Since the news broke on Monday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to unload veteran tight end Kellen Winslow, I have been asked by a few people on Twitter if the Pittsburgh Steelers would have any interest in him. The short answer is no via a trade as Winslow still has three years left on his contract that would pay him base salaries of $3.3 million in 2012, $4.5 million in 2013 and $5.5 million in 2014. I believe his contract also has some incentives attached as well.
The Buccaneers are going to be hard pressed to find any team willing to trade for the 28 year old tight end with problematic knees, and now that they have reportedly signed free agent Dallas Clark, teams know that the release of Winslow is assured over the course of the next few days.
What about after his release? Winslow is entering his 8th season so that means that his minimum salary needs to be $825,000. I believe he qualifies for a qualifying contract that would allow for no more than a $65,000 signing bonus so as a team can take advantage of the reduced salary cap charge that comes along with that. That would be the only type of contract the Steelers would even fathom signing Winslow to, but he is not regarded as a strong blocking tight end and he would be no help on special teams either. Keep in mind that the Steelers also signed Leonard Pope prior to the draft.
If the above is not enough for you, Winslow is not regarded as a great team player and is a cancer for lack of a better word. He just does not fit the mold of a type of free agent the Steelers would want to sign. He has no upside in my opinion, only downside.
Winslow will get released by the Buccaneers and another team will sign him at some point. If not right away it will happen after a team loses a tight end to injury. He will wind up somewhere, it just won\’t be in Pittsburgh.
ETA: There is a sucker born every minute as the Seahawks have traded for Winslow! UNREAL!