throughout the season. But they didn’t. This post was in no way to make excuses for Ben: he played up and down, good series/bad series, to put it best. But I just wanted to bring some food for thought to the table, because to me the Steelers D played just as erratic as Ben did, yet no one would acknowledge it.

  34. cd_ridge says: Feb 11, 2011 9:05 PM

    The OL is clearly the highest priority. I think that the DL is the next priority. The DL is old with the exception of Ziggy Hood. When you get consistent pressure with 4 rushers, average corners then look good. The the CBs and safeties would be the next priority in my opinion, followed buy LB and RB depth.

  35. tdbragg says: Feb 11, 2011 10:05 PM

    To say Ben Roethlisberger is a serial rapist is one of the absolute dumbest comments in the history of the free world . Serial rapist , to use your own words are people sitting in a jail cell serving long term jail sentences , such as 40 years . Ben Roethlisberger has never even had a charge placed against him , much less a crime . Hes never been convicted of a crime or served a single day in jail . Is Ben guilty of putting himself in bad situations , yes . Is he girl crazy like alot of 28 year old single guys are , yes . Did he he make bad choices , absolutely . At the end of the day he was punished by the league and did everything that was asked of him . Bottom line , if the guy screws up again the Steelers will show him the door and he probably will be done in the NFL for good . To call him a serial rapist , is idiotic . dmobey says: Feb 11, 2011 8:43 PM

    Got what he deserved?

    Really?

    Serial rapists normally get 40 years, not 4 games.

  36. rabidbillsfan says: Feb 11, 2011 10:31 PM

    Ok, I don’t hate Ben because of his “alleged” assaults. I dislike Ben because he is a mediocore QB who is overhyped because he didn’t lose games for his team in 2004, while his defense carried him. The Steelers will hit a wall in the next 2 years if they stick to the trend of building through the draft. Their defense is old, there o-line is ok, and they have to be concerned about QB play. The games where the Pitt D holds off one final push by the opposing team greatly out numbers the games where Ben pulls the team out of those very jaws. He’s inconsistent against solid defenses, turnover prone, and just not a very good decision maker. The Defense is starting to look like the “Over the Hill Gang”, I mean really, how much longer will Harrison, Polamalu, Smith, Foote, and Taylor be able to be game changers? I think theres more to that Polamalu achilles than everyone is letting on, I mean the guy got Bull-dozed by Ray Rice, and that tipped pass in the SB is usually going the other way with him in the area. Overall, this team will still compete because their Division isn’t the greatest, and their confrence isn’t very top heavy. If I were a Steeler fan, I would hope they do a little more than not overpay players and “Value Draft” like they usually do.

  37. goldsteel says: Feb 11, 2011 10:41 PM

    Since this article was about the Steeler needs personnel wise, the Steelers have a history of building through the draft. The offensive line and secondary would be the logical choices. Secondary meaning safety as well. Troy hasn’t been the same since the injury two years ago in the opener against Tennessee. There are also other corners on the Steelers besides Taylor and Gay. Perhaps, it’s time for someone else to get some playing time opposite from Taylor? Speaking of free agents, Shaun Rogers would be a nice addition at the right price.

    Ben’s private life is Ben’s responsibility. He knows this is his last chance with the Steelers.

    GO STEELERS!

  38. donnieiris says: Feb 11, 2011 11:26 PM

    @rabidbillsfan

    I can understand why you would think that is just an aging Defense and it may be time to start panicking but what everyone seems to forget is that it was still the number 1 defense in many categories. I think they gave up about 60 yards rushing per game. I mean that is absolutely ridiculous. So let’s say that there is a slight dropoff because of age…i gottta say that i am still happy about it. Plus they keep woodley, they have timmons, and evander hood is very young and played exceptional in place of arron smith. Give this team one good corner and I guarantee u that they lead the league next year as well. This team missed another title by a very narrow margin…it aint time to panic

  39. fancyleague says: Feb 11, 2011 11:40 PM

    What sort of sentence do serial golddigging sluts deserve?

    For crying out loud, the Georgia tart was wearing a button that said DTF on it. She has zero respect for herself, so why should anyone else? A whore by any other name….

    The Nevada tart voted for sex before she voted against it. She voted for it when she thought Ben was going to marry her. She voted against it when she found out Ben thought otherwise.

    Now, if you want to talk about a true scumbag, let’s focus on Mark Sanchez. This guy has actually been, you know, arrested for sexual assault. He’s currently dating a junior in high school. Rex Ryan didn’t draft him just to play QB.

  40. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Feb 12, 2011 3:50 AM

    rabidbillsfan says:
    Feb 11, 2011 10:31 PM

    The games where the Pitt D holds off one final push by the opposing team greatly out numbers the games where Ben pulls the team out of those very jaws
    ————————————————

    Okay, so you know he is one of the top QBs active today in terms of 4th quarter comebacks. And clearly the D threw the 6 completions or whatever in the last SB victory. I am in no way going to say he is the best QB ever, I just think he is the best QB for the STeelers at present.

    And so much analysis of the Steelers in your post. At first I was surprised, but then I saw your name, and realized that you can analyze thew hell out of teams you hate when your teams season is over in October.

  41. ineptguy6 says: Feb 12, 2011 7:45 AM

    I have to mostly agree with the article except with the special teams. Suisham did a fine job, and yes, he badly missed that field goal, but so what? A miss is a miss regardless of how bad it was. He is still better than anybody else that will be available. As for Sepulveda, the Steelers need to evaluate where he is. If he is fully back, then fine, if not the replacement Kapinos did a good job and should be brought back.

  42. runtheball says: Feb 12, 2011 10:22 AM

    32-35 is not old for OL and DL. The only old player they have is Farrior, and as good as he is there other 3 LBs are pro bowl caliber, so plugging a Sylvester or Foote in his place is not the end of the world. They need to sign Ike, I’d give him 4 years $20M back-ended. McFadden needs to get healthy, let Gay walk. They should draft a corner and try to sign one to compete with McFadden and be the nickel. Draft the best player available with preference towards OT. The OL will get better with another year working with Kugler and increased competition. I see Starks at LT, Scott at RT and Flozell as the swing back up. I would try Colon at G and cut Kemoeatu. He is not worth what they are paying him.

  43. jamson64 says: Feb 12, 2011 11:53 AM

    Rabid Bill

    You do realize that had Ben played the entire year he likely would have thrown for over 4100 yards right?

    You do realize that he is up there when it comes to yards per completion right?

    You do realize he threw very few interceptions this year in the regular season right? Yes we know he threw some in the playoffs.

    You do realize that he beats the great Ravens on a regular basis?

    One thing I know you know. He is a winner. Unlike the Bills.

  44. steeelfann says: Feb 12, 2011 9:47 PM

    Actually, offensive line may not be as big a deal as what is being discussed. If Colon comes back signed, and Starks comes back from injury, all of a sudden, they are fairly decent at Oline. Lagursky is backup center and guard, Scott kept getting better as did Foster.

    I think defensive line is big. Need a young huge nose tackle. Hampton is a stud, but is 33. Hoke is tough also, but even older. Smith will be 35, Kiesel is 33-34.
    Gotta get some youth.

    Need more corners, but I think Butler may be the next Ike Taylor. Still need another and a young safety also. Mundy is limited as a backup.

    Could go for a big wideout too. Like Hines said, bring in Plax.

  45. memphisyinzer says: Feb 13, 2011 11:14 AM

    I just hope the front office has the foresight to call Deb before they make any personnel decisions. After all, she’s so damn insightful and so damn knowledgeable about the game (by her own admission) that the front office would be foolish to do anything without first consulting her. Like she once said “when you understand the game of football as well as I do”…..

    The nice thing about the season being over…….we won’t have to listen to this blowhard on a daily basis and we won’t have to hear, on at least a weekly basis, about her being a rape survivor and / or a cancer survivor. When will you get off that horse? We’ve all heard it 100 times.

  46. dmobey says: Feb 13, 2011 9:12 PM

    Caught serial rapists – the ones who don’t have the money to buy off the raped and who aren’t famous enough for others to help – end up in prison.

    Serial rapists who have money and fame get to keep doing it much longer before authorities are forced to do the right thing.

    Pig pen won’t change. Maybe he’ll become more cautious, maybe not.

    But being accused multiple times by multiple women is not a coincidence or a conspiracy.

    *************************************
    tdbragg says:
    Feb 11, 2011 10:05 PM
    To say Ben Roethlisberger is a serial rapist is one of the absolute dumbest comments in the history of the free world . Serial rapist , to use your own words are people sitting in a jail cell serving long term jail sentences , such as 40 years . Ben Roethlisberger has never even had a charge placed against him , much less a crime . Hes never been convicted of a crime or served a single day in jail . Is Ben guilty of putting himself in bad situations , yes . Is he girl crazy like alot of 28 year old single guys are , yes . Did he he make bad choices , absolutely . At the end of the day he was punished by the league and did everything that was asked of him . Bottom line , if the guy screws up again the Steelers will show him the door and he probably will be done in the NFL for good . To call him a serial rapist , is idiotic . dmobey says: Feb 11, 2011 8:43 PM

    Got what he deserved?

    Really?

    Serial rapists normally get 40 years, not 4 games.

  47. dmobey says: Feb 13, 2011 9:15 PM

    fancyleague says:
    If Deb wasn’t such a hypocrite and a fraud she’d tell this guy what an idiot he is.

    Guess what? In the real world, women don’t “vote” on whether they get raped or not. As if someone else’s “vote” can outweigh theirs.

    A woman has every right to change her mind, if she ever actually wanted the drunk slob.

    But what would I expect from someone from Pissburgh.

    ************************************
    Feb 11, 2011 11:40 PM
    What sort of sentence do serial golddigging sluts deserve?

    For crying out loud, the Georgia tart was wearing a button that said DTF on it. She has zero respect for herself, so why should anyone else? A whore by any other name….

    The Nevada tart voted for sex before she voted against it. She voted for it when she thought Ben was going to marry her. She voted against it when she found out Ben thought otherwise.

  48. dmobey says: Feb 13, 2011 9:17 PM

    dmobey says:
    Feb 13, 2011 9:15 PM

    If Deb wasn’t such a hypocrite and a fraud she’d tell this guy what an idiot he is.

    Guess what? In the real world, women don’t “vote” on whether they get raped or not. As if someone else’s “vote” can outweigh theirs.

    A woman has every right to change her mind, if she ever actually wanted the drunk slob.

    But what would I expect from someone from Pissburgh.

    ************************************
    fancyleague says:

    Feb 11, 2011 11:40 PM
    What sort of sentence do serial golddigging sluts deserve?

    For crying out loud, the Georgia tart was wearing a button that said DTF on it. She has zero respect for herself, so why should anyone else? A whore by any other name….

    The Nevada tart voted for sex before she voted against it. She voted for it when she thought Ben was going to marry her. She voted against it when she found out Ben thought otherwise.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!