McFadden Testing the FA Market
Bryant McFadden, the Steelers starting cornerback (opposite of Ike Taylor) became a free agent at 12:01 Friday, February 23rd. With the big market signings of Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha and Redskins CB Deangelo Hall, McFadden and high-profile agent Drew Rosenhaus may be looking for a pay day.
McFadden has been said to have visits scheduled with the Lions, Cardinals and possibly the Ravens. I also wouldn't be surprised to the see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers interested.
The Steelers would be very wise to sign McFadden. That would allow the Steelers to focus more exclusively on the offensive and defensives lines. They lack quality starters and depth on the offensive line. The defensive line has very little depth but a solid starting lineup. The entire defensive line is now over 30 years old and Casey Hampton is in the last year of his contract. Don't expect the Steelers front office to extend Hampton's contract which leaves a gaping hole at NT, leaving vacant one of the most important positions in the 3-4 defense.
The Steelers haven't fared well in the offseason thus far.
- The Steelers have been unable to lock down James Harrison for a long-term contract. In fact, his agent said that they're "not close".
- The Steelers franchised Max Starks. The FO has said that they plan on working out a long-term contract. Well, that's what they said last year when they slapped him with the transition tag. Starks made close to 7 million last year with the transition tag and now is scheduled to make close to 9 million this year due to the franchise tag. Wouldn't the Steelers see that it's financially more sound to sign him to a long term deal instead of paying him close to 16 million for 2 years?
- Willie Colon was tendered a 1st round pick. Are the Steelers planning on signing Colon long-term? Will he be playing guard or tackle?
- The Steelers haven't extended LaMarr Woodley or Heath Miller
- The Steelers are very thin at offensive line and haven't signed ANYONE. Kemo is returning but Essex remains unsigned, and Simmons was cut. This leaves the Steelers with an empty slot at guard and the other guard as Darnell Stapleton who struggled at times last season. A look towards the future (2010 season) indicates that Justin Hartwig, Willie Colon, and Max Starks will all be UFA next season. That could possibly mean that the entire offensive line could contain new starters in one year.
- Nate Washington is expected to sign with the Detroit Lions for #2 wide receiver money.