Yearly History Lesson – So You Want The Steelers To Make A Splash In Free Agency?

As we get closer to the start of the free agency signing period, more and more names of free agent players are being suggested as potential targets for the Pittsburgh Steelers on social media sites and the blogosphere.

Every year it is my job to play the bad cop and remind everyone how the Steelers are not a team that has been very active during the free agent signing period ever since general manager Kevin Colbert came on board in 2000.

Below is the updated list of the free agents signed by the Steelers during the MAIN portion of the signing period from 2000-2012. Last offseason the big free agent addition was tight end Leonard Pope.

You will not see Jerricho Cotchery on the list as he was signed after the start of training camp following his release from the New York Jets. Also not on the list are the players that were future signings prior to the free agent period beginning. In addition, free agents added to the team after the season started also do not qualify for this list.

Due to the Steelers salary cap situation, and long list of own unrestricted free agents, this offseason, it would be shocking to see them make a run at any free agents from other teams this offseason. Sure, there might be one or two added, but if you are expecting them to be high profile types, you are sure to once again be disappointed.

The Steelers generally focus on re-signing a few of their own free agents and there is no reason to think that they will stray from that gameplan this offseason.

So everyone expecting that the Steelers will make a run at Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, Sean Smith or Ahmad Bradshaw, consider this your yearly splash of cold water in your face.

2/14/2000 NT Kimo von Oelhoffen Bengals 95 94
2/22/2000 DE Chris Sullivan Patriots 15 2
2/28/2000 G Rich Tylski Jaguars 28 26
2/28/2000 QB Kent Graham Giants 14 5
5/30/2000 S Brent Alexander Panthers 64 64
3/8/2001 C Jeff Hartings Detroit 91 89
3/23/2001 S Mike Logan Jaguars 73 17
4/20/2001 LB Mike Jones Rams 21 1
6/12/2001 QB Tommy Maddox XFL 43 32
3/25/2002 K Todd Peterson Chiefs 10 0
4/5/2002 LB James Farrior Jets 154 154
6/13/2002 WR Terance Mathis Falcons 16 0
6/17/2002 QB Charlie Batch Detroit 34 9
3/5/2003 LB Clint Kriewaldt Detroit 74 2
3/17/2003 T Todd Fordham Jaguars 11 6
3/19/2003 TE Jay Riemersma Buffalo 22 9
3/6/2004 P Chris Gardocki Browns 48 0
3/9/2004 RB Duce Staley Eagles 16 11
3/10/2004 DT Travis Kirschke 49ers 92 18
5/26/2004 CB Willie Williams Seahawks 20 11
3/8/2005 WR Cedrick Wilson 49ers 47 14
4/5/2005 S Tyrone Carter Jets 89 22
3/14/2006 S Ryan Clark Redskins 95 93
3/16/2006 DE Rodney Bailey Seahawks 12 0
3/10/2007 C Sean Mahan Buccaneers 16 16
4/17/2007 DT Nick Eason Browns 55 11
5/10/2007 RB Kevan Barlow Jets 0 0
3/3/2008 RB Mewelde Moore Vikings 59 4
3/12/2008 LB Keyaron Fox Chiefs 45 3
3/18/2008 C Justin Hartwig Panthers 32 32
4/24/2009 CB Keiwan Ratliff Colts 9 0
5/1/2009 WR Shaun McDonald Lions 4 0
3/8/2010 WR Antwaan Randle El Redskins 16 0
3/8/2010 WR Arnaz Battle 49ers 25 0
3/8/2010 T Jonathan Scott Bills 29 15
3/8/2010 S Will Allen Buccaneers 46 7
3/15/2010 LB Larry Foote Lions 47 21
4/10/2012 TE Leonard Pope Chiefs 16 2
  • alex

    everybody say DUH!

  • Free agency is always the time we see these available names and romanticize what they could do for our Steelers. But, there usually is a reason these names are available. It’s not to say none of them cold help, but it usually isn’t worth the price. The Steelers stick to their plan and have shown it is effective. Draft well, maybe make a smart move up or down but usually daft with what we got. Then late in the off season pick up that totally “who cares” free agent that usually turns out being a key fill in when somebody gets hurt. I am excited about this next season because I believe in the coaching staff and I believe that Big Ben is going to feel more and more challenged to prove his status next season. Seriously, Flacco is now a SB MVP and Ben isn’t. The Ravens are the nemesis and they won it all. Ben has been questioned because of how this last season went with a new O coordinator. Mumblings of should the Steelers start thinking of a QB to succeed Ben have been heard. And the biggest thing is our Steelers are free falling off of everybody’s radar. Typically that means good things will happen with a challenged team. Crank up that pass rush because I sense SB run coming in 2013-2014.

  • Nolrog

    There were a couple key guys we got in free agency. Ryan Clark and James Farrior. If we were able to get a good solid player like that, it would help the team immensly. I don’t think we need to go after a Mario Williams, but we can’t forego (sp?) FA completely every year.

  • about 6 of those guys were worth signing.

  • mokhkw

    I’d say 19. Not all were expected to be starters and some were valuable back-ups. You have to account for salary as well, which makes the Duce Staley signing much worse than the Kevin Barlow one. Another eg, is Hartwig, while he was average at best, was still an upgrade over Mahan & was a cheap upgrade.

  • mokhkw

    Steelers wise, I don’t pay any attention to FA until after the Draft & am generally surprised if they do make any signings before then.

    After an 8-8 season some ppl expect a shake-up but I expect the Steelers to do business as usual again this off-season.

  • HarryBackside

    FA is going to be tough this year, especially with the salary floor starting this season. There are teams that will need to work just as hard to get above the salary floor as the Steelers will to get under the cap. I would expect to see a lot of FA contracts with money front loaded in the first year or two. Maybe even some big money one year deals.