Do The Steelers Still Have Room For CB Keenan Lewis?

The first day of free agency in the 2013 NFL league year has come and gone and Pittsburgh Steelers unrestricted free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis remains unsigned. Is that surprising? No, not really, considering how flooded the cornerback free agent market seems to be at this moment.

Heading into Wednesday there hasn\’t even been any news of teams being very interested in Lewis, but that could certainly change in a matter of moments. So do the Steelers still have a chance to re-sign him? The longer he remains unsigned, yes.

The Steelers did what they normally do on the first day of free agency, and that\’s sign a few of there own unrestricted free agents. As of Tuesday evening they had re-signed guard Ramon Foster, linebacker Larry Foote, wide receiver Plaxico Burress and tight end/fullback David Johnson. All of those moves did not eat up as much cap space as you would think and the team still sits roughly $4.4 million under the cap with all tenders and restructures accounted for.

The Steelers will gain $5.5 million in cap space come June 2nd as a result of the expected release of guard Willie Colon on Wednesday. They also will not need to worry about signing their top two draft picks until after that date. As I see it right now, they have roughly $2-3 million that they could afford in a way of a first year cap hit for Lewis.

I suspect that within 72 more hours, maybe less, we will know if Lewis is staying or going. The Steelers are not going to wait around for a week and let Lewis hold up their plans. They will likely want a verdict on him by the weekend. Wouldn\’t you?

There are a ton of experienced cornerbacks on the market right now and that list grew even larger on Tuesday when Nnamdi Asomugha and Antoine Winfield were released. Remaining unsigned in addition to those two and Lewis are Sean Smith, Brent Grimes, Aqib Talib, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Chris Houston. That\’s a large list and don\’t forget that Darrelle Revis is still in play as well.

Should Lewis remain unsigned through Wednesday evening, you would have to think that he would start considering returning to Pittsburgh at discounted rate. They can still afford him at the right price, but they won\’t wait all summer for him to make his decision.

  • steeltown

    That’s plenty of money.. the $2-3MIL could easily cover a low base salary in 2013 plus the guaranteed bonus money that would be prorated

    Its still up in the air.. but damn I cant believe how many CB’s are available this year

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Hold up what plans? Scouting? Waiting for unsigned players to give up and take a low offer? Lunch?

  • Bradys_Dad

    How much cap space would the release of Big Snack generate ? Now or June 1 ?

  • zyzak

    He is unrestricted so none

  • zyzak

    But should they invest in RB instead

  • steeltown

    Who? Beanie Wells? Ahmad Bradshaw?

    They’ll almost certainly draft a RB

  • Addison

    I’m getting the feeling they want to sign Cortez Allen during training camp with the Colon cut.

  • steeltown

    Would be nice to start locking the young guys up BEFORE they become FA’s

  • zyzak

    For sure they will draft one but are they comfortable with Redman and Dwyer as their only ex. backs, Bradshaw might be worth it, Wells not so much

  • disqus_wdLdx4W76r

    Only free agent RB they should go after is Jackson.. & How much of a DISCOUNT will Lewis take?? How much is he worth for one good year?? Ain’t him and Wallace BFFs??

  • mem359

    All it takes is for an injury-hampered season for some people to complain “why did the Steelers lock up Woodley before he became a FA?”… I agree that it would have been nice if they took a chance on Lewis before this last season, just wanted to point out that there are drawbacks to doing that too.

  • HarryBackside

    They can’t do anything with Allen until next year. Per the new CBA, a team can’t negotiate a new contract with a player on a rookie deal until after 3 years

  • steeltown

    I’ll admit Bradshaw is an intriguing option, but even he has been injured the last two seasons (neck and foot) and I believe he just had another surgery last month to put a new screw in his foot

  • HarryBackside

    Can’t release what you do not possess

  • HarryBackside

    The FO would have another $1M to play with if they weren’t so eager to bring back Willie Gay

  • Guest

    Could Beanie Wells be a cheap option? I kind of like this back. However, his was injured. I don’t know.

  • Sign a better pair of hands for Johnson, please… and find some lead blocking classes for him too while you’re at it.

  • I’d like to see Steven Jackson signed, too.

  • steeltown

    Not sure his asking price.. but I wouldnt sign a RB with a history of chronic injury

  • Alan Felicia

    Lewis and Wallace grew up in the same town (near New Orleans). Ironic that Lewis played well in a contract year yet it took him his 4th year to finally be a starter. Lot of fans keeps harping about how Lewis is 2nd in Pass defended (23). Yet, the way I see it, Lewis had 23 opportunities to make a turnover but came up empty. Richard Sherman led the league in pass defended with 24 but 2nd in INTs w/8. Tim Jennings was 3rd in Pd w/ 21 and led the NFL in INTs w/ 9. Discount? Lewis may need to take a discount b/c he doesn’t deserve what he’s looking for.

  • Kolie Oak

    Man all I can say is praise God all these cornerbacks are being released! Although it sucks for Keenan this has to be the best situation for Pitt to resign him. Keenan is such a hidden talent, he is a Ike clone with hands and ball skills.
    I see why our organization is handling him this way especially with another Ed Reed clone in Cortez…..

  • Ahmad

    I feel Lewis will come back and we can get him at a good enough price. If we do, FA will be a success in my eyes.

  • Dan

    It sure seems like they are clearing 2013 space for some reason. Wonder if something unusually big is coming down? Why would you release Colon with the post Jun 2nd desingation and put all that dead money in 2014 unless there was some plan for it in 2013? Think about all the heavy multi-restructured contracts that are going to hurt the 2014 cap. Seems like you’d want to protect the 2014 budget a bit, unless we’re working out a trade for Adrian Peterson, yes!!!

  • I have a good feeling about the Lewis situation right now. Not only that Pittsburgh will retain him, but maybe even at a reasonable price!

  • Garrett Hunt

    I was with you until the Adrian Peterson part. I would be doing backflips if he was a Steeler, but the Vikings already gave up there only other playmaker so the asking price would be ridiculous.

  • Dan

    Yeah AP was a joke comment, but wouldn’t it be great? Actually I’d worry he won’t have that long of a career with the pounding he takes, but it’d be fun to find out. And certainly the asking price would be (rightfully) rediculous. Considering what the Vikings got for Harvin, can you imagine what they’d get for Peterson?

  • Pete

    They may have enough to sign him but Bouchette and Dulac are reporting the Steelers are expecting Lewis to sign with another team. It’s early in free agency and it’s not like Lewis is among the top FA corners on the market. The only thing that might be in the Steelers favor is that Lewis’ body of work is quite small. But it only takes one team to make a sizeable offer.

  • TsarPepe

    these hands and ball skills have produced no interceptions so far… just sayin’

  • SteelSpine

    Thanks for the scoop. Bouchette has earned cred by having been more correct on predictions than any other writer re Steelers that I recall. So it wouldn’t surprise me if Bouchette has been right all along about this one too.

  • SteelSpine