Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and he appears to be ready to test the market and shop his services.
According to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Twitter, Lewis made it known that the Steelers "made a mistake" by not offering him a multi-year deal before the 2012 season.
Keenan Lewis plans to test free agency. He told #Steelers "they made a mistake" by not offering multi-year deal before 2012 season.
— Alan Robinson (@arobinson_Trib) January 1, 2013
Lewis had a great 2012 season and finished second in the league in passes defensed with 23. He also registered 71 combined tackles and forced 1 fumble.
The franchise tag on cornerbacks this offseason is $10.66 million and the Steelers just won\'t be able to do that from a salary cap standpoint, so it appears that the Oregon State product will join his childhood friend and Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace in entertaining offers once the free agency signing period begins.
As I pointed out in a recent post, Lewis figures to be one of the top five or six free agent cornerbacks on the market this offseason. If he is not willing to give the Steelers any hometown discount he very well might have played his last game in the black and gold.
The free agent signing period begins at 4:00 p.m. eastern on March 12th.