17 Unrestricted Free Agents to Highlight Steelers Offseason

The season is over, and while we will all watch the playoffs and have a unity of rooting against the Bengals and Ravens, the Steelers have a lot of work to do.

Here’s a list of the teams 17 unrestricted free agents as they start to look ahead to 2013.

1. Keenan Lewis CB
2. Mike Wallace WR
3. Plaxico Burress WR
4. Charlie Batch QB
5. Will Allen S
6. Larry Foote LB
7. Max Starks OT
8. Casey Hampton NT
9. Ramon Foster G
10. Rashard Mendenhall RB
11. Byron Leftwich QB
12. Greg Warren LS
13. Doug Legursky C/G
14. Leonard Pope TE
15. Brandon Johnson LB
16. Ryan Mundy S
17. Justin King CB

Overall, Wallace will be the one everyone talks about, but if he goes, the Steelers have other wide outs that could wind up taking him place. As for Lewis, reports say he’ll test the market, but I feel he’ll end up back with the team.

What players do you think will stay? Go?

About the Author

Matt Loede
Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

10 Comments on "17 Unrestricted Free Agents to Highlight Steelers Offseason"

  1. Daniel Griffin | January 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Reply

    there are three players that i will comment on.

    1. Batch, this qb should have been let go after 2002 season!!!

    2. Mendenhall, we need to keep this player at all costs.

    3. Leftwich, should be kept and give him a few plays each game.

    • Please explain your logic on to why you want to put a very mediocre if not useless back up qb in over our starting very high level qb in Big Ben during a game

  2. 1.keep Wallace-franchise tag and then work a new contract.
    2.let go K.Lewis-by the sounds of his comment it doesn’t sounds if it makes him a difference if he wants to stay or not.
    3.Plaxico-bring back
    4.Mendenhall.Legursky,Foster,Hampton-extentions if possible for these warriors.

  3. Why would you ever want to let an emerging star in Lewis walk? Once he learns how to tackle, Lewis is going to be our heir apereant to Taylor.

    There is absolutely no chance that the disgruntled Mendenhall will ever wear a steelers jersey again. I agree, he still has big play potential, however with the emergence of Dwyer, there is no need for a back with fumbling problems.

    Hampton had a very mediocre season, with few moments of above average production. With his age, and his desire to go to the highest bidder, there is no chance he will return. McClendon is going to step into Hamptons spot and I believe will make an immediate impact. It is unfortunate that the steelers only used him sparingly. McClendon has the ability to rush the quarterback, which we haven’t seen on the defensive line in years.

    I would love to retain Wallace if he comes down from his absurd demands. I would feel comfortable giving him a deal in the area between 45-50 million over 5 years. I fully expect Wallace to get his money elsewhere, which is going to be unfortunate for the Steelers because he is still one of the most electrifying wideouts in the game. Granted Wallace had his problems this season, but I fully expect him to make a complete turn around next season.

    LeGursky and Foster will both be accepting contracts elsewhere. They both will be offered more money than the Steelers are willing to pay, both will receive the opportunity to be starters.

    Starks also falls into the LeGursky/Foster category of how much will the Steelers be willing to pay to bring them back. Starks is definitely the most crucial out of the three because as it stands now, Adams and Gilbert are not ready to be starting left tackles. The offensive line has great potential, but right now it’s only potential and we need to add more depth beyond Beachum.

  4. Since the article invited personal opinions, none of us can be wrong, We all have a different view on how to re-build the Steelers, and there is no one way to do it. But if I were an owner facing our huge salary cap problems, I’d cut the following, IF the money guaranteed under each contract would make that feasible:

    Wallace (sulking attitude,inconsistency and $; he divides the team)
    Batch (age and performance; we all get old, eventually)
    Leftwich (fragility and $; a good guy with no tread left)
    Hampton (age and $; a great veteran who isn’t what he once was)
    Mendenhall (performance and $; overpaid for average performance)
    R. Mundy (coverage issues and $; younger guys will force him out)

    I’d keep the following for these reasons:
    Legursky (who else can back up Pouncey as well? He’s cheap.)
    Starks (he plays OK at RT; his footwork is poor at LT, but who’s better?) He’s good for one more year.
    R. Foster (he’s a backup; technique and footwork issues abound, but until we find someone better we can’t afford to cut him.)

    The rest will probably be re-signed if they don’t ask too much. A lot depends on the talent the Steelers can sign before the draft. It may be necessary to keep a guy who should be cut simply because we can’t find anyone better. The Tony has it right about Adams and Gilbert at LT; I think we have to fill that spot with fresh blood. If we can retain K. Lewis at CB we will only have to shop for one CB instead of two; in spite of his light frame, the Steelers will try hard to keep Lewis.

    Ben R. is not a free agent and is not on the list, but that $100 million contract looms very large when budget discussions come up. I doubt that the Steelers will trade or cut him, if only because we’d then have to find 3 QBs for next year. But as an owner, I would look very hard to trade him and his contract for a less expensive Tier 2 QB (Alex Smith? B. Gradkowski? M. Cassell?) plus a solid O-lineman or two. $100 million buys a lot of talent, and we’re going to have to dig deep to replace two backup QBs and to sign our draft picks.

    Willie Colon isn’t on the list and he plays well at LG when healthy, but given his inability to stay healthy, I’d be tempted to cut him to free up cap space.

    Because of salary issues, I would not be surprised to see the Rooneys use our Round # 1 draft pick to acquire proven talent and to save a buck. That possibility must figure into these decisions, too.

    • Usually I would agree with you Doc, however there’s a reason why Ben makes the big money. QB is a position that is deemed most valuable amongst the league therefore they get paid the most. Ben received a huge contract based off his success of his career thus far and what he can bring to the team in the future. Keep in mind he sign the big contract to lock him up through his prime years and a qb at Bens stature will demand roughly the same amount of money. It’s hard to find a franchise qb and when you do the team has to pay him. Look around the league and you will see all of the top qbs making big big money. The only exception I see is the success of the young cost effective rookies out there that are having early success (Luck, RG3, Wilson), however these are the exceptions. And still if you’re lucky enough to hit on a qb in the draft you have to hope he’s ready to takevyoubto the Super Bowl and win at a young age like Ben did in his second year. If they do then about two years later the team will have to dish out another huge contract for their young qb to be locked up through his prime. So it’s the same vicious cycle, for the most part, if you want to have sustained success in the nfl than you need to have a franchise qb and have to pay him like one. We’re just lucky that Ben is always willing to restructure his deal for the betterment of the team.

  5. Lewis came out and refuted the statement that was reported about him. Other then him I only want to see Starks, Foster, Foote, Legs, and Mundy come back of this group. Wallace will be inline for too much money for the cap to be practicable. Mendy can be replaced from the draft. And both of them could bring back nice returns as draft picks next year. Theres a lot of dead weight on that list above and its time to start retooling it.

    • Although I like mundy s athleticism, I think he too is dead weight. He had his chance and failed. The team knows it and won’t bring him back

  6. of all the players i see who are eligible for free agency, doug legursky is the most valuable. first of all he is resourceful,number two he stays healthy at a very difficult posisition, he’s not a trouble maker who runs his mouth, and if you lose him, someone will show their appreciation for him like new england, remember mike vrabel? of course their are others here who colbert will sign, but lergusky should be at the top of the list.

  7. I like Legursky, but I think he’s played well enough at center to warrant a starting job on another team and someone will pay him more than the steelers can afford.

    I think the top priority should be both Wallace and Lewis. I believe the steelers will offer a fair deal to Wallace, but 4.3 speed with mean he will get overpaid in the open market. I would offer wallace in the ballpark of 5 years for 55 million. it would pay him around the upoer echelon of wr average annual salary. Hopefully Lewis shows some loyalty and resigns. I’m thinking 4 years 25 million should get it done.

    If foster can be retained cheaply then I would bring him back bc clearly offensive line depth is crucial for this steelers team.

    Lefty can go. He’s proved ineffective and with his long release it doesn’t fit with Haley’s offense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him retained as a 3rd string option because he knows the system and I don’t think the steelers feel comfortable going into the offseason needed two backup qbs.

    Foote played very well this year and unless the steelers draft a guy in the early rounds to replace him, I expect hel be back for one more year. Spence is too much of a question mark being unproven and recovering from a major knee injury.

    Hampton was inconsistent all year and will want too much to be resigned. It’s time to move on and bid him a farewell. He was a steelers great, but he’s proven to be way less effective as he ages. It’s time to see what McLendon can do. I see something special in him and I truly think he can turn into a geno Atkins type of dt. Smaller but fast and can pressure the qb.

    Some odd reason I keep thinking Mendenhall will be retained again but for relatively low dollars. It will be a surprise if he does resign and I’m not sure if his low production is worth the headache, but I think Tlin wants to keep his guys around.

    I also this Burress has a good chance of returning. I realize he didn’t see much time on the field but if he can be used properly then we will have a steal. I know he’s older a d not what he used to be, but I think there’s enough gas in the tank for one more solid season. I think it might even be a present to a disgruntled Ben if Haley returns, which I think he will. I also expect Haley’s offense to be more fluid in year two.

    Starks should come back for a 2 year 7 million dollar deal. He’s been a solid pass blocker the last two years. Although his run blocking is less than desired, I don’t think we can go into the season with Gilbert and Adams as our two starters. I have faith in their potentials, but they can’t seem to stay healthy, and from reports, I also question Gilbert’s toughness and work ethic.

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