The 2012 free agency period is just a few days away now and we continue on with our player by player analysis of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Free Agents. We our deep into the analysis of the Steelers unrestricted free agents and we now move forward with the unrestricted group by taking a look at punter Daniel Sepulveda. Check the links at the bottom of the post to see the other Steelers free agents that we have already covered.
Player: Daniel Sepulveda
Experience: 5 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2011 Salary Cap Hit: $650,000.00
2011 Season Breakdown: Sepulveda made it through 8 games of the 2011 season before once again tearing up his right knee. He had averaged a career-high 46.1 yards per punt in those eight games that he place before needing to be placed on injured reserve. It was the second time in two seasons that he did not make it through a full season and the Steelers were forced to sign Jeremy Kapinos once again to replace him. Sepulveda was an unrestricted free agent last off offseason and ended up signing back with the Steelers on a one-year deal at the end of July for the league minimum of a four-year player. He battled Kapinos during training camp and preseason to what seemed to be a dead heat and the Steelers chose to keep him over Kapinos once the final 53 man roster decision had to be made. Not only did Sepulveda help with his leg in 2011, he also helped with his arm as he completed just the second pass of his career to Ryan Mundy on a fake punt against the Tennessee Titans in week 5 as the play went for 33 yards. Unfortunately in that same game he had a punt blocked for the first time in his career 8 of his 25 punts were inside the oppositions 20 yard line and only 8 returned in total.
Free Agency Outlook: Sepulveda is a model teammate and also a great punter when he is healthy. He has been affectionately been nicknamed Robo-punter due to all of the knee surgeries that he has undergone dating back to his time at Baylor. He is one again an unrestricted fee agent and once again heeled after another surgery. The Steelers tendered Kapinos, who was an exclusive rights free agent, so we know he will be one of the two punters the Steelers will have in training camp. The question is, will Sepulveda be the other one or will the Steelers choose to bring in another, younger camp leg. When a player is placed on injured reserve, he still counts against the salary cap and the Steelers will once again be strapped for space once again in 2012. They took a big good faith risk last season by keeping Sepulveda over Kapinos and I just do not think they will put themselves in that position again. Sepulveda could get attention from another team, but realistically he could be without a job by the time the 2012 season starts. This would give him even more time to strengthen his leg up and could very well be the first number on several teams list, including the Steelers, should injury or poor performance strike. I think the Steelers will choose to go with someone other than Sepulveda to push Kapinos in camp.
Other 2012 Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis
Mike Wallace – Restricted Free Agent
Keenan Lewis – Restricted Free Agent
Doug Legursky – 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
Max Starks – 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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