Steelers 2015 Draft???....Go Strong! As in....
1-Jaelen Strong WR Arizona State
If Hightower has the same type of career as Foote, he should be a very happy man. Good player, not a great one.
To make my point I used the stats of Foote and Hightower. If we had drafted Hightower should he have started over Foote. I say he wouldn't and that is not because he is a rookie. It is because a veteran like Foote can outplay a rookie like Hightower. That doesn't mean that Hightower won't end up being a better linebacker than Foote. It just means that if you want your best 11 on the field you would go with Foote over Hightower this year.
So comparing veterans to rookies is like comparing apples to oranges. Coaches are forced to make that comparison game after game. On a team stacked with decent players like the steelers the apples are going to win except in very rare cases.
Steelers have brought former Steelers back but I can't recall them ever release & re-sign. Harrison was a great player for the Steelers & I will miss him. Releasing him will create 2-5 mil dead money. He has close to 3 mil "Misc" bonus in 2013 & 2014 that may be a roster bonus which can be avoided if the release him before due. That would put his dead money at 2 mil while freeing up 8 mil for 2013. Given his tenure, his vet min will probably be in the 1.5 mil range & guaranteed if he is on the roster week 1. I would say he may be an option if there is an injury after week 1 if he is still on the streets. I believe it is time to move on. They released Porter at 30 coming off a 7 sack year in March before he was due a 1 mil roster bonus. I believe Harrison's is in the 1.5 range. It may be the exact same situation.
I agree with the Keisel, Foote, & Taylor being difficult.
I have heard Foote will take less to return. That may be a good situation for the Steelers to explore. Insurance for Spence & will give him time to recover. Also could give Sylvester one last look. That is where the "mystery" lies right now. Only the Steelers will know about Spence. Pre injury...He was your 2013 starter & may have moved Foote to the bench in 2012. If they feel he will be healthy & return to form, I don't think the look early if Foote & Sylveter are here. But like I said...It is a mystery.
Keisel hasn't shown much drop off if any. Will be in a contract year in 2013. Releasing him frees up about 2.8 mil. If healthy, he may be a fall back plan "If" they need cap space.
Taylor is still playing at a high level. He has a 9.4 hit in 2013 & a 10.4 in 2014. It is hard sifting through Misc Bonuses after retructures but I believe cutting Taylor this year will only net 2.5 mil while creating 6.9 dead money. Releasing him next year will create about 3.4 dead money but have a savings of 7 mil.
Based on that, I belive Taylor will be here for 2013. Keisel should be unless they become cap strapped to sign Lewis and/or Wallace. Foote, if the reports are correct, may come back on a 1 year deal if he will take the "pay cut" he spoke of. Question is...What is a pay cut for him? Foote made 3.6 mil last season.
Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!
Giving rookies a year or two to learn and be slowly worked into games is a luxury - not a problem that needs to be solved.
Moreover, look around the NFL. The rookies that start typically do so on bad teams. There are two reasons for this - first, bad teams pick higher in the draft and are able to select better players. Second, bad teams are bad for a reason - usually because their starters stink. Finally, if you're not playing for anything, you can allow a rookie to make mistakes.
A final point - most rookies are not stars. Leaguewide, a few guys step in and contribute as rookies, but they are the exception, not the rule. Many players, even those in - gasp - a 4-3 defense, take time to adjust to the NFL and take time before they contribute at a high level.