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Thread: Free Agency boon for Steelers

  1. #1
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    Free Agency boon for Steelers

    I was pondering this in the morning and maybe its not dead on.

    But ALOT of players will be scrambling around look for jobs. ALOT!

    Money is money, but there are alot of solid players that will be offered the same amount by many teams. Yes, Asumaga will get a huge truckload and we will not compete for him most likely. But there will be alot of Hartings, Farrior type players floating around. Flozell type players maybe. We are and look like a championship contender and we are well known for being a team committed to winning. We should be able to find some very good free agents to fill some holes at very reasonable prices. Maybe not 5-8 since we only really have a few slots open, but when starring at similar competing offers with VERY little room/TIME to negotiate, we may do very well.

    The other thing I was thinking about was our scouting/personnel ability. We have a highly respected group and we should be able to do far better than the Cowboys or Bengals who blunder often in free agency. The Cowboys and Jets have to renegotiate alot of contracts or flat out cut people to make room since they are so far over the cap. They will have a hard time even getting organized to make offers.

    I think we will be very organized and ready to make a quick round of solid offers to good players who could hit their stride with the Steelers and be quick to accept an offer in the jungle that is about to ensue.
    We could find an eventual replacement LB for Farrier or a really solid guard to nail down one of those spots. Maybe a solid RT or safety. We won't find a CB, LT, NT or similar position likely, but I think we'll be happy for 5 years or so with the players we steal in the upcoming frenzy.
    I'm not really sure who all is or will be available however and have no time these days to dig into it. Just a ponderment I had this morning and though I'd share. I am excited for football to begin shaking the news a bit more, that is for sure.

  2. #2

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    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    The problem is that the Steelers DON'T HAVE the money. They have to be in a cost cutting mode without adding any addition players. They have a lot of work to do. I think the Steelers will struggle just to keep their own players they want.

  3. #3
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    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    I completely agree aggie.

    I think the Steelers scouts/personnel department probably have a good list of affordable free agents they are targeting, even if it may not be who the fans want. I have complete faith in Omar Khan (I think that's his name) and his money managing/deal abilities. He'll make the adjustments needed to remain competitive next year and for years to come.

    The Steelers were in the Superbowl last year. It didn't turn out as we would have liked, but it's not like they need a major overhaul. We have some of the best coaches in the business and they can make average players look much better than they are. Between the scouts, coaching and leadership on the team, any new members added will fit in just fine, even if it's not the 'top tier' free agents.

  4. #4
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    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelgal
    We have some of the best coaches in the business and they can make average players look much better than they are. Between the scouts, coaching and leadership on the team, any new members added will fit in just fine, even if it's not the 'top tier' free agents.
    no offense, but have to disagree here. not the fact that we have good coaches, i think we do, but at this level i don't know how you make an average player much better. you might be able to hide them and limit their weaknesses to the opposition, but you cannot improve their skill to any great degree.

    talent will always win out in the NFL.

  5. #5
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    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Spaghetti
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelgal
    We have some of the best coaches in the business and they can make average players look much better than they are. Between the scouts, coaching and leadership on the team, any new members added will fit in just fine, even if it's not the 'top tier' free agents.
    no offense, but have to disagree here. not the fact that we have good coaches, i think we do, but at this level i don't know how you make an average player much better. you might be able to hide them and limit their weaknesses to the opposition, but you cannot improve their skill to any great degree.

    talent will always win out in the NFL.
    I guess I'm thinking about the difference the new oline coach made last year. The only new addition was Pouncey, granted a great addition, and they seemed to play much better. Even when our starting RT and LT both went down, the next guys stepped in and performed very well I thought. They were far from being the best offensive line, but did well enough and got us to the SB.

  6. #6

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    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    Top 100 free agents

    By Mike Wilkening,

    PFW presents its annual rankings of the top 100 prospective free agents. Our list for the 2011 league year was compiled from feedback from NFL evaluators, who participated on condition of anonymity, and the PFW editors responsible for covering all 32 teams.

    With a significantly shorter signing period before the start of the season expected because of the lockout, free agency could have a distinct "musical chairs" feel, with teams, agents and players facing market conditions unlike any other in league history.

    The free agents below were assessed and ranked using the following criteria: talent, position value, age (as of Sept. 1, 2011). Any other relevant factors that could affect a player's value in free agency were also considered. Franchise free agents who signed their tender before the lockout were not listed, as they are under contract.

    1. Peyton Manning(notes)
    QB / Indianapolis Colts
    Age: 35 | Exp: 13

    Manning heads our list, but he isn't going anywhere. The Colts plan to make him the richest player in NFL history once the lockout is lifted. If a long-term deal isn't reached before the season, Manning is slated to make more than $23 million in 2011 after receiving the exclusive franchise tag.

    2. Nnamdi Asomugha
    CB / Oakland Raiders
    Age: 30 | Exp: 8

    One of the league's premier defenders is looking to be paid comparable to the sport's top quarterbacks. His huge price tag makes it unlikely Oakland will re-sign him, though whichever team inks Asomugha will receive a player opposing quarterbacks respect so much they rarely throw in his direction.

    3. Vincent Jackson(notes)
    WR / San Diego Chargers
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    A year after holding out for a long-term deal, Jackson was given the franchise tag by the Chargers, likely keeping him in San Diego for another season that is, unless some team is willing to pay big for one of the NFL's top deep threats (career 17.2 yards per catch).

    4. Logan Mankins(notes)
    OG / New England Patriots
    Age: 29 | Exp: 6

    One of the best guards in the game and a locker-room favorite in New England, Mankins is a mauler in the run game. The Patriots' rushing attack improved dramatically once he ended his holdout.

    5. Tamba Hali(notes)
    OLB / Kansas City Chiefs
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    Given the franchise tag after leading the AFC in sacks, Hali is hoping to work out a long-term deal with the Chiefs. His skill set works perfectly in Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defense, and Hali is Kansas City's only true pass rusher.

    6. Carl Nicks(notes)
    OG / New Orleans Saints
    Age: 26 | Exp: 3

    The powerful Nicks is regarded as one of the best guards in the game. As a restricted free agent, he's unlikely to leave New Orleans in 2011. He's in line for a lucrative contract extension in the near future. He teams with Jahri Evans(notes) to give the Saints the top tandem at their position in the NFL.

    7. Santonio Holmes(notes)
    WR / New York Jets
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    Of the three free-agent wideouts on the Jets, Holmes is their top priority. Despite his off-field issues, Holmes is a playmaker on the outside and would be the No. 1 receiver if he stays with New York.

    8. Sidney Rice
    WR / Minnesota Vikings
    Age: 25 | Exp: 4

    His absence killed the Vikings' passing game last season, which is why the team has placed a very high priority on re-signing him long term. Even though he has had only one complete season, Rice has shown he has the ability to be a dominant wideout with size, speed and playmaking ability.

    9. Johnathan Joseph(notes)
    CB / Cincinnati Bengals
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    Joseph, who's adept in man and zone coverage, gets the edge as the second-most desirable player at a loaded position in free agency behind Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha. If Joseph hits unrestricted free agency, he could be tough for the Bengals to keep. Cincinnati has another fine corner in Leon Hall(notes), who's also due a lucrative second contract soon.

    10. Charles Johnson
    DE / Carolina Panthers
    Age: 25 | Exp: 4

    Johnson notched 11 sacks for the worst team in football in 2010. Re-signing him will be the Panthers' top priority whenever free agency begins. He does not possess elite athleticism, but he is diligent and dependable, and he showed significant improvement last season. In a passing-focused league, his rush ability could earn him a hefty contract.

    11. Antonio Cromartie(notes)
    CB / New York Jets
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    Cromartie is considered one of the league's premier corners, and he played very well when Darrelle Revis(notes) got hurt last season. He takes risks but can make plays both on defense and in the return game.

    12. Ray Edwards(notes)
    DE / Minnesota Vikings
    Age: 26 | Exp: 5

    A solid, emerging end, Edwards' critics nonetheless say he benefited from playing on an exceptional D-line in Minnesota. Edwards might not be an elite pass rusher, but he is a good closed-side end who can set the edge against the run.

    13. Cullen Jenkins(notes)
    DE / Green Bay Packers
    Age: 30 | Exp: 7

    A fixture on the Packers' defensive line since 2004, Jenkins is one of the league's better inside pass rushers when healthy. Problem is, he has missed 17 games over the past three seasons because of injury. Last season, despite playing solely in the nickel and missing five games, Jenkins registered seven sacks and led Green Bay's defensive line in pressures per snap. His ability to play inside in a 4-3 and end in a 3-4, in addition to commanding consistent double-teams when healthy, figures to make him very attractive on the open market.

    14. DeAngelo Williams(notes)
    RB / Carolina Panthers
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    Despite being limited to only six games last season because of a foot injury, Williams will be the top running back available in free agency. The Panthers would like to keep Williams, but with depth at running back Jonathan Stewart(notes), Mike Goodson(notes) and Tyrell Sutton(notes) are under contract Carolina might be willing to let other teams outbid it for Williams' services.

    15. Zach Miller
    TE / Oakland Raiders
    Age: 25 | Exp: 4

    As one of the Raiders' only reliable pass catchers, it's expected management will do everything it can to keep the young tight end in Oakland for a long time, despite the likely high cost. Miller has caught at least 56 passes in each of the past three seasons.

    16. Davin Joseph(notes)
    OG / Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    Joseph is one of the better guards in the NFL, and re-signing him is a top priority for the Buccaneers. He is an important part of a Tampa Bay line that had to get by without him for five games last season after he fractured his foot.

    17. Doug Free
    OT / Dallas Cowboys
    Age: 27 | Exp: 4

    Free was the Cowboys' best lineman last season in his first starting assignment at left tackle. The team badly wants to keep Free, but what will be interesting is if it offers OLT money. The drafting of first-rounder Tyron Smith(notes) could push Free to right tackle at some point.

    18. Ike Taylor(notes)
    CB / Pittsburgh Steelers
    Age: 31 | Exp: 8

    The Steelers' top cornerback, Taylor comes off perhaps his best season. Rangy and physical, Taylor is best in zone coverage and solid in run support. His skills suit the Steelers' scheme well. However, Taylor could be in greater demand than he ever has been at any stage of his career, and it will be interesting to see if other teams make a run at him.

    19. Barry Cofield(notes)
    DT / New York Giants
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    A penetrating three-technique, Cofield has been frustrated that he has not been able to get the big contract he believes he deserves. There are plenty of teams who would be interested in his services, and though Cofield does not expect to return to New York, he has not closed the door on it. Can he be a 60-snap player? Cofield, who has most often played in a wave, wants the opportunity.

    20. Aubrayo Franklin(notes)
    NT / San Francisco 49ers
    Age: 31 | Exp: 8

    Franklin is a proven commodity at nose tackle who figures to have his share of free-agent suitors, even though it took a while for him to get his act together in 2010. Franklin was not nearly as big a force against the run the first half of the '10 season after missing training camp due to a contract dispute. Undersized but very solid, the selfless Franklin might have more value in the Niners' system than elsewhere.

    21. Matt Light(notes)
    OT / New England Patriots
    Age: 33 | Exp: 10

    The veteran has protected Tom Brady's(notes) blind side since 2001. He likely only has a few seasons left. While Light sometimes struggles with speed rushers, he is still solid at the position and is a locker-room leader.

    22. Eric Weddle(notes)
    S / San Diego Chargers
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Fast and athletic, Weddle will be in high demand as the free-agent class of safeties isn't very deep. The Chargers will try their hardest to re-sign him, as he is a key to their secondary.

    23. Robert Gallery(notes)
    OG / Oakland Raiders
    Age: 31 | Exp: 7

    Much better at guard than he was at tackle, Gallery has proven to be an outstanding run blocker. It is rumored he will go to the Seahawks and team with former Raiders head coach Tom Cable, who is now Seattle's offensive line coach.

    24. DeAngelo Hall(notes)
    CB / Washington Redskins
    Age: 27 | Exp: 7

    Hall is what he is: an instinctive gambler with excellent ball skills and shaky coverage ability. He has lived his NFL life this way and will not change, but that playmaking ability is rare. Hall has had two big paydays in free agency and might be more open to returning to the Redskins, who like him, because of that.

    25. Braylon Edwards(notes)
    WR / New York Jets
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    Edwards has been inconsistent at times in his career, especially when it comes to catching the football. But he provides a good red-zone threat with his size and had one of his best seasons in 2010.

    26. Marshal Yanda(notes)
    OG / Baltimore Ravens
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Yanda's versatility enhances his value. He has started at guard and tackle in his pro career, though he is probably best inside. The Ravens would like to bring him back. He likely projects to right guard over the long haul in Baltimore.

    27. Brent Grimes(notes)
    CB / Atlanta Falcons
    Age: 28 | Exp: 3

    Grimes' vertical-jumping ability, competitiveness and playmaking flair are his greatest assets. However, he is on the small side for the position and is not especially physical vs. the run. He fits very well in the Falcons' scheme.

    28. Tyson Clabo(notes)
    OT / Atlanta Falcons
    Age: 29 | Exp: 6

    Clabo earned his first Pro Bowl berth last season for Atlanta. The Falcons decided not to use the franchise tag on any players before the lockout Clabo was a top candidate for it and he'll generate interest on the open market. Clabo, OLG Justin Blalock(notes) and ORG Harvey Dahl(notes) all could potentially hit unrestricted free agency, leaving Atlanta with some interesting decisions to make.

    29. Carlos Rogers(notes)
    CB / Washington Redskins
    Age: 30 | Exp: 6

    His poor hands have kept him from elite CB status, but Rogers is an excellent cover man with good strength and athleticism. He is the anti-DeAngelo Hall in that regard. Rogers almost certainly is moving on to another team, where his press-man coverage skills could work well with a blitzing scheme. Don't be shocked if he signs elsewhere within the division.

    30. Jason Babin(notes)
    DE / Tennessee Titans
    Age: 31 | Exp: 7

    Babin is looking to cash in on a long-term deal after a career year in 2010. But with only one year of production under his belt, and former D-line coach Jim Washburn now in Philly, a return to Tennessee is unlikely.

    31. Jermon Bushrod(notes)
    OT / New Orleans Saints
    Age: 27 | Exp: 4

    Bushrod's youth and his ability to be a starting-caliber option at the all-important position of left tackle could make him attractive to suitors. However, he doesn't quite rank with the elite at his position.

    32. Malcom Floyd(notes)
    WR / San Diego Chargers
    Age: 29 | Exp: 5

    His combination of size and speed will make him a sought-after target for a vertical passing squad. The Chargers have some tough salary-cap choices to make, and that could mean Floyd is playing elsewhere next season.

    33. Ahmad Bradshaw(notes)
    RB / New York Giants
    Age: 25 | Exp: 4

    Fumbling has been the biggest knock on this talented, violent runner. The issue has given the Giants some pause about signing him to a long-term deal, although they would like him back in a shared backfield with Brandon Jacobs(notes). When Bradshaw's carries are monitored, he can be a very effective and dangerous runner.

    34. Steve Smith
    WR / New York Giants
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Microfracture surgery on his left knee has cooled the buzz for this breakout player from 2009, but Smith could have a lot of good football left in him. He's a strong route runner who makes up for his lack of foot speed with excellent hands and underrated elusiveness. He's mature and smart, and if he can prove he is back from the injury, Smith could be a steal for the Giants or another team if New York does not re-sign him.

    35. Cliff Avril(notes)
    DE / Detroit Lions
    Age: 25 | Exp: 3

    Avril, who has notched 19 sacks in three seasons, is a solid fit in the Lions' defensive scheme. He's quick off the edge, a skill that can be especially valuable in the Lions' defense, which rotates its defensive linemen and wants them to get upfield.

    36. Paul Posluszny(notes)
    ILB / Buffalo Bills
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    The Bills' leading tackler the past three seasons, Posluszny is good but not great on the inside. Buffalo would like to keep the blue-collar linebacker on a young defense. He racks up the tackles, but he records few sacks or forced fumbles.

    37. Michael Huff(notes)
    S / Oakland Raiders
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    An aggressive playmaker, Huff is better suited playing in the box as an extra linebacker than he is as a pass defender. Given the thin market for safeties and high cost it will take for the Raiders to re-sign him, he likely has played his last game in the Silver and Black.

    38. Jared Gaither(notes)
    OT / Baltimore Ravens
    Age: 25 | Exp: 4

    Gaither's size, length and youth are some of his top selling points. The knocks against him? He missed last season with a back injury, and his preparation is not regarded as a strength. There are some who believe he fits best at right tackle, but he has started on both sides.

    39. Santana Moss(notes)
    WR / Washington Redskins
    Age: 32 | Exp: 10

    Moss is coming off perhaps the best season of his career, especially when you consider the Redskins' uneven QB play last season. And after earning a reputation early in his career as being a China doll, Moss now has strung together three 16-game seasons in a row. The team signing him it might not be the Redskins has to weigh the value of a smallish receiver on the wrong side of 30, but he has averaged more than 1,000 yards the past three seasons without much around him.

    40. Matt Hasselbeck(notes)
    QB / Seattle Seahawks
    Age: 35 | Exp: 12

    Hasselbeck has led the Seahawks to five division titles and a Super Bowl while remaining an unwavering team leader. At the end of the 2010 regular season, the longest-tenured Seahawk looked like a beaten-up 35-year-old QB on his last legs (he will be 36 in September). Over a dismal one-month span in the second half of the season, he threw 10 interceptions and lost three fumbles. But he rebounded in Seattle's wild-card upset of the Saints with one of his best performances ever and had a 7-1 TD-interception ratio in the playoffs.

    41. Richard Marshall(notes)
    CB / Carolina Panthers
    Age: 26 | Exp: 5

    Opinions vary on Marshall, who's viewed as anything from one of the better cornerbacks in this free-agent class to someone who might be best as a nickel back. Given his cover skills and experience and the need for CB help leaguewide, it won't be surprising if he gets starter money, however. It's believed that he would like to move on from Carolina.

    42. Brandon Mebane(notes)
    DT / Seattle Seahawks
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    A four-year starter, Mebane was a durable force before missing four games with a calf injury last season, and Seattle's run defense really struggled in his absence. He offers explosive penetration from the three-technique spot. He is strong, aggressive, quick and makes things happen. His ability to play both DT spots increases his free-agent value.

    43. Dashon Goldson(notes)
    S / San Francisco 49ers
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    After a productive 2009 season, Goldson had a down year in '10, with only one takeaway (an interception, which he returned 39 yards for a TD against Seattle). Calling defensive signals for the first time might have affected Goldson's comfort level. He also played through several injuries. He got high marks for fulfilling his assignments and keeping the ball in front of him, but he too often was fooled on play-action and flea-flickers that resulted in big plays.

    44. Donte Whitner(notes)
    S / Buffalo Bills
    Age: 26 | Exp: 5

    Whitner is a playmaking safety, but he hasn't lived up to his billing in Buffalo after being picked No. 8 overall in 2006. He still has the tools to improve a team's secondary, but he has not developed into being the top-tier safety the Bills hoped he would become.

    45. Jammal Brown(notes)
    OT / Washington Redskins
    Age: 30 | Exp: 6

    He did not earn himself a lot of money on the market with his play last season, but injuries were a factor. The Redskins say they want him back, and Brown has said he'd be open to returning. But he also would like to play left tackle, and that is not happening in D.C. as long as Trent Williams(notes) is playing.

    46. James Jones(notes)
    WR / Green Bay Packers
    Age: 27 | Exp: 4

    Jones is talented but flawed. Deceptively fast, Jones finished second among Green Bay receivers in 2010 with five touchdowns and made some brilliant catches. He also did an excellent job picking up yards after the catch and has exceptionally strong hands and a great body. But he also dropped what would have been sure TD passes in five different games counting the playoffs; had three fumbles, including a really costly one in an early-season loss to the Bears; and had a disturbing knack for losing his concentration at the most inopportune times.

    47. Manny Lawson(notes)
    OLB / San Francisco 49ers
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    Lawson has never developed into the double-digit sacker the team expected when he was drafted in the first round. He is very good at setting the edge in run situations, though, and is good in coverage.

    48. Justin Blalock
    OG / Atlanta Falcons
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    The 6-4, 329-pound Blalock, the Falcons' left guard, has started every game in each of the past three seasons. His size and upside intrigue. The Falcons frequently ran behind him a season ago, but gained just 3.34 yards per carry, per NFL stats.

    49. Barrett Ruud(notes)
    ILB / Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    Ruud has notched more than 110 tackles in each of the past four seasons for Tampa Bay, which now faces a decision on whether to re-sign one of its defensive stalwarts. Could the Buccaneers allow Ruud to depart and start third-round pick Mason Foster(notes) at middle linebacker? It seems unlikely that the Bucs will let Ruud depart without making him a competitive offer, and head coach Raheem Morris will push for the Bucs to re-sign Ruud.

    50. Mathias Kiwanuka(notes)
    DE / New York Giants
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    A serious neck injury threatens to derail the promising career of Kiwanuka, who was one of the Giants' best defenders last season before getting hurt early. He has positional flexibility, having played linebacker and defensive end, and could appeal to some 3-4 and multiple-scheme defensive teams, despite having only played in a 4-3. Recent reports on his health have been positive, but he might be a PUP list candidate.

    51. Leroy Harris(notes)
    OG / Tennessee Titans
    Age: 27 | Exp: 4

    Harris had a disappointing 2010 campaign, though some of his struggles can be tied to a lack of continuity on the interior, with Eugene Amano(notes) moving to center to replace Kevin Mawae(notes). Re-signing Harris is a top priority for the Titans.

    52. Brandon Carr(notes)
    CB / Kansas City Chiefs
    Age: 25 | Exp: 3

    The Chiefs would like to keep the core of their young secondary together, and Carr is a key component. Despite a lack of big plays, he is a solid cover corner who also is good against the run.

    53. Michael Bush(notes)
    RB / Oakland Raiders
    Age: 27 | Exp: 3

    After trying him as an every-down back and fullback early in his career, Bush found a nice role as Darren McFadden's(notes) backup in 2010. The Raiders would like Bush to return, but if he's given a chance to start, he'll go elsewhere.

    54. Harvey Dahl
    OG / Atlanta Falcons
    Age: 30 | Exp: 4

    The tough Dahl fits well on a Falcons line that has some big decisions to make in free agency. He'll appeal to clubs looking to set a physical tone up front.

    55. Stephen Tulloch(notes)
    ILB / Tennessee Titans
    Age: 26 | Exp: 5

    With a shakeup expected among the Titans' LB corps, Tulloch likely will be allowed to test the free-agent market. He was a tackling machine for the Titans in 2010, but he did not make enough plays behind the line of scrimmage.

    56. Roman Harper(notes)
    S / New Orleans Saints
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    The Saints' starting strong safety, Harper told PFW in June that he hopes to re-sign with New Orleans, and the Saints are expected to work to bring him back. Harper is best in the box and has some limitations in coverage.

    57. Chris Spencer(notes)
    C / Seattle Seahawks
    Age: 29 | Exp: 6

    A former first-round draft pick, Spencer is the only member of Seattle's offensive line to start every game last season. He is quick off the ball with a nasty streak, but his inconsistency probably has signaled his exit from Seattle, where Max Unger(notes) is expected to take over at center.

    58. Marc Bulger(notes)
    QB / Baltimore Ravens
    Age: 34 | Exp: 10

    Bulger didn't appear in a single regular-season or postseason game in 2010. Those considering him as a starter have to decide if his struggles at the end of his career in St. Louis were simply a function of pass-rush pressure and an iffy supporting cast. He's regarded as a solid starter, not a difference maker.

    59. Cedric Benson(notes)
    RB / Cincinnati Bengals
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    Benson has exceeded 1,100 yards rushing in each of his last two seasons for Cincinnati. He's a tough, grinding, between-the-tackles runner who likely would be the Bengals' featured back if he re-signs. However, he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault on July 17 and could be suspended.

    60. Lance Moore(notes)
    WR / New Orleans Saints
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    Quick but small, Moore is best playing inside. One of the key cogs in the Saints' attack in recent years, he caught 66 of the 94 passes thrown his way a season ago. He's productive, and he has a clearly defined role that he has shown he can play well, so he could draw some interest if he tests the market. He has established a bond with QB Drew Brees(notes) and that doesn't hurt his chances of re-signing.

    61. Marcus Spears(notes)
    DE / Dallas Cowboys
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    Although Spears never really has fulfilled his expectations as a former first-round pick, he's a strong, sturdy five-technique who will be in demand with 3-4 teams. Spears does not make sacks (eight in 88 career games) or other big plays (three career forced fumbles).

    62. Ronnie Brown(notes)
    RB / Miami Dolphins
    Age: 29 | Exp: 6

    Brown failed to capitalize in his contract year, but some attribute that to a poor offensive line. He is a good pass catcher and can play in the "Wildcat." He has rushed for at least 602 yards in each of his previous six seasons.

    63. Steve Breaston(notes)
    WR / Arizona Cardinals
    Age: 28 | Exp: 4

    At the start of last season, Breaston seemed like a lock to be re-signed. He got off to an excellent start, with a then-career-high 132-yard receiving effort in the opener vs. the Rams. But Breaston underwent surgery Sept. 28 to repair a torn meniscus and missed three games. When healthy, Breaston can run through zones and be very explosive. In the 13 games he played, he had seven catches of 30-plus yards and 11 catches of 25-plus yards. But his catches have decreased in each of the past three seasons, and drops were more of a problem last season.

    64. Daryn Colledge(notes)
    OG / Green Bay Packers
    Age: 29 | Exp: 5

    Colledge could have some value on the open market. While he is widely considered the weakest link on Green Bay's offensive line, especially in terms of run-blocking, he was a lot better than he was the previous season and a far cry from being an outright liability. He has been reliable, not missing a game for the Packers since arriving on the scene in 2006. He is smart and works well with the center. And he's a feisty scrapper who responded well enough to hold off Bryan Bulaga(notes) for the OLG job last season.

    65. Kirk Morrison(notes)
    ILB / Jacksonville Jaguars
    Age: 29 | Exp: 6

    In his first season in Jacksonville, Morrison failed to record 100 tackles for the first time in his career. His play improved as the season wore on, however, and the Jaguars likely will attempt to re-sign the durable "Mike" 'backer.

    66. Eric Wright(notes)
    CB / Cleveland Browns
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Wright struggled last season and lost his starting job, but he's athletic and flashed some intriguing ability earlier in his career. If he hits unrestricted free agency, it will be interesting to see if someone banks on him reaching his potential. Improved focus is a must for Wright to play at a higher level.

    67. Willie Colon(notes)
    OT / Pittsburgh Steelers
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    Colon missed the 2010 season with an Achilles injury, and Flozell Adams(notes) played well in his absence at right tackle, raising the distinct possibility Colon won't be getting the job back and will be allowed to test the market. If Colon is healthy and can play to his '09 form, when he was one of the better right tackles in the game, he could prove to be a nice value signing. Colon also might get looks at guard.

    68. Mike Sims-Walker(notes)
    WR / Jacksonville Jaguars
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Sims-Walker regressed last season after a breakthrough 2009 campaign, prompting the Jaguars to go in a different direction. He has good size and strong hands, but is too inconsistent to be counted on as a No. 1 wideout.

    69. Olin Kreutz(notes)
    C / Chicago Bears
    Age: 34 | Exp: 13

    Kreutz remains a solid starter in the middle. He has spent his entire 13-year NFL career in Chicago, and the Bears figure to try to bring him back, though he could appeal to other clubs looking for a tough, experienced leader for their line.

    70. Dawan Landry(notes)
    S / Baltimore Ravens
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    Landry has been a reliable strong safety for the Ravens, but he probably will get a chance to test the market. If he departs, the Ravens could move Tom Zbikowski(notes) into his spot.

    71. Ryan Harris(notes)
    OT / Denver Broncos
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Harris' best season was in 2008, when he started all 16 games. He still has a lot of potential, but injury problems have caused him to be ineffective as of late.

    72. Chris Houston(notes)
    CB / Detroit Lions
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Houston had a solid first season with Detroit in 2010, starting 15 games. His future with the Lions could be tied to the type of opportunities he receives elsewhere and whether Detroit signs a higher-profile cornerback.

    73. David Akers(notes)
    PK / Philadelphia Eagles
    Age: 36 | Exp: 12

    Akers' playoff nightmare (two missed field goals in the loss to the Packers) might have had as much to do with an off-field distraction (his daughter's cancer scare at the time) that weighed heavily on his mind. After all, Akers had one of his finest regular seasons prior to that game, making 32-of-38 field-goal attempts. Although the Eagles placed the transition tag on him prior to the lockout, they drafted Alex Henery(notes) in Round Four and appear to be handing the Nebraska product the PK job. Some team will reach out to Akers.

    74. Danieal Manning(notes)
    S / Chicago Bears
    Age: 29 | Exp: 5

    The athletic Manning can cover a lot of ground on the back end. He brings value as a kickoff returner, too. We're hearing Manning will only return to Chicago if he agrees to play at the Bears' price he turned down an extension offer from the team during last season. Major Wright(notes) is waiting in the wings to take over at the position.

    75. Jacoby Jones(notes)
    WR / Houston Texans
    Age: 27 | Exp: 4

    Jones had a career year in 2010, but drops prevented him from reaching his full potential. Still, the Texans love his ability to take the top off of the defense and his contributions in the return game.

    76. Joseph Addai(notes)
    RB / Indianapolis Colts
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    Addai's knowledge of the playbook, paired with his outstanding blocking and receiving skills, make his value to the Colts greater than it might be to other teams. But durability remains an issue. A neck injury sidelined Addai for eight games last season.

    77. Stewart Bradley(notes)
    ILB / Philadelphia Eagles
    Age: 27 | Exp: 4

    Although he did not play as well last season, a year removed from ACL surgery, Bradley remains in the team's plans going forward. He can play inside but might be moved to the strong side, where he played in college. He's big, rangy and smart, although Bradley looked a little more hesitant in 2010 than he had previously.

    78. Josh Wilson(notes)
    CB / Baltimore Ravens
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Wilson's speed and playmaking ability compensate for a lack of size. He played relatively well for the Ravens a season ago, but he could test the market in search of a starting job. First-round rookie Jimmy Smith(notes) could start immediately, and veteran Domonique Foxworth(notes), who started all 16 games in 2009, returns after missing last season with an ACL tear.

    79. Shaun Ellis(notes)
    DE / New York Jets
    Age: 34 | Exp: 11

    The veteran has spent his entire career with the Jets and could finish it with them, assuming their draft picks don't bump him off the roster. He is durable with good size and can still get after the quarterback.

    80. Matt Roth(notes)
    OLB / Cleveland Browns
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    With the Browns moving to a 4-3 scheme, Roth isn't expected to be back with Cleveland. He's solid vs. the run but never has notched more than five sacks in a season.

    81. Mark Clayton(notes)
    WR / St. Louis Rams
    Age: 29 | Exp: 6

    Acquired in a Sept. 6 trade with the Ravens shortly after Donnie Avery(notes) was lost for the season, Clayton provided an instant impact. He established a quick chemistry with fellow ex-Sooner Sam Bradford(notes), taking advantage of his previous familiarity with Bradford from their summer workouts together at their alma mater, Oklahoma. Clayton was on pace for 88-1,200-8, but he suffered a season-ending patellar tendon injury early in Week Five. A smart, disciplined, polished route runner, Clayton's hard work and intangibles would seem to make him a no-brainer to re-sign. In a perfect world, though, he is a No. 2 receiver.

    82. Pat Williams(notes)
    DT / Minnesota Vikings
    Age: 38 | Exp: 13

    A one- or two-down player if he decides to suit up again in 2011, Williams is no longer the dominant space eater he once was. He spoke openly about retirement at one point, and he has gone back and forth on whether he might return to Minnesota. Williams did say he ironed some things out with Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier the one day the lockout was lifted. Williams almost certainly will sign a one-year deal if he does choose to play this season.

    83. Ernie Sims(notes)
    OLB / Philadelphia Eagles
    Age: 26 | Exp: 5

    Sims did not play all that well in his first season in Philly despite being branded by the defensive coaches as a perfect fit for the attacking-style defense after his arrival. Years of violent collisions might have taken their toll on the 230-pound linebacker, who only can fit on the weak side and might not have a huge market for his services. He hasn't been a huge playmaker most of his career, and his tackle numbers have fallen off dramatically the past two seasons.

    84. Thomas Davis(notes)
    OLB / Carolina Panthers
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    Davis has missed the past 25 regular-season games after tearing the ACL in his right knee two separate times. He was having a monster season before he was injured in 2009 and clearly had figured out playing weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, but his injury history is a concern. The Panthers reportedly have agreed to let Davis test the market. However, it appears he's interested in staying with the team, and the Panthers would like to have him back.

    85. Brad Smith(notes)
    WR / New York Jets
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    Smith is electric in the return game and as a "Wildcat" quarterback he gained 7.1 yards per rushing attempt out of the "Wildcat" last season. The special-teams standout also can be used as a receiver.

    86. Deuce Lutui(notes)
    OG / Arizona Cardinals
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    The Cardinals' incumbent at right guard is a powerful load who always has had a nasty streak, but the Cardinals have had to worry about his weight every season. He had a contract dispute that kept him away during minicamps and OTAs last season, and his weight reportedly ballooned up near 400 pounds. Lutui is a local boy, but a hometown discount is definitely not on his agenda.

    87. Kevin Boss(notes)
    TE / New York Giants
    Age: 27 | Exp: 4

    The solid but wholly unspectacular Boss has teased with some great pass-catching ability, but he never has earned Eli Manning's(notes) eye consistently. Although Boss' blocking has improved over time, it also is not his strongest suit. Boss could opt for a new opportunity if the Giants decide he's not worth starting TE money, although they have few other options at the position on the roster.

    88. Chris Carr(notes)
    CB / Baltimore Ravens
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    The Ravens know what they have in Carr, who started all 16 games for the first time last season and fared well. If he's back with Baltimore, however, it could be as a reserve.

    89. Jonathan Goodwin(notes)
    C / New Orleans Saints
    Age: 32 | Exp: 9

    The Saints are interested in bringing back Goodwin, their starting center the past three seasons and a Pro Bowl selection in 2009. However, they could elect to give second-year pro Matt Tennant(notes) the job if Goodwin gets a lucrative offer in free agency.

    90. Melvin Bullitt(notes)
    S / Indianapolis Colts
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Injuries to Bob Sanders(notes) made Bullitt the Colts' quasi-starter at strong safety the past three seasons. With Sanders now in San Diego, re-signing the veteran Bullitt, who is coming off an injury-shortened 2010 campaign, is a top priority for the Colts.

    91. Alex Smith
    QB / San Francisco 49ers
    Age: 27 | Exp: 6

    By all appearances, Smith looks like a lock to re-sign and remain the Niners' starting QB for the foreseeable future. He works hard, behaves himself and is very intelligent, but he has been very inconsistent. Smith, who has had a different offensive coordinator in each of his seven NFL seasons, has started 50 career games.

    92. James Anderson(notes)
    OLB / Carolina Panthers
    Age: 27 | Exp: 5

    Anderson played well in his first full season as a regular starter. He recorded 130 tackles (101 solo) in 2010 and, coming off a career year, it's believed the Panthers will work to re-sign him.

    93. BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes)
    RB / New England Patriots
    Age: 26 | Exp: 3

    "The Law Firm" is coming off a breakout season in New England and will have company in the backfield after the Pats drafted Stevan Ridley(notes) and Shane Vereen(notes). He is expected to stay after rushing for 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns.

    94. Le'Ron McClain(notes)
    FB / Baltimore Ravens
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    McClain rushed for 902 yards in 2008 but has been used sparingly as a ballcarrier the past two seasons because of the emergence of Ray Rice(notes) and the Ravens needing to use McClain primarily as a blocking back. With Willis McGahee(notes) expected to be a salary-cap cut, it will be interesting to see if the Ravens try to re-sign McClain with an eye on giving him more carries in relief of Rice. McClain seems likely to go where he believes he'll have the greatest opportunity to contribute as a runner more than a blocker.

    95. Vonta Leach(notes)
    FB / Houston Texans
    Age: 29 | Exp: 7

    Leach wants to be the highest-paid fullback in the league. The Texans love his run-blocking and leadership qualities but could be reluctant to grant Leach his wish since he is on the field only around 35 percent of the time.

    96. Darren Sproles(notes)
    RB / San Diego Chargers
    Age: 28 | Exp: 6

    The 5-6, 190-pound Sproles' greatest value will be to clubs looking for a change-of-pace back. The Chargers have been careful to limit his touches over the years. He can also return kicks.

    97. Plaxico Burress(notes)
    WR / Free agent
    Age: 34 | Exp: 10

    Burress has not played since 2008 and missed the past two seasons while serving a prison sentence for a weapons charge, so whether he can return to the form that once made him one of the NFL's top big receivers is anyone's guess. There has been speculation the Eagles could be interested in Burress, but they are deep at wideout.

    98. Lawrence Vickers(notes)
    FB / Cleveland Browns
    Age: 28 | Exp: 5

    Vickers is likely to leave Cleveland after the Browns drafted Stanford FB Owen Marecic(notes). He figures to draw some interest from clubs wanting a tough, old-school lead blocker.

    99. Mason Crosby(notes)
    PK / Green Bay Packers
    Age: 26 | Exp: 4

    Crosby seems likely to be re-signed, despite the fact that his accuracy is below average by league standards (he ranked 13th among NFC qualifiers with a .786 percentage) and has managed only one game-winning kick in his career (he is 1-for-4 on game-winning kicks). There's no denying Crosby's leg strength. His 56-yard field goal in Week One against the Eagles ended up being the longest in the NFC last season.

    100. Quintin Mikell(notes)
    S / Philadelphia Eagles
    Age: 30 | Exp: 8

    Mikell, who started all but one game the past three seasons for Philadelphia, could move on in free agency. The Eagles aren't expected to make a big push to re-sign him and likely would promote second-year pro Kurt Coleman(notes) into his spot in the lineup. Mikell remains a solid starter, and he could be a nice short-term upgrade for a team looking for help on the back end.

    [url=";_ylt=Au0rhONg8vskpZ_Q.mLWD1I5nYcB?slug=pfw-20110725_top_100_free_agents_3"];_ylt=A ... e_agents_3[/url]

  7. #7
    Hall of Famer

    User Info Menu

    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    It sure would be nice to snake Mankins away from the Pats*.
    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of their women.

  8. #8
    Hall of Famer

    User Info Menu

    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Discipline of Steel
    It sure would be nice to snake Mankins away from the Pats*.
    Yes, sometimes it's nice to dream.

  9. #9
    Hall of Famer

    User Info Menu

    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    We are going to sign one decent FA CB. After that, we' won't have much money to sign anyone. Any other player will likely be a bargain basement role player.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

  10. #10

    User Info Menu

    Re: Free Agency boon for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Spaghetti
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelgal
    We have some of the best coaches in the business and they can make average players look much better than they are. Between the scouts, coaching and leadership on the team, any new members added will fit in just fine, even if it's not the 'top tier' free agents.
    no offense, but have to disagree here. not the fact that we have good coaches, i think we do, but at this level i don't know how you make an average player much better. you might be able to hide them and limit their weaknesses to the opposition, but you cannot improve their skill to any great degree.

    talent will always win out in the NFL.
    great coaching beats great talent all the time...

    especially in football.


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