Keenan Lewis Couldn\’t Have Picked A Better Year For Himself To Turn The Proverbial Corner

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis is one player that I couldn\’t have been more wrong about this season. Lewis proclaimed back in May that this would be a big year for him and right now his prediction is looking spot on with 5 games remaining in the regular season.

Heading into Week 13 Lewis has recorded 53 total tackles and is tied for the league lead in passes defended with 18. He has allowed just under a 54% completion ratio on passes thrown his direction in addition. Will he make the Pro Bowl like he also predicted back in May? Not having any interceptions to his credit won\’t help his cause, but he could get to Hawaii as an alternate, or if another player backs out due to injury. This of course assumes the Steelers aren\’t playing in the Super Bowl.

Lewis was a restricted free agent this past offseason and tendered at his original round level of $1.26 million. At the conclusion of this season he will be an unrestricted free agent so the Steelers either have to extended him prior to the end of the season, which is unlikely to happen, or choose to franchise him after the season, which is also unlikely to happen.

The 2013 franchise tag for a cornerback is projected to be over $10 million. Sure they could tag him with hopes of working out a long-term deal, but with the other salary cap maneuvering that needs to go on just to get under the cap, and no guarantees a long term-deal can be worked out, it is looking more and more likely that the Steelers won\’t use the franchise tag at all on either Lewis or his childhood friend, wide receiver Mike Wallace.

The Steelers will not break the bank to retain Lewis, just like they weren\’t going to break it for Wallace, so unless he really wants to stay in Pittsburgh and continue to play for his position coach Carnell Lake, the man that surely can be credited with turning the the former third-round pick from a bust into a very reliable zone cornerback, he will more than likely test the free agent market and get paid. The Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, and the Kansas City Chiefs are three teams that come to mind that might have interest in Lewis should he hit the market.

Have you seen the list of cornerbacks that are scheduled to be unrestricted this season? There is Darrelle Revis and then everybody else. (EDIT Note: 2013 for Revis: I read the Revis contract wrong, so really the pool is even thinner) Needless to say that Lewis picked a great season to turn the proverbial corner.

There is of course still a lot of football left to be played this year and several things can happen over the course of the offseason, but we very well could be counting down the games that Lewis will play in a Steelers uniform.

  • Garrett Hunt

    It would be shame to not have him back next year, but without an extension before seasons end the possibility of him leaving town seems all to likely for me. With Ike being on the wrong side of 30 I was hoping Lewis could fill in the shut down corner role when the time comes.

  • steeltown

    I will be VERY angry if the Steelers do not extend or resign K.Lewis! They spent the last 3-4yrs grooming this guy and now he truly is a starting CB and has been playing great! If we let him slip away it will not be good for our secondary, Troy, Clark and Ike are all nearing the end of their careers.

  • steeltown

    Boy I hope you’re wrong Dave

  • steeltown

    With the league changing to a pass happy one, you need all the good CB’s you can get.

  • steeltown

    I never thought I’d be saying this half way through the 2012 season, but Keenan Lewis deserves a new contract way more than Wallace (or Mendy) Lock Lewis Up!

  • steeltown

    There are really 3 must re-signings this offseason and they do not include Wallace or Mendy. Those 3 players are Lewis, Foote and McLendon. Lewis for obvious reasons, Foote because he’s playing great and Sly has not proven himself to be able to start at ILB, and I think McLendon goes without saying with Hampton nearing the end of his career

  • Cortez Allen and Brown seem to be coming along so I think either way we will be fine. If they draft a good pass rusher early, it would obviously only help the cause.

  • steeltown

    I really like Cortez Allen, but Ike is almost done, if Lewis leaves via FA that leaves C.Allen, C.Brown and Van Dyke as the CB’s.. Brown & Van Dyke have hardly seen the field, thats a big issue

  • I agree but if we can get another year out of Ike and draft a corner in the 2nd or 3rd round, we should be fine. I think they will draft defense in early rounds of 2013. Who knows? Maybe Lewis stays too.

  • steeltown

    Yes, I think they have to go Safety, LB, DL (in any order) early in the next draft

  • The recovery of Sean Spence might directly affect that draft order too.

  • Pete

    I wasn’t a believer in Lewis but I admit he’s been playing great. I hope this continues. If he keeps playing like this and improving, he’s a candidate to eventually play the #1 corner spot when Taylor retires.

  • steeltown

    You know it was funny, when they drafted Spence, I was like, “WHat!?! An undersized LB??” But then after listening to Coach Butler explain, his tackling ability and speed sideline to sideline and matching him up with Ray Rice & Trent Richardson, it makes perfect sense

  • Bob Loblaw

    Finding a good corner is harder than finding a receiver. If I had to pick between Lewis and Wallace I’d take Lewis.

  • steeltown


  • Exactly!

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Mendy deserves walking papers…..the guy sucks.

  • daniel_nfl2007

    I find it hard to believe that if we are not resigning Wallace, Mendy, Redman and possibly cutting some veterans that we won’t have enough money to resign Lewis. If we aren’t breaking the bank supposedly on any of these guys how can we not afford Lewis? Don’t talk about the salary cap ether because last offseason the Steelers had “no cap room” but then went out and gave Brown 42$ mil. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • steeltown

    I agree, especially after reworking the contracts of Ben, Timmons and Woodley again and also Colon’s contract could be reworked, then theres Harrison, who is set to make upwards of $10-12million next season, he could be reworked or might even be released.

  • steeltown

    The time has come to lock up some of the young talent on this team, three guys in the secondary (Troy, Clark, Ike) might be gone in a year or two

  • steeltown

    Lewis, McLendon and Worilds should all be re-signed (Worilds quietly leads the Team in sacks (5) with very limited playing time) On Offense it would be nice if Dwyer, Sanders and Foster are re-signed