Onward we go with our player by player breakdown of the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers free agents. We are still looking at the restricted group and next up is offensive lineman Doug Legursky.
Player: Doug Legursky
Experience: 3 Years
Free Agent Status: Restricted
2011 Salary Cap Hit: $525,000.00
2011 Season Breakdown: Legursky was a very busy guy in 2011 for the Steelers. He started the season as the starting right guard after getting the job late in the preseason as Chris Scott, Tony Hills and Ramon Foster failed to nail it down. He started the first three games on the right side before suffering a shoulder injury against the Indianapolis Colts in week 3 and the injury forced him to miss the week 4 game against the Houston Texans. He returned in week 5 against the Tennessee Titans and started at left guard in place of the injured Chris Kemoeatu and again there in week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He suffered a dislocated toe against the Jaguars early in the game and it forced him to miss the next 4 games as a result. He returned to left guard following the bye week but was forced over to center early in the game after Maurkice Pouncey left sick. He would play both left guard and center the rest of the season as Pouncey went down with an ankle injury in week 14. Legursky started the next two games at center against the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams, but left early in the game against the Rams after he injured his left shoulder. That injury forced him to miss the rest of that game and the season finale against the Cleveland Browns as a result. With Pouncey down again for the AFC Wild Card game against the Denver Broncos, Legursky once again was forced to start at center. In total he played just over 600 snaps in 2011.
Legursky is very smart and knows the offense inside and out. He knows how to play every interior position on the line and has good short area quickness still. His low center of gravity and quickness allows him to trap well to either side, but his smallish stature also allows for hands inside his frame at times in pass protection. He allowed a few sacks in 2011 and an unofficial 18 pressures on the season to go along with a few quarterback hits. He struggled at times with bigger body defensive tackles at the point of attack throughout the year, but was far from awful. He is the ultimate interior swing man and a sufficient backup center. In my opinion his best position might very well be left guard and he is at his best when on the move. The shoulder injury certainly hampered him at times this season and he played against the Broncos less than 100%. He had shoulder surgery immediately after the season ended as a result.
Free Agency Outlook: Legursky will be a restricted free agent and I expect the Steelers to tender him at the lowest level. With Kemoeatu likely to be a salary cap casualty early on, and the Steelers expected to draft a guard early in the upcoming draft, I think they need Legursky back in 2012. It would not be surprising to see them give him a modest multi-year deal either, but I am not prepared to say that is a lock to happen. Legursky was undrafted so if another team were to sign him to an offer sheet, the Steelers would have a chance to match it or lose him without any compensation. His biggest asset in free agency is his position flexibility, but his durability might be in question after this past season. I think when the smoke clears he will be back at Latrobe for training camp and might be given a shot to at least start the season at either left or right guard and at the very least he will be a backup interior swing man next season.
Other 2012 Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis Mike Wallace – Restricted Free Agent Keenan Lewis – Restricted Free Agent Ramon Foster – Restricted Free Agent David Johnson – Restricted Free Agent Ryan Mundy – Restricted Free Agent Jamon Meredith – Restricted Free Agent Jerricho Cotchery – Unestricted Free Agent Mewelde Moore – Unestricted Free Agent Byron Leftwich – Unestricted Free Agent Charlie Batch – Unestricted Free Agent Dennis Dixon – Unestricted Free Agent
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Is it really worth losing him instead of paying him a little more with a higher tender? I don’t know how many dollars it would mean but an extra half mil for one year to make sure he is on the roster or that we at least geta pick seems like an awfully good investment. I think the fact that you have so much invested in training these guys means you have to factor in not only the cost of replacement but of the years spent learning the system.
I wonder about Lewis as well. Are we better off with Lewis or a third round pick to replace him knowing that pick will take a year or two? (at best)
I don’t know the answers to these questions but extra money for a single year commitment to keep players like this seems wise. The small multiyear deal might be better though since it would allow a smaller hit this year in exchange for a more unreasonable number the following year when the cap goes way up.
I agree with Emac2. Legursky has proven that he his versatility makes him a long-term must for this team.
Let’s get this locked up for insurance alone.
Id like to see them move him to FB, he’s to short and has to short of arms to play O-line, love the guy. Just wish he was a little bigger
If the steelers don’t get better at both guard positions, 2012 will be the beginning of the end as a contender. Protect a hundred million dollar QB with a couple dollar ninety eight guards. STUPID. Our guards are the main reason we have trouble running the ball, in short yardage and red zone.
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