Could A Release Of McFadden Lead To The Return Of Starks?

With a handful of weeks left before the final roster cut-downs take place, the Steelers seem to have 8 cornerbacks vying for 6 or 7 roster spots on the 53 man roster. One of those 8 players is veteran Bryant McFadden. McFadden has been sidelined the last several weeks with a hamstring/quad type injury and he has yet to play in any of the two preseason games the Steelers have had.

With McFadden sidelined, third year cornerback Keenan Lewis has received the starting nod at the left outside corner spot and seems to be finally turning the proverbial corner. In addition, free agent Donovan Warren has played well enough to have his hat thrown into the ring of roster hopefuls. Warren is a former undrafted corner out of Michigan that is best suited for a zone coverage type defense and thus far his tackling skills also live up to what is expected of a cornerback in a Dick LeBeau type defense.

With so many corners vying for the 6 or 7 roster spots, you have to think that McFadden is no longer a lock to make the 53. If my numbers are right, he will save the Steelers around $2.5 million against the cap if released and that would narrow the field to 7 corners competing for the 6 or 7 spots on the roster.

The $2.5 million that the Steelers would save if indeed McFadden were released could perhaps go towards re-signing former Steelers left tackle Max Starks, who was released prior to training camp starting. The Steelers seem set on letting Jonathan Scott start the season at left tackle, but they have a huge hole behind him should Scott go down or not be up to the task. The re-signing of Starks would provide depth at both the left and right tackle spots if brought back. This of course is all based on the assumptions that Starks is now in shape and willing to sign a one or two year deal around $2 million or so a season. If not Starks, then perhaps Flozell Adams or another soon to be released tackle that will become available when the final roster cut-downs take place.

The Steelers let McFadden walk a few years ago in free agency, but traded back for him during the 2010 draft as perhaps a one year solution as Lewis and Joe Burnett were not ready to contribute last season. Burnett was released prior to the start of the 2010 season and Lewis barely sniffed the field last year. Also now in the mix are 2010 fifth-round pick Crezdon Butler as well as 2011 drafted cornerbacks Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen. It should be noted though that Allen, like McFadden, has yet to see the field in preseason.

The numbers now seem to work against McFadden in my opinion and he could very well be the odd man out in a few weeks to free up money. The worst case scenario as far as he is concerned, is if the injury that has sidelined him is worse than anyone lets on. If that is indeed the case, McFadden would likely have to be placed on injured reserve and that would not free up the extra money needed to sign another tackle.

However you want to slice it, the writing is on the wall that McFadden is not a lock to make the 53 man roster and it is something to watch leading up to the final roster cut-down date.

  • John B

    if K. Lewis steps up i’d like to see McFadden in the Nickle. But if our OTs are still looking shaky by week 4 of preseason, i’d say this would be a good decision

  • Hoosierhandicapper

    mcfadden may make more than Gay but i’d be irate if they cut the former over the latter

  • Steve Duncan

    I got no problem cutting McFadden, a few of us fans have been discussing that over the past few days. I don’t think McFaddens skills fit what we look for in a nickel. I think he is a #2 or reserve.

  • fire arians

    mcfadden isn’t a nickel corner type of guy, he’s either a #2 or on the bench. with that said i hope lewis or butler can win the position over him

  • Lantz48

    starks is done ,let it go.

  • Steve Duncan

    Different positions.

  • Joe D

    If they cut McFadden… they should make a run for Asante Samuel…

    and btw… I said Aaron Smith needs to take a cut in pay… I’d cut Aaron Smith… he has been hurt and will be hurt throughout the season… why pay $6 million!!!

  • Steve Duncan

    Samuel doesn’t tackle well, demands much more money than McFadden, and just got torched by Brown. Why do you want him?

  • Asante Samuel? Really? From what I saw last Thursday, Samuel was doing a great William Gay impression. Both Lewis and Warren looked more impressive that Samuel.

  • Ty019

    keep mcfadden and get rid of gay….let brown play and butler play the slot…i will live with that knowing that each week they will improve…

  • scott

    I agree get rid of Gay

  • Daddeeekip

    Why cut Gay when he is healthy and McFadden is not. That don’t make any sense at all and McFadden is not a slot CB

  • jerry

    william gay cant cover any one when mcfadden got hurt in the S.B. this past yr they brought in gay and got beat bad…remember a corner named levon flowers the steelers DB in the 90s his nick name was toast cause he always got burnt thats william gay……..

  • Becam91

    I agree. BMac has been burned too much. Bring in some fresh blood.

  • Joed32

    Need to see more of Lewis than just one good showing. Mac needs to play on Saturday as well, if he’s not healthy he’s a liability. If he’s healthy he is the starter.

  • Los Gonzo

    Seriously everyone… atleast McFadden can somewhat cover as oppose to Gay who is only goof for the occassional sack. Gay is more of a liability.

  • Pinechipz

    i for one dont know why they didnt let taylor go,he has a big mouth and always gets burned,when he opens it,he couldnt cover his own shadow…

  • Steve Duncan

    PineChipz, I just saw a ranking based on passes/yards allowed and TDs given up by a CB that has Taylor at 6th in the league. THAT is why they kept him.

  • Smittyflash24

    wow! everyone is so down and hard on….look at the footage from last year…mcfadden give up 7-8 yards off the line to everyone he covers,it benefits the team all the way around to cut mcfadden…give the young guys achance to make plays.