Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Larry Foote will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and on Wednesday he was on 93.7 The Fan to talk about his future.
Foote, who perhaps had his best statistical season of his 11 year career in 2012, was asked if he expects to be with the Steelers in 2013.
“It\’s so early right now,” said Foote. “I\’m hoping. It might be more hope right now than actually thinking I\’m coming back, but I don\’t know. I\’ll have a good idea probably in the next couple of weeks or a month or so. But I know the Steelers got a lot of stuff to do to iron out stuff with young guys, and with the money situation, or what they want to do in the draft. So, right now I\’m quite sure they\’re putting a plan together, but that\’s why they\’ll talk to my agent and well go from there.”
Foote was then asked if he would take a discounted rate to stay with the Steelers.
“It depends on what type of discount,” said Foote. “It depends on what offers I got from other teams. But the question, would I take a pay cut to play with the Steelers? Yes, absolutely.”
Foote said that it might be a month or so until he knows what his future holds, but in all likelihood it might be well after the draft until he really knows. The Steelers have several contract restructures that they have to take care of first and also have some big decisions to make as to the future of outside linebacker James Harrison and guard Willie Colon. Both are under contract next season, but both could wind up being cap causalities as soon as the beginning of March.
The Steelers also will likely want to see how the draft plays out in April before they make a decision on whether or not to bring Foote back. Stevenson Sylvester is a restricted free agent and will likely be back on a one year tender and Sean Spence, the Steelers third-round pick last year, should hopefully be ready by the time training camp rolls around after tearing up his knee in the preseason.
It is hard to say whether or not Foote will get any offers once free agency begins, but he admitted just after the season ended that he really didn\’t enjoy the season he spent in Detroit after the Steelers released him in 2009. He really doesn\’t want to play anywhere else if he can help it.
It is obvious that Foote wants to play in Pittsburgh next season, but to do so he will most likely have to take a one-year deal for the veteran minimum on a qualifying contract for that to happen. The Steelers cant and wont sign him to a multi-year deal.
Foote had a $3 million base salary in 2012 and recorded 113 total tackles in 16 starts, which was a career high for him. He also recorded 4 sacks and forced 2 fumbles.