Chris, Author at Total Steelers » Total Steelers

Chris

Blount_Punch

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t had a dependable featured running back since the Bus retired and Fast Willie Parker blew a tire. Now they have two.

Yesterday they came to terms with LeGarrette Blount on a two year deal worth a hefty $3.85 million. With performance bonuses he could push that number upwards of $4M. Of course, Blount comes in strictly as a back-up for expected starter Le’Veon Bell. However, given Bell’s injury struggles last season and the general beating NFL running backs take doing their jobs, it’s  a pretty safe bet that Blount will see his share of action before his contract ends. Continue reading »

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Looks like Kevin Colbert knew what he was doing after all…

In last year’s draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers sent their third round pick this year to the Cleveland Browns in order to move up to the top of the 4th round and take Shamarko Thomas. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what Kevin Costner does with our pick. In the meantime, while I like the Shamarknado, I was never thrilled about giving up a third rounder for a guy not likely to start for the foreseeable future. In today’s NFL, you stay under the salary cap is by constantly infusing the roster with young talent. And the picks you’re most likely to hit on come in the first three rounds.

Well, the Steelers got their third rounder back yesterday when the NFL awarded their compensation picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Granted, it’s about 20 spots later than the one we traded away but when you view the Thomas deal as trading back a couple dozen places the price definitely looks a helluva lot cheaper. Continue reading »

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns

My original title was “Steelers fall into the Moats” but that pun was groan worthy even for me.

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to chip away at their depleted roster, signing linebacker Arthur Moats to a one year minimum salary deal. Moats started 12 games for the Buffalo Bills last season although initial reports seem to indicate he’s being brought in as a super-sub capable of backing up at both inside and outside linebacker. If the team pegged him as a potential starter, it does stand to reason they’d sign him for longer than a year. Continue reading »

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Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Denver Broncos

Eight.

That’s the total number of receptions made by wide receivers not named Antonio Brown remaining on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster. Maybe – I stress the word maybe – they improved their defense this off-season. They for damn sure didn’t improve their offense. In fact, it’s hard to look at the current depth chart and argue it’s gotten anything but significantly worse.

Jerricho Cotchery is the latest to depart, reportedly agreeing to a two year $6 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. The Cotch Rocket had a career year in 2013,  catching 45 passes for 602 yards and a team leading 10 touchdowns. Unlike Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders, the Black and Gold actually wanted to re-sign Cotchery, who provided a dependable veteran presence to the passing game. With the Steelers down to only $2 million in salary cap space – they have to wait until June 1st for nearly $8 million of LaMarr Woodley‘s money to clear – it appears Cotchery wasn’t willing to wait and see what the Steelers planned to offer. Continue reading »

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Cam Thomas

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed their second big free agent, coming to terms on a two year deal with former San Diego Chargers nose tackle Cam Thomas. And when I say “big,” I mean that literally in the case of the 6’3 330 pound man affectionately nicknamed Baby ‘Zilla. The acquisition of Thomas gives some clue as to how the Steelers are planning to rebuild a defensive line that performed quite terribly last season. It’s hard to imagine these moves leading to a run D worse than the one that got gashed with alarming ease last year.

Thomas was a fourth round pick out of North Carolina back in 2010. He started ten games last season for San Diego before losing his job over what is rumored to be the coaches’ dissatisfaction with his effort level. From what I’ve read on Chargers blogs, Thomas was frustrating to watch because in some games he looked like a world beater while in others he barely bothered to show up. If the Steelers can properly motivate him – and while Mike Tomlin is about as inspiring as a shrieking parakeet, Dick LeBeau has traditionally inspired fierce loyalty in his men – they could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Continue reading »

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NFL: FEB 06 Super Bowl XLV - Steelers v Packers

If at first you don’t succeed…

Pittsburgh West once again lived up to their nickname by signing running back Jonathan Dwyer on Wednesday. Dwyer won’t start for the Arizona Cardinals – Andre Ellington took hold of the job last season after the signing of uber-bust Rashard Mendenhall predictably blew up in Bruce Arians‘ face. Mendenhall recently announced his retirement at 26 years of age which shocked those in the media not familiar with what a colossal nutcase that soft baby really is. Hopefully, Mendy can find some joy traveling the world like Caine in Kung-Fu or whatever the hell he plans to do with all that money he stole from the Rooneys.

Dwyer was the first ex member of the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign elsewhere but he would not be the last. Over the past 24 hours, two more longtime Steelers found employment with new teams. Recently cut LaMarr Woodley didn’t remain on the market long, signing  a two year deal with the Oakland Raiders. He won’t win many games out there although he’s almost guaranteed of beating the Steelers should the they play in the near future. Defensive end Ziggy Hood also found work with one of the league’s bottom-feeders, joining the Jacksonville Jaguars. Continue reading »

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Mitchell

Ryan Clark spent last season auditioning for a job at ESPN. As Chuck Noll would say, it appears to be time for him to get on with his life’s work. The Pittsburgh Steelers have already found his replacement.

Mike Mitchell of the Carolina Panthers became the Steelers first significant free agent signing in nearly ten years. By “significant” I mean rather than their usual method of dumpster diving for back-ups and role players, Mitchell represents a first day signee who will be expected to start. Not only start but be an upgrade for a defense that has fallen off considerably the past couple seasons. Why else would they give him 5 years at $25 million ($10 million guaranteed)? Continue reading »

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And here we thought the heavy lifting was over…

When the 2014 NFL season officially begins this afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be well under the league mandated $133 million salary cap. In fact, they may even have enough money to go out and sign a couple free agents when free agency kicks off later today. The moves they made to get to this point, however, are quite noteworthy. One in a good way and one in the bad.

First, to the surprise of virtually nobody, All-Pro linebacker LaMarr Woodley was given his walking papers. When Jason Worilds signed his transition tag before the ink was dry, I theorized that he and the Steelers may have the basic framework of a long-term deal in place and were just waiting until the team got it’s salary cap ducks in a row. Regardless, despite Kevin Colbert‘s nonsensical smoke-blowing about keeping both linebackers, there was no way the Black and Gold were going to pay two OLB big money with first round pick Jarvis Jones also needing playing time. Woodley was odd-man out from the word go. Continue reading »

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NFL: NOV 28 Steelers at Bills

So much for best laid plans…

Going into this off-season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were projected to be catastrophic twenty some odd million over the cap. First, they got some great news when the new cap number came in $10 million higher than last season. They still had some work to do after linebacker Jason Worilds signed his one year transition offer but they were within striking distance. It looked like only one major cut would be needed to get within salary cap compliance by next Tuesday’s deadline.

Well, the Steelers are under the cap with five days to spare. More importantly, they didn’t have to cut a single significant player in order to achieve it. Continue reading »

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yahoo_JasonWorilds

Well, that didn’t take long. One might even say it was a quick trip around the worilds.

On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers placed their transition tag on free agent linebacker Jason Worilds. Yesterday, Worilds signed the one year $9.75 million contract that comes with being tagged. What this means is Worilds is no longer a free agent and guaranteed to suit up for the Black and Gold in 2014. It also means the Steelers have some work to do to get under the $133 million salary cap by next Tuesday’s deadline. Continue reading »

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