Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Free Agents Analysis: QB Byron Leftwich – Unrestricted

The Pittsburgh Steelers offseason is in full swing now and we will continue on with our breakdown of the free agents as we inch closer towards the start of free agency. Next up on the list of unrestricted free agents is quarterback Byron Leftwich.

Player: Byron Leftwich

Position: Quarterback

Experience: 9 Years

Free Agent Status: Unrestricted

2012 Salary Cap Hit: $605,000.00

2012 Season Breakdown: Leftwich, much like Charlie Batch, returned to the Steelers in 2012 on a one-year qualifying contract that came with a reduced salary cap hit. The now 33 year-old veteran started the season as the backup to Ben Roethlisberger and did not see action until the Steelers starter went down with his shoulder and rib injury in the Week 10 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Leftwich looked very rusty upon entering the game and didn\’t appear to be on the same page with his receivers in addition. He finished the game 7-of-14 for 73 yards, but did not throw an interception. He did, however, lead the offense on an 11 play drive that resulted in a field goal and it included a 31 yard completion to Emmanuel Sanders on third down and long from the Steelers own 15 yard-line. The Steelers escaped the game with an overtime win which gave Leftwich the opportunity to start the following week against the Baltimore Ravens.

Against the Ravens Leftwich got things off to a great start by scrambling down the right sideline for 31 yards to give the Steelers an opening drive lead. However, while tumbling into the end zone Leftwich appeared to injure his right shoulder, but did manage to stay in the game. He finished the game with a dismal 18-of-39 performance for 199 yards with one interception, which the Ravens converted into a field goal. Leftwich also suffered a rib injury on one of the three sacks in the game, which would end up keeping him sidelined for the next few weeks.

When he was healthy enough to resume practicing, Leftwich had lost his spot on the depth chart to Batch, and he would remain inactive for the rest of the season as a result.

Free Agency Outlook: Leftwich just can\’t seem to stay healthy and his time with the Steelers is more than likely over now. The Steelers need more reliability at the backup quarterback position and will most likely address that problem at some point during the draft. The Steelers might decide to bring Batch back for one more season to serve as the number three quarterback on the depth chart, but even that is far from guaranteed at this point.

Leftwich will not receive any attention during the main portion of the free agent signing period, but he ultimately could be signed late in the offseason by another team looking for a third quarterback option. Maybe. His time in Pittsburgh has been very uneventful and should be over now.

Other 2012 Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis
Charlie Batch – Unrestricted Free Agent
Casey Hampton – Unrestricted Free Agent
Plaxico Burress – Unrestricted Free Agent
Larry Foote – Unrestricted Free Agent

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  • Primanti05


  • steeltown

    Oh god, please do yourselves a favor and Byron a favor and let him walk. Please!

    Keep Batch for one more year to oversee and help whatever young guy or guys you bring in, either via the draft or undrafted. Batch knows the system better than some of the coaches and he can serve as the #3 or even #2 till the young QB is up to speed

    A side note, If Haley is the OC for yrs to come they should consider drafting a guy like QB Colby Cameron, he could be had in the late Rds maybe even undrafted. He’s 6’2 and doesnt have elite arm strength, but has a compact delivery with high velocity passes and is a good decision maker. Cameron broke Russell Wilson’s NCAA record of 379 consecutive pass attempts in a career without an interception and as a starter has had an excellent QB rating. As a full time starter in 2012 he threw for over 4,000yds, 31TD’s and only 5INT.. I think he would fare well as a backup in Haley’s quick passing system.

  • Buccos9

    Byron Leftwich is in the same boat as Willie Colon – seriously injured far too often – with the difference being that Colon has had some success when he was healthy. There must be better options.

  • I would sign JaMarcus Russell for min. Give the man a chance to see what he could do. I think he would be a better option than Byron Leftwich

  • What? He was so bad that even the other team couldn’t catch his passes. He was a joke when practicing every day, let alone four years removed.

  • Garrett Hunt

    I don’t think the types of injurys are the same. I would call Leftwich way more fragile than Colon.

  • Garrett Hunt

    If not him, definitely someone. Time to start grooming someone.

  • steeltown


    I think Cameron could work, in a back-up capacity of course. He doesnt make many mistakes with the football which is what you want in a back-up and he could be had cheaply (7th Rd)

    I am not completely sure, but I think we’ll get an extra compensatory pick this year for William Gay, maybe use that on a QB?

  • steeltown

    Question: Compensatory picks are given to Teams who lose more or better FA’s then they gained the previous season.. or the same number of players but lose the higher valued player, in that instance they can still technically gain a comp pick but always a 7th Rd pick. Otherwise placement is determined by playing time of said players but mostly based on salary of those players

    So, we lost William Gay via free agency this previous season, originally a 5th Rd pick… BUT we signed Burress this season (mid-season) Gay started in AZ but signed a two year deal and only made a $975,000 base salary in 2012… Burress made $925,000 in 2012

    Does this negate our chance at a comp pick or hurt the placement of that pick.. and is this an instance were they calculate playing time and salary to determine the placement of the pick we would receive?? Or, does the fact that Burress was not signed during the free agency period have an effect?

    So many variables

  • The raiders also drafted Aaron Curry which was thought to be the safest pick of that years draft. Coach Russell up and see what he can do

  • Bob Loblaw

    He’s like 350lbs right now, and has been out of the league for years. No thanks.

  • steeltown

    Apparently he is currently weighing over 300lbs… hmm maybe he can play Left Guard?

  • Clint Martin

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAhahahahahahahahahahahahhhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahah
    How bout a rookie Landry Jones? Russell is bigger than most of our d-linemen

  • lol, seriously. I remember the first play Leftwich replaced Ben when he fell backwards and hit his head against the turf. It looked like he sustained a mild concision.

  • Clint Martin

    Landry Jones is tearing up the senior bowl He is a 4 year starter with 16,646 yards passing 123 touchdowns 63.6 percent completions in four years

  • Yeah, he announces his comeback, but don’t players usually do that after they get in shape?!? This guy is sitting back and saying he’s gonna lose all this weight and play again. Sure, buddy.

  • Wow, I have no clue, but the last part makes the most sense. Nobody wanted Burress, so I’d imagine it wouldn’t have any effect on the compensatory pick.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I think we need someone like Matt Moore and then a draft pick…Leftwich =Mr Glass and Batch would better suit us as a QB coach or somewhere within the coaching staff.

  • When has he showed that he can do anything besides balloon over 300 lbs? He had OK college stats, but his pro numbers would have to improve to get to terrible. He has shown no work ethic whatsoever throughout his career. What, other than fantasy, makes you think he can make anything of a comeback 4 years later?

    I don’t even see how the Aaron Curry thing is relevant at all, especially since he was drafted by the SEAHAWKS…

  • steeltown

    I would absolutely love to get Landry Jones, but I really doubt the Steelers draft a QB that high. I think right now they are projecting him at a 3rd-4th Rd grade, but by the time the draft rolls around I guarantee he’s gone by early 3rd Rd at the latest, if not in the 2nd Rd…. but still would be great to have him backing up Ben

  • Clint Martin

    LMAO Yeah that was to damn funny

  • Clint Martin

    His work ethics are terrible he was the last one to show up and the first to leave. An NFL QB has to be married to his job.
    They are making 40 Million I would get my own room at the facility.

  • Clint Martin

    After he shows at the senior bowl he will rise I think we need to get him now and groom him for 3-4 years. Pull the trigger on this kid take him in the second, The QB position is the most important position if they like him why wait. I have seen countless amounts of 2nd round picks amount to nothing. Here is a list of 2nd round players the Steelers have drafted some make the cut but some don’t.

    1999 Scott Shields DB ?who
    2000 Marvel Smith
    01′ Kendrell “Ring your” Bell
    02′ Randle Ell
    03′ Alonzo Jackson WHO?
    04′ Ricardo Colcolough What DA?
    05′ Bryant “The Irishman” McFadden
    06′ NONE
    07′ Lamar Woodley
    08′ Limas “Lanky Sweed
    09′ Kraig Urbik What DA?
    10′ Jason Worilds
    11′ Gilbert
    12’Mike “Smoke Da Weed” Adams

  • steeltown

    I agree somewhat, QB is very important and it is time to bring in some young blood.

    I’m still reserving judgement on Worilds and Adams.. I think Worilds could start and would be starting on any other Team, hope he gets a chance this season… and its too early to tell with Adams

  • Clint Martin

    I was just showing from 1999 Steelers 2nd round picks some made it some didn’t. I agree about Worilds. Adams has started games and will get better.

  • steeltown


    I think Urbik was a 3rd Rd pick, but that only makes it worse if we had not released Kraig Urbik we wouldnt be in this mess with overpaid Colon and fear of losing Foster. Urbik was signed by Buffalo after we released him and he has been a mainstay for them at Guard and backup Center. He was just actually given a 4yr extension. At that time we had Kemoeatu and Essex, meaning we chose Kemo and Essex over Urbik…. that worked out huh… ouch

  • Garrett Hunt

    Ha if he wasn’t made of glass he’d be a great back-up.

  • Clint Martin

    You are right that year they didn’t have a 2nd round pick. Yes I still don’t know why they let him go, LOL

  • Jake

    Yeah but Leftwhich doesn’t make nearly as much money as Colon when he is sitting on the bench. I agree with Buccos9 that they are in the same boat. They make too much money for how little they contribute to the team.

  • Garrett Hunt

    Yes I agree, but you can’t forget this was his first year at guard. Meaning that he will be expected to contribute more and more the more experience he gets there.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Many veteren offensiv tackles in NFL moved to guard, & they were better at guard right-away than Colon was. Ive never seen a vet tackle suck at guard as much as Colon. Individual D linemen knocked Colon onto his back, no wonder Colon jumps offsides.