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.

2/14/2000NTKimo von OelhoffenBengals9594
2/22/2000DEChris SullivanPatriots152
2/28/2000GRich TylskiJaguars2826
2/28/2000QBKent GrahamGiants145
5/30/2000SBrent AlexanderPanthers6464
3/8/2001CJeff HartingsDetroit9189
3/23/2001SMike LoganJaguars7317
4/20/2001LBMike JonesRams211
6/12/2001QBTommy MaddoxXFL4332
3/25/2002KTodd PetersonChiefs100
4/5/2002LBJames FarriorJets154154
6/13/2002WRTerance MathisFalcons160
6/17/2002QBCharlie BatchDetroit349
3/5/2003LBClint KriewaldtDetroit742
3/17/2003TTodd FordhamJaguars116
3/19/2003TEJay RiemersmaBuffalo229
3/6/2004PChris GardockiBrowns480
3/9/2004RBDuce StaleyEagles1611
3/10/2004DTTravis Kirschke49ers9218
5/26/2004CBWillie WilliamsSeahawks2011
3/8/2005WRCedrick Wilson49ers4714
4/5/2005STyrone CarterJets8922
3/14/2006SRyan ClarkRedskins9593
3/16/2006DERodney BaileySeahawks120
3/10/2007CSean MahanBuccaneers1616
4/17/2007DTNick EasonBrowns5511
5/10/2007RBKevan BarlowJets00
3/3/2008RBMewelde MooreVikings594
3/12/2008LBKeyaron FoxChiefs453
3/18/2008CJustin HartwigPanthers3232
4/24/2009CBKeiwan RatliffColts90
5/1/2009WRShaun McDonaldLions40
3/8/2010WRAntwaan Randle ElRedskins160
3/8/2010WRArnaz Battle49ers250
3/8/2010TJonathan ScottBills2915
3/8/2010SWill AllenBuccaneers467
3/15/2010LBLarry FooteLions4721
4/10/2012TELeonard PopeChiefs162

  • 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.