Steelers haven't 'closed the door' on Hampton, Starks0By Chris Wesseling
Around the League Writer
Published: April 22, 2013 at 03:09 p.m. Friend(s) Email Your Email Send Email By Chris Wesseling Steelers haven't 'closed the door' on Hampton, StarksNFL draft questions: Bucs targeting tight end?More Columns > Free agent nose tackle Casey Hampton's Pittsburgh Steelers future appeared to be over when the team signed Steve McLendon to a three-year contract last week. General manager Kevin Colbert said at Monday's pre-draft press conference, though, that he hasn't "closed the door" on re-signing Hampton or tackle Max Starks.

The Steelers' willingness to bring back the free agents depends on the outcome of their draft. Neither player is viewed as a starter at this stage in their respective careers.

This weekend's draft proceedings will also go a long way toward determining whether the team signs Ahmad Bradshaw to play running back.

Other nuggets from the pre-draft press conference:

» Colbert doesn't envision any draft pick coming in and being an impact player in his first season. "I never do because I think there is always a growing process that has to occur," Colbert explained. The Steelers do believe they can find future starts in the first three rounds of this year's draft.

» Colbert believes there are six to eight special players in this year's draft, but he won't move up to grab one of them. "There will be a good player at 17," Colbert said. "There's no question about that."

» Coach Mike Tomlin said Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert are both "left tackle capable," but a decision hasn't been made yet. Adams appears to be the early favorite.

» The Steelers may consider extending the contract of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders after matching his $2.5 million offer sheet from the New England Patriots.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.


That door might swing open for Starks!