Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Free Agents Analysis: S Will Allen – Unrestricted

The Pittsburgh Steelers offseason continues on now  and we too 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 safety Will Allen.

Player: Will Allen

Position: Safety

Experience: 9 Years

Free Agent Status: Unrestricted

2012 Salary Cap Hit: $1,605,000.00

2012 Season Breakdown: Allen was signed to a three year deal by the Steelers in March of 2010 after spending his first six seasons in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During his time in Tampa Bay Allen played for Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who was the Buccaneers defensive backs coach from 2001-05.

During his first two seasons with the Steelers Allen made most of his contributions on special teams and only saw less than 50 snaps on defense during that time. In 2012 that all changed as Allen was thrust into the starting strong safety spot after Ryan Mundy failed to adequately fill in for the injured Troy Polamalu, who was sidelined most of the season with a calf injury. In his first start against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5 Allen recorded 8 total tackles and forced 1 fumble in the loss. He would go on to start the next 6 games and helped stabilize a defensive secondary that struggled in the first part of the season. Allen finished the year with 34 total tackles and 3 passes defensed in addition to the 1 forced fumble.

Interesting enough, when Allen was on the field last season the Steelers allowed an average per pass of 4.48 yards versus 5.25 yards when he wasn\’t on the field. Allen recorded 4 of his 34 total tackles on special teams, but was flagged twice for holding during the year as well.

Free Agency Outlook: Allen is known as being a favorite of Tomlin\’s, and he certainly contributed more than anyone thought that he would in 2012. At this point in his career, however, he remains mostly known as a special teams ace. The Steelers need to upgrade their backup strong safety spot this offseason and will most likely do that at some point during the draft.

Allen also has become susceptible to stingers and he left the field a few times last season after suffering them. He will turn 31 in June so this will be another strike against him moving forward. The Ohio State product will not receive any attention during the free agency signing period and as a result he must sit and wait to see if the Steelers want him to come back and compete for a roster spot in training camp. Should he wind up being re-signed, it would be a one-year qualifying contract for the minimum that comes with a reduced salary cap hit. That is, however, a long-shot to happen so it appears that his time in Pittsburgh will most likely come to an end.

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
Byron Leftwich – Unrestricted Free Agent

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  • Clint Martin

    He is the reason the Steelers secondary was so good, He stepped in and they shut teams down!

  • steeltown

    W.Allen should be brought back for ONE more season, unless they are certain they are targeting one or two SS in the upcoming draft (in hopes of landing one of them)
    Mundy has lost the confidence of the Coaches and DCSmith doesnt seem to have the speed for the position and Golden I think is more of a Free Safety.

    Again, unless they are seriously attempting to draft a SS this year, they should re-sign him for vet minimum

    My FA re-sign list:

    UFA’s K.Lewis, Foster /or Starks, Foote, W.Allen (Foote and Allen could be signed for vet minimum) RFA’s McLendon, Dwyer, Sanders (Question: wouldnt you rather not tender Sylvestor, save the 1.3million and use it on Foote or W.Allen?…. i would)

  • NW86

    I agree with this article except for the last sentence. Look at it this way, they kept Allen on the team for $1.6M in 2012, another very tight salary cap year, so they clearly thought he was worth it. In addition to his special teams play, he actually played on defense and played pretty well, so if anything he raised his stock a little. No, they won’t offer him more than $1.6M and no one will because of his age and the fact that he’s not a long-term solution. But if they paid him that last year, I don’t see why they wouldn’t offer him league minimum this year. Sure they will draft someone but Mundy will be gone so there’s still a slot available at least for camp.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Absolutely sign Will Allen. I dont see any choice. No rookie we get wuld start for LeBeau, &
    Anyone > Mundy.

    So what Will Allen is 31, most of our players yunger than him got injured, at every position. Therefore yung age is no guarantee of staying healthy, at-least not on this team.

  • steeltown

    Yep.. Mundy is most likely gone and theres no guarantee DCSmith makes the final cut this year, that would leave Golden and any eventual draft signing as our backups… hmm seems to me like W.Allen is worth a minimum contract or atleast a 1yr $1million deal

    Also, yes its funny how he brought up his age.. at 31, he’s younger then both starting Safeties

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Anyone is > Mundy.
    Will Allen proved that, & more because he had paid his dues on the bench while learning both safety positions. LeBeau made a mistake having Mundy ahed of Will on depth chart too long. Then LeBeau finally got it right, so hey Steelers dont screw it up: u CAN FIND a way to sign Will for whatever small contract it takes… “Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.”

  • steeltown

    Bryan Question: I originally posted this on the Charlie Batch FA analysis page.. but What, if any are the ramifications of signing Burress mid-season in regards to receiving a compensatory draft pick for William Gay? Will that effect placement of the pick or negate a pick altogther?

    Their salaries were basically the same, so I dont see that having any effect on placement, however Gay started in AZ, while Burress hardly played for us

  • SteelersDepot

    Has to happen during the main free agency signing period, not during the season. Burress signing does not play into the compensatory pick equation at all.

  • Resigning him depends on wether or not the Steelers draft a backup SS or they find a younger one in free agency. I would say the Steelers should target one around their 3rd-4th pick, and if they don’t then resign Will Allen.

  • RW

    Yeah sign him up. We need someone that knows the defense and is capable of playing either safety spot in a pinch. Keep in mind that even Troy didn’t see the field on defense during his rookie season, so having your top backup option as a rookie safety might not be the the best option. Then again, perhaps we should keep an extra OL rather than an extra safety. Food for thought. In any case, my intuition says keep him.

  • JohnnyV1

    He played way better than I thought he would/could. I think he earned his pay, which is not the case for several of his higher paid teammates. If they bring him back for the veteran minimum, they could do a lot worse. He did a nice job.

  • steeltown

    Great! Thats one factor I was considering, thanks!

  • alex

    so, im confused here…Mundy still blows, and Allen crushed as his replacement…these are the two guys on the side to cover Clark and Troy…So, by your article we assume you dont want either of them back which would mean rookie replacements…!?

    this brings up, another question…in coaches blitzburgh defense, we always sit rookies out for at least a year to learn the scheme…in todays NFL, where youth is truly being served, can we still do this…? …(Mclendon, Haywood, Worilds were ready last year!) we gotta givem’ a chance to succeed…:) or fail…:(