12-16-2012, 12:51 PM
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers to talk
Updated: December 16, 2012
By Adam Schefter | ESPN
Despite being suspended for Sunday's game against the Cowboys, Rashard Mendenhall and the Pittsburgh Steelers are communicating and committing to meaningful contractual conversation with the running back's deal expiring this offseason, according to sources.
The fact the two sides are communicating is an encouraging sign, because it didn't happen the two weeks leading up to Mendenhall's one-game suspension.
He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Also, Mendenhall was informed by his friends, not his coaches, that he had lost his starting job two weeks ago to Jonathan Dwyer, sources said.
Then he found out he was being deactivated against Baltimore when he arrived at the stadium and found his locker empty.
His suspension, announced last Tuesday, stems from Mendenhall's absence from Heinz Field last Sunday after he was told by the team he would not dress against the Chargers, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Pittsburgh's leading rusher for the past three seasons, Mendenhall is expected to be with the Steelers on Monday in preparation for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mendenhall has been inactive for the past two games since fumbling twice on four carries in Cleveland.
Mendenhall also has been slowed this season by injuries. He tore the ACL in his right knee in Week 17 last season and didn't return until Oct. 4 this year. His return didn't last long, though, as he strained his right Achilles four days later.
Mendenhall's recent injuries have allowed for increased production out of Dwyer, Isaac Redman and even rookie Chris Rainey.
Last edited by hawaiiansteel; 12-16-2012 at 03:17 PM.
12-16-2012, 01:12 PM
I thought the Steelers didnt talk contract during the season?
Just BS from Schefter?
12-16-2012, 02:04 PM
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12-16-2012, 03:20 PM
What are Steelers thinking with Mendenhall?
December, 16, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
The Steelers suspended running back Rashard Mendenhall earlier this week. Now, there's word that the team is committed to meaningful contractual conversation with Mendenhall this offseason, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
This is a mistake and it goes beyond the suspension. Mendenhall, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, has been banged-up this season and his play was declining last season even before his severe knee injury. The Steelers lost faith in him after he fumbled twice on four carries in Cleveland, which is why he was been inactive for two games prior to the suspension.
So, why are the Steelers thinking of re-signing Mendenhall? Honestly, I'm confused. The Steelers will bring back Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman, both of whom are restricted free agents. This is also a prime time to get younger at this position and take a running back early in the draft. Teams have been able to have success with rookie running backs, and you don't have to take one in the top five like Trent Richardson. Doug Martin, David Wilson and Alfred Morris have been instant producers in their first season in the league.
There has been talk that the Steelers aren't furious with Mendenhall for him not showing up for last Sunday's game, which led to his suspension. In fact, the Steelers could've suspended Mendenhall four games. So, sitting him for one game is a slap on the wrist in comparison.
But it's a bad idea to bring back Mendenhall, and this is about what everyone has seen on the field. He doesn't run in between the tackles. He is too quick to bounce the ball to the outside, which has upset the Steelers' offensive linemen.
The Steelers usually make sound decisions in the offseason. Keeping Mendenhall wouldn't be one of them.