Is Bruce Arians A Threat To Poach Away Steelers RB Isaac Redman During Restricted Free Agency?
Several teams are now just a few weeks into their offseason and there are still a few head-coaching spots left to be filled in addition. One of the candidates for the few remaining open jobs around the league is Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who of course was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to being let go around this time last year.
Wherever Arians winds up in 2013, be it with a new team or back with the Colts, you have to wonder if he might just have his sights set on Steelers running back Isaac Redman during the free agency signing period.
Redman, a restricted free agent this offseason, likely wouldn't even be in the league right now if not for Arians, who watched tape of the Bowie State product at the urging of Redman's uncle Todd McNair, who once played for Arians when both were at Temple. Arians look at Redman resulted in him being signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and the rest is history.
The Steelers are expected to restricted tender Redman at the lowest level this offseason which will likely wind up being in the neighborhood of $1.32 million. Other teams, if they feel so inclined, will then be able to sign Redman to offer sheet once the free agency signing period begins, but the Steelers would hold the right to match whatever offer Redman gets should that indeed happen.
Generally restricted tendered free agents aren't pursued by other teams because normally they are former draft picks that would cost the team attempting to sign them away an original round draft pick as compensation in addition to the contract. Being as Redman was an undrafted free agent, however, there wouldn't be any draft pick compensation involved.
For that reason, and that reason only, is what would perhaps make Redman attractive to someone like Arians, especially if he winds up staying put in Indianapolis as they will have roughly $40 plus million in cap space to work with this offseason. Now just because they have a crazy amount of cap room to work with doesn't mean that they would overspend on Redman, but they could make him an offer just lucrative enough where the Steelers likely wouldn't match it.
The Steelers could ward off any and all attempts of Redman being poached in restricted free agency by tendering him at a second round level, however, that amount is projected to be in the neighborhood of $2.02 million and that simply isn't going to happen being as that they will need every available cap dollar possible.
Now that I have laid all of this out, is it likely to wind up happening? No it is not, but if were to happen Arians would most likely be behind it and it would only be because he thinks that Redman could be a key contributor, or even the starter, wherever he winds up in 2013.
Redman has rushed for 1,136 yards and 5 touchdowns on 272 carries during his three regular seasons in Pittsburgh for a 4.2 average. He has also chipped in 46 catches for 394 yards and 2 touchdowns in addition and is fairly solid in pass protection. The Steelers want and need him back next season, and that should wind up being the end result as long as Arians doesn't want him more.
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