History Of Steelers Free Agency Signings Under Kevin Colbert

The 2012 NFL free agency signing period is in full swing now and a lot of the major signings are now behind us. The Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to lose any of their own unrestricted free agents up until this point and as usual they have yet to sign any unrestricted free agents to no ones surprise.

General Manager Kevin Colbert has been on board since 2000 and I thought it would be fun to go back in time to look at the unrestricted free agents that he did sign since that time. The table below only represents free agent signings during the key signing periods. It does not reflect players that were signed just prior to the start of training camp or after camp got rolling. It also does not reflect the few trades made during the prime free agency signing period.

The G & GS stands for games and games started and those totals only games after the player was signed as an unrestricted free agent.

I don\’t need to tell you that the two biggest signings that Colbert has made over this span of time were James Farrior and Ryan Clark as they both were definitely homeruns. Jeff Hartings, Kimo von Oelhoffen, Justin Hartwig and Mewelde Moore certainly paid dividends as well. Feelings might be mixed in regards to Tommy Maddox, but I say it certainly was worth it considering his cost. Although he hasn\’t started very many games, Charlie Batch has also served well as a backup and veteran leader over the years and Larry Foote looks to finally become a full-time starter since his return inside in 2012 after the release of the aforementioned Farrior. Foote has logged quality time as a back-up and special teams player over the years.

While there were many solid full and part time signings, there were also a few clunkers. Kent Graham, Sean Mahan and Duce Staley come to mind quickly. If Farrior was the best decision made by Colbert, then Mahan had to be the worst. It seems like a dream that Kevan Barlow was even temporarily on the roster. Remember all of the fans that were excited when the former University of Pittsburgh product was signed?

Have fun with the list and please let me know if I missed anyone that should have been on it. I hope ii doesn\’t bring back too many bad memories.

2/14/2000NTKimo von OelhoffenBengals9594
2/22/2000DEChris SullivanPatriots152
2/28/2000GRich TylskiJaguars2826
2/28/2000QBKent GrahamGiants145
5/30/2000SBrent AlexanderPanthers6464
3/8/2001CJeff HartingsDetroit9189
3/23/2001SMike LoganJaguars7317
4/20/2001LBMike JonesRams211
6/12/2001QBTommy MaddoxXFL4332
3/25/2002KTodd PetersonChiefs100
4/5/2002LBJames FarriorJets154154
6/13/2002WRTerance MathisFalcons160
6/17/2002QBCharlie BatchDetroit317
3/5/2003LBClint KriewaldtDetroit742
3/17/2003TTodd FordhamJaguars116
3/19/2003TEJay RiemersmaBuffalo229
3/6/2004PChris GardockiBrowns480
3/9/2004RBDuce StaleyEagles1611
3/10/2004DTTravis Kirschke49ers9218
5/26/2004CBWillie WilliamsSeahawks2011
3/8/2005WRCedrick Wilson49ers4714
4/5/2005STyrone CarterJets8922
3/14/2006SRyan ClarkRedskins8078
3/16/2006DERodney BaileySeahawks120
3/10/2007CSean MahanBuccaneers1616
4/17/2007DTNick EasonBrowns5511
5/10/2007RBKevan BarlowJets00
3/3/2008RBMewelde MooreVikings594
3/12/2008LBKeyaron FoxChiefs453
3/18/2008CJustin HartwigPanthers3232
4/24/2009CBKeiwan RatliffColts90
5/1/2009WRShaun McDonaldLions40
3/8/2010WRAntwaan Randle ElRedskins160
3/8/2010WRArnaz Battle49ers250
3/8/2010TJonathan ScottBills2915
3/8/2010SWill AllenBuccaneers300
3/15/2010LBLarry FooteLions315

  • SG

    You missed the failed return of Chad Brown in ’06.

  • Nice list. Personally, I was disappointed by Hartwig. I was excited when we signed him, but he played too small on the field and got pushed around a lot, Mahan was a disaster, but he was a cheap disaster.

  • SteelersDepot

    Absolutely, but he was brought back in mid-season.

  • Steel Hurtin

    One player I was excited about when they signed, that never produced was Quincey Morgan.. Not sure if he was a mid season pick up or not?

  • Josh Wilson

    How about Jerricho Cotchery last year?

  • Robhenderson

    Duce was a nice signing the he blew a Hammy.

  • SteelersDepot

    he signed after camp started.

  • ed52

    I think Najeh Davenport should get an honorable mention. 🙂

  • SteelersDepot

    March 27, 2006 so yes, I will add him.

  • SteelersDepot

    Scratch that. Morgan was originally signed September 6, 2005. Not really the time frame I was concentrating on.

  • SteelersDepot

    Signed Sep 8, 2006

  • A decent amount of our signings are retreads (former Steelers) as well. Not sure if too many other teams do that.

  • Cols714

    Of course Maddox was a hit, that playoff game alone was worth it. Duce takes a lot of grief, but I think he was among the league leaders in rushing and YPC before he injured himself and never got back to where he was.

    The only real miss I think was Mahan, he was terrible. Hartwig was fine for the money and they never really invested anything in Graham or Barlow.

    Overall it’s a pretty enviable record. Much better than that team that analysts always claim is great at signing FAs, NE.

  • I also have to say, looking at this list (and FA around the league but I digress), I am GLAD we don’t go to FA very often and when we do they are role players. For every Clark or Farrior, there are 5 or so J. Scotts.

  • Wdmason

    Stefan Logan?

  • Joe D

    eyeballing it say… 3 FA’s per year on average.

    Nice list..

  • Guest

    Hartwig blew, I think he just looked better because Mahan was even worse. I’ll never forget him giving up the year they got Pouncey and got cut. Staley I think was mixed. Before he got hurt he was looking like a great pickup before he turned into a turd. Logan, Eason, Kreidwaldt, Gardocki (for a little) and Kirschkie all were good backups. Some other mid-season pickups I remember were Galloway, Fernando Bryant, and Palko

  • kevin

    Should Willie Williams, Larry Foote, ARE or Rodney Bailey really count since they were originally drafted by the Steelers? I know that they signed as free agents, but it seems to me to be easier to make good decisions by signing guys who you already know.

  • Hoss

    They should count. ARE left for more money. Willie and Larry wanted to be starters. All came back to win SBs. Some of the signings were made for depth. Colbert will add more depth this year to help the younger players along.

  • israelp

    For what they were meant to be, including special teams and backups, this is a very impressive list.