Steelers LB Larry Foote Is Willing To Take A Pay Cut To Return In 2013

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.

  • zyzak

    Spence will not be able to help much, that knee is big trouble.

  • CW

    Hopefully the Steelers can resign him at league minimum. Larry Foote is not an elite player, but he’s a very good veteran right now.

  • NW86

    I completely understand that the steelers can’t afford to pay him much in 2013, but looking at it from foote’s point of view, league minimum could be tough to swallow. He has made $3m or more each of the past 5 or 6 years, and he just had his best year as a pro and lead the team in tackles. He is not as old as guys like Harrison and keisel. I doubt if he looks at himself as a league minimum type guy. I hope they find a way to get him back though.

  • steeltown

    Pure speculation.. look at Decastro, look at A.Peterson, look at numerous other players across the League. They have the BEST surgeons and rehab specialist known to man. Its pretty amazing what they can do.

  • steeltown

    I think the vet minimum in 2013 for a 10+yr veteran is around $950,000, I’d give him an even million to play in 2013.. I dont care who you are, a million bucks is nothing to squabble about.. and he’s worth every penny

  • mokhkw

    I’d bet on Foote being back. When you look at the other options, there really aren’t any.

    1. Draft or Sign a replacement? Either way they won’t start in year 1 in LeBeau’s system so you’re going to need Foote for at least one more season. Remember, Foote is the play-caller for the D as well.

    2.Move Timmons to his spot? That would be a waste of Timmon’s talents & he doesn’t deal with blockers as well as Farrior or Foote. He would also have to add bulk – he did that in 2011 & had his worst year as a starter. In short, he’s a WILB & always will be.

    3. Start Sean Spence? At SILB? Are you kidding? Only way Spence sees the field is in sub-packages, he’s too small to ever be a starter in a 3-4, either at WILB or SILB.

    4. Start Sylvester? Hasn’t shown enough to be anything but a back-up, although this does make more sense than starting Spence imo.

    Foote played well in 2012. He was a bit shaky with the Play-Calling early on but as Phil Simms said in the week 16 broadcast, Foote & Timmons were playing really well together as the season progressed.

    Makes no sense to hand over the Play Calling duties to someone else at this stage – and who would it be? It’s reasonable to expect a few hiccups for anyone who takes over that duty.

    2 more from thoughts from left field:

    1. Move Woodley to MILB? Apparently there has been some talk of this recently but it’s actually nothing new. When he was Drafted he was projected at possibly being a MLB & if you watched him at Michigan he used to spend quite a bit of time standing up & lined up over a Guard so it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

    2. Trade for Rolando McClain? He’s fallen out of favor with the Raiders & doesn’t want to be there. Knock on him is that he doesn’t cover the deep middle very well but he checks all the other boxes for what you’d want in a MILB in a 3-4. He’s a 1st Rd Pick so the talent is there. The Raiders would probably take a 5th Rd Pick for him as it stands & there’s also a good chance that he gets released if no-one trades for him. Of course, you’re still going to need Foote for one more year if that did happen.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Foote was scorched by TEs. And his season ended that way for a TD. To anyone saying he’s an ILB, a def coordinator cant call a game where an ILB will never have to cover any TE. If Foote is kept its saying Spence isnt ready. Foote has a good attitude. But he’s lucky though DeCastro was miraculously available though, otherwise we could have drafted ILB Donte Hightower last draft.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Any way you shake it, having Foote for ONE MORE season would be ideal.., oh and getting McClain for a mid Rd pick would be nice, but not if he has a huge contract that comes with him

  • LouPGH

    I think your thought process on Foote is correct. Of course, as Dave pointed out, the financial situation is such that they probably won’t offer him more than a one-year deal for the vet minimum. (I’m not saying that’s what they should or shouldn’t do; just the way it is.) So, it’s really up to Foote. I don’t follow any other team nearly as closely; tough to say who might show interest in him in free agency.

  • Ahmad

    If you ask me Foote was worth every bit of that $3 million he made this year. The fact that he would come back on a hometown discount really speak volumes to how much he loves this team.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    McClain has a huge salary coming with him, so they’d need to wait for him to be cut. He was terrible for Oakland as a player and off the field. He may have more upside in a 3-4, but he should only be looked at only as someone you take a flyer on at the veteran minimum.

  • JohnnyV1

    Larry Foote played his a$$ off in 2012, playing far better that I thought he would. For the right price, he should be back. And he should take some what of a discount, they signed him for big money to be a back-up for a few years, prior to him starting this year. It was good for both the team and player.

  • Pete

    Butler in an interview said Spence was behind Timmons and joked that he wasn’t going to move Timmons off the field any time soon. He also commented that Spence was too small to play Farrior’s old position. If things stay as they are, Spence will remain a backup for Timmons and the Steelers will need to draft a replacement for Foote or use Free Agency. Either way, I agree the Steelers don’t have the depth to release Foote and he stays for another year.

  • mokhkw

    I think McClain’s latest arrest has put to bed any chances of that happening now.

  • Sheila

    I agree with Ahmad, Foote was worth every penny that he was paid! He is a leader on and off the field and is loyal to the Steelers!!! He had a awesome year, and lead the team in tackles, which was a season high for him….We need his leadership and another 2 years with him will help us develop the newbee’s coming in his position.