Per various reports, the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to tag 2 of their high priority free agents:
Casey Hampton (NT) – The Steelers 33 year old nose tackle, Hampton is an unrestricted free agent. The Steelers would like to sign Hampton to a long-term 3 year contract but negotiations have not initiated an agreement between the two parties. Although against Hampton’s request, the Steelers are expected to place the franchise tag on “Big Snack” Hampton for a 1 year contract with a payout of approximately 7 million. It is expected that the Steelers and Hampton will continue to try to work out a long term contract. If a long term deal cannot be agreed upon by the 2010 NFL Draft, expect the Steelers to seriously think about drafting Hampton’s replacement. The ideal candidate at this time appears to be Tennessee’s DT, Dan Williams.
Jeff Reed (K) – Another high priority unrestricted free agent is Jeff Reed. Although Reed has had his fair share of off the field troubles, Reed has been a staple of consistency at Heinz Field. Heinz Field has proven to be one of the most difficult stadiums in the NFL to kick at, but Reed has excelled in field goal accuracy. He has struggled in kick-offs which has been a “pain point” for the Steelers especially during the 2009-10 season. With that being said, Reed is an underestimated player that has been clutch for the Steelers both during the regular season and post season. The Steelers are expected to transition tag Jeff Reed for 2.6 million.