Found December 31, 2012 on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
The Steelers roster in 2013 is sure to look much different. Pittsburgh heads into the off-season with 24 players poised to hit free agency. Eighteen players will be unrestricted free agents with six others becoming restricted free agents. A full list of 2013 free agents, along with opinions on who should stay and who should go, is below: Unrestricted Free Agents: Keenan Lewis – We’ll start with the must-sign of the Steelers 2013 free agents. Lewis played very well this year for the Steelers and along with Cortez Allen is expected to be one of the future corners when Ike Taylor leaves. Letting him walk now that he has finally come into his own would be a mistake and force the Steelers to find a replacement. Mike Wallace – Wallace is almost certainly gone unless he doesn’t get any great offers on the open market. However, the Miami Dolphins will likely give Wallace a lot of money and the Steelers will let him walk. Rashard Mendenhall – Mendenhall will be out the door with Wallace. It’s unlikely the Steelers will even give him an offer before he leaves. Mendenhall is a quality back, but his style doesn’t fit the Steelers run game and his attitude has caused him to grow sour with the fans. Will Allen – Allen is an okay back-up at safety, but he is almost 31 and will likely want more money than the Steelers should spend on him. He won’t be back unless he takes the veteran minimum. Charlie Batch – Charlie has been a great back-up for the Steelers, but the time has come to say goodbye. Batch may be retiring anyway and the Steelers could use new blood behind Ben Roethlisberger. Plaxico Burress – With Wallace likely gone the Steelers should take a long hard look at keeping Burress on a one or two year deal. He brings experience and size to a group that lacks both. Larry Foote – Foote played very well in 2012, but like other veterans on this list he won’t be back unless he takes the veteran minimum. This could be a position addressed in the draft and the Steelers will have Sean Spence and Stevenson Sylvester as well. Ramon Foster – Foster played very well, much like Foote, and if Willie Colon is a cap casualty he should be resigned. His level of play in 2012 may have priced him out of the Steelers range, however. Casey Hampton – Hampton is getting older and it’s time to see what Steve McLendon can do. McLendon played well in limited snaps and is ready to take over this position. The Steelers also used a fourth round last season on Alameda Ta’amu and if he is back (legal issues pending) he would also be in the mix to take over. Brandon Johnson – Johnson was a back-up linebacker and special teams player in 2012. The Steelers will be looking for cheaper options in the draft and in rookie free agents. David Johnson – Johnson missed the entire 2012 season with a knee injury, but should return as a back-up tight-end in 2013. After missing a full year he shouldn’t demand much money. Byron Leftwich – Leftwich, like Charlie Batch, should be on his way out. He is fine as a back-up quarterback, but he is getting older and can’t seem to stay healthy. It’s time for new back-ups behind Big Ben. Doug Legursky – Legursky has shown that he can be a solid center and a good option as a back-up guard. If he isn’t pursued by others in free agency the Steelers should bring him back. Justin King – King could be back as a back-up corner. It depends on how the coaches view him. Other younger, and potentially cheaper, options may be available. Ryan Mundy – Mundy is an interesting case. The Steelers will have to decide if he is in the future plans or if it is time to find true replacements for Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. Mundy could still be kept on a cheap deal as Troy’s back-up for one more season or as the back-up safety of the future. Leonard Pope - Pope didn’t see much playing time in 2012 and the Steelers could probably find a cheaper option at tight-end which I expect them to do. Max Starks – Starks was arguably the best offensive lineman this season and last. With Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams ready to start though there isn’t room for him and he doesn’t want to be a back-up. Another team will offer him more money and he will take it. Greg Warren – Warren has been a solid long snapper his entire career. Cheaper options can be found so the Steelers will have to decide if his experience is worth more money.   Restricted Free Agents: Jonathan Dwyer – Dwyer will be retained and given a shot at being the “guy” at running back. Steve McLendon – McLendon could get a long-term deal if the Steelers think he is their guy at nose tackle for the future. Issac Redman – Redman will be back for another season. He is a great back-up and spot starter and is worth hanging onto. Stevenson Sylvester – Sylvester could get a shot at starting next to Timmons in 2012. He hasn’t broken the ranks on defense yet and this may be his last opportunity. Emmanuel Sanders – Sanders will be replacing Wallace in the offense. The Steelers may want to lock him up before his price raises.   The post Steelers Free Agent Breakdown: 18 Unrestricted, 6 Restricted; Who Should Stay and Who Should Go? appeared first on SteelBlitz.
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