Regardless of our oline play, the RB position needs an infusion of talent.
Ben and Heath are both 30 years old. Ben has 3 years left on his current deal and Heath has 2 years left. Instead of being candidates for restructure (where Ben's $11.2 million base salary for 2013 and Heath's $5.162 million base salary for 2013 is converted to a signing bonus that is spread out evenly over the remaining years of the contract for cap purposes...saving us about $7 million against the cap for Ben and about $2.2 million against the cap for Heath) might they consider extending their contracts outright (essentially the last big deal for each so they can retire as Steelers). They'd get a big money signing bonus now (but spread throughout the life of the entire new long-term deal...not just 2 or 3 years) with a minimal base salary in year 1 to help out our cap immediately. There is some risk involved with Heath since he just blew out his knee, but all indications are that the tears were clean (surgery didn't need to be delayed because of added swelling) and we know that he is a hard worker and dependable guy who has come back from major injury before (we drafted him in the midst of sports hernia rehab).
My post-combine mock draft:
1. NT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
2. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
3c. S Deone Bucannon, Washington State
4. OT James Hurst, North Carolina
5. WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State
5c. CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
6. DE Deandre Coleman, California
7. ILB Max Bullough, Michigan State
Starks, Foster, Pouncy, DeCastro, Adams/Gilbert could end up being fairly decent.
Asomugha didn't fit into Philly's system. He's still a really good cover guy.
Lewis is more Tracey Porter than Brandon Carr. He will not command the same dollars.
More than likely with Lewis it means that he is seeking a huge deal and the Steelers told him to go ahead and shop in free agency to see if he coudl get it.
I could see Baltimore or Cinci going after Lewis.
Here comes the BOOM!
If the Steelers let Lewis walk, they almost HAVE to sign a replacement in FA, don't they?