Yeah, Sign Lewis and get a OLB who can stop the run, play pass coverage well, and get to the QB on a regular basis then we're good to go....on defense. Providing Woodley is back to form and the line steps up.
Lewis is a must-sign. Sacrifice veterans to make it happen. However, I wouldn't cut Troy or Clark, because we have absolutely nothing behind them (Will Allen and Ryan Mundy are free agents, and Robert Golden and Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith aren't even bona fide backup safeties in the NFL, never mind potential starters). If you have to cut Ike in order to sign Keenan, then you'd still have Keenan and Cortez (I'd much rather have two young talented corners on the rise than one CB on the rise and one CB on the decline). If you cut Harrison, you have Worilds and Woodley. If you cut Keisel, you have Heyward and Hood. If you cut Colon, you have DeCastro and Beachum. If you cut Troy or Clark, you have no one to man the back-end. We draft a couple of solid safety in this draft to learn from Troy and Clark for a year, and then possibly move on from Troy and/or Clark next year.
If you had to choose between Ike and Lewis, I would take Lewis. Ideally, I'd like to see the Steelers get one more year out of Ike/Lewis/Allen. I believe that Allen actually played more snaps than Casey Hampton this year. After years of us hoping the Steelers could find a corner in the draft, they now have 3 of them. If possible, I would like to see that group kept together for one more year. If I had to choose, you take Lewis. Even if Ike is better today, you take the youth.
There are lots of good corners on the market this year, so hopefully that helps the chances of Lewis returning.
I wonder if Ike and Lewis are the choices though. Given the cap hit in cutting hike, it seems more probable that the decision would be between somebody like Keisel and Lewis or something along those lines.
I think what makes the most sense is to make sure we resign Lewis and I would move Cortez into Ike's spot.
He's a twist. Cut Ryan Clark and get Ike to take a lower salary and put him at Free Safety.