Quiet Day One Of Free Agency For Steelers As Expected
As expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers made no waves on day one of the 2012 NFL free agency period as they sat on sidelines with limited cap space and carefully monitored the situation with restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace. There were numerous rumors that surfaced on Tuesday that claimed Wallace was flying to California to meet with the San Francisco 49ers, but those same rumors never had credible reports behind them. The 49ers of course signed Randy Moss to a one-year non-guaranteed deal on Monday and word also surfaced late Tuesday that unrestricted St. Louis Rams free agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is expected to visit 49ers sometime this week. It appears on the outside that the 49ers have no interest whatsoever in Wallace.
Two more rumors surfaced on Tuesday that included unrestricted free agent running backs Peyton Hillis and Mike Tolbert having visits scheduled with the Steelers on Tuesday, but once again there were no credible reports to back either of those rumors up. Tolbert did name the Steelers as a team that he would like to play for when interviewed Monday on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and although there could be some interest in him, no visit is apparently scheduled at this time. Both Hillis and Tolbert are however scheduled to visit the Kansas City Chiefs this week.
One player who reportedly will make a visit to Pittsburgh sometime this week is Chicago Bears free agent tight end Kellen Davis. Davis also reportedly has visits scheduled with the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals in addition.
As far as the Steelers unrestricted free agents go, William Gay is rumored to be getting interest from both the Buffalo Bills and the Bengals, but neither of those rumors has been substantiated thus far. Gay is currently down in Orlando working out and made it known in an interview on Trib Live Radio Tuesday afternoon that he really hoped to return to the Steelers this season.
Almost all of the big name unrestricted free agent wide receivers are now off the market with Vincent Jackson getting the biggest deal of all so far with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jackson signed a 5-year, $55,555,555 million contract that included $26 million in guaranteed money in the first two years of the deal. The final 3 years are not guaranteed and there was no signing bonus given in the deal. Marques Colston signed a new five-year, $40 million contract with the New Orleans Saints of which $19 million reportedly is guaranteed. Those exact numbers have yet to be released to analyze.
The Washington Redskins agreed to terms with former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon on a five-year, $42.5 million contract of which $20.5 million was guaranteed. The deal also included an $11 million signing bonus. The Redskins also signed wide receiver Josh Morgan to a five-year, $12 million contract that included $7.5 million in guaranteed money.
The Chargers will attempt to replace Jackson with former Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem, who signed a four-year, $25.9 million deal that included $14 million guaranteed in the first two years of the deal.
In perhaps the biggest surprise of the day, the Colts re-signed wide receiver Reggie Wayne to a to a three-year deal worth $17.5 million. It included a $7.5 million signing bonus and Wayne will be paid $13.5 million during the first two years of the contract.
The remaining bigger name unrestricted wide receivers still on the market include Lloyd, New York Giants free agent Mario Manningham and Cowboys free agent Laurent Robinson. Robinson reportedly has visits planned with both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins.