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Keenan Lewis Says Steelers Didn\’t Offer Him A Deal


Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis took to Twitter on Thursday evening after signing with the New Orleans Saints to say that he will miss the Pittsburgh fans and that the Steelers didn\'t offer him a deal to return.

So there you have it, the Steelers didn\'t even try to retain Lewis. Unless general manager Kevin Colbert disputes this, you have to believe Lewis is telling the truth.

The praising of Saints head coach Sean Payton is a little bit over the top, but you can tell that he is very excited to be playing for the team he has always wanted to play for. Lewis, afterall, is from the New Orleans area.

According to The Times-Picayune, Lewis had visits set up with the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans and the Philadelphia Eagles, but after meeting with the Saints on Thursday, knew that no more trips were necessary.

"Those guys were trying to offer more money, but I had it set in my mind the whole time if the Saints offered me I was going to come home. I had to get it done," Lewis told the paper. "I looked at it like I\'m home. I\'m from Algiers. I went to O.P. Walker. A lot of guys don\'t really have that opportunity to play for their hometown team. Then when I had the opportunity to sit down with Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, Rob Ryan and my position coach, (Wesley) McGriff, they really made me feel at home. And that\'s something I had in Pittsburgh.

"When I first walked in there I felt like I was at home. I had opportunities to go to teams that offered me a lot more money. But everybody can\'t say that they had the opportunity to play in their back yard. Even when I was in Pittsburgh I would go back and watch four or five Saints games just to get acquainted with what they were doing."

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • TJimmy

    I dont see the Steelers letting him go without having a lot of confidence in Allen and Lake’s assessment of his abilities. Remember Joey Porter being released? The coaches know.what they have better than we do

  • Garrett Hunt

    Maybe they do not believe he is worth 5 million a year. After all he did only have one pro-bowl caliber year, and even then he didn’t have the turnovers that would be expected. We all know the Steelers won’t overpay what they think a player is worth.

    Who knows, in a year or two he may be exposed the more defenses watch him and game plan against his weaknesses. Maybe then we will think the Steelers dodged a bullet not giving him a big contract.

    Obviously, I would not count on this happening, but the Steelers know what they are doing at the same time. Only time will tell if this was a good move or not.

  • LucasY59

    I am disappointed about the Steelers not trying to bring him back, but I also can see why they didn’t

    5 mil/yr is a lot of $ for a guy that only started one year, was not at all impressive in his first few years, and did not have any interceptions all year (I saw a comment regarding Lewis being one of the top CB’s in pass breakups, but not getting any picks, I agree that those stats show that he had the most chances to make a turnover and did not produce) Cortez Allen came in and created all kinds of to’s when given the chance to start. so even though I would’ve liked to see them resign Lewis, I’m ok with giving Allen a chance.

    also I’m glad Lewis left for the right reasons, going back to his home town and going to a contender, It wasnt all about $ (and he didnt really have a choice since he wasn’t offered a chance to come back to the Steelers) I would not be supprised if Lewis ends up having a better career than Wallace.

  • gdeuce

    they didnt offer him anything for a reason

  • Eric MacLaurin

    If they didn’t offer him anything it wasn’t a good one.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I don’t remember Porter being bad or 25 at the time

  • Shannon Stephenson

    That has been my thought even before this story broke…The amount of money that the Saints gave him would have been easy to match IMO. My feeling was that management didn’t feel he was really that good.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I felt that Allen was better than Keenan even last year in training camp but it looked to me that Lewis played just fine last year but there is no question that Allen makes splash plays. they better tie up Allen for awhile!!!

  • TJimmy

    They could afford to let Joey Porter go because they had James Harrison waiting in the wings.

  • Rubem Dornas

    That’s ok. Now we have to concentrate our hopes on Allen, Brown, Van Dyke and Victorian. Good or bad, we have a young and nice (not wonderful) backup CB’s. With Keenan out there’s a strong possibility that King could stay. Isaiah Green is also in active roster but he is probably just a practice corpse.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    something we should put in our head is why we didnt offer a contract. we must feel good with what we have. Taylor, Allen and Gay are solid…no depth but solid starters.

  • Guest

    lol, why do people bring up Porter when discussing letting players go and it being a good thing. Porter had 32 sacks in the first 3 years after he left the Steelers. There are much better examples of players leaving and flopping on their new teams.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Wilkes420 Christopher Wilkes

    I’ve been saying this all off season while most people on here have a man-crush for the guy. One friggin career interception. He can’t make plays and because of that he doesn’t deserve to get paid. Yippy, he bats the ball down. Who cares? Not me. Goodbye!

  • Jollyrob68

    my only concern is Taylor is 33 and making 7 million. This should be his last yearbut I was ok to move on from him thisyear with Allen & Lewis.

  • SG

    Saints get to play the Niners, Seahawks, Patriots and of course the Falcons twice next season. Good luck Keenan.

  • Garrett Hunt

    They didn’t know it would work out as good as it did with James Harrison. He wasn’t just waiting in the wings to be a centerpiece of the future like Cortez Allen seems to be.

  • hergieburbur

    Pats don’t exactly have any fear inducing WRs. There are rumors that they may cut Lloyd loose.

  • Cody Younkin

    I like the youth at the position and woth Lake as the coach anythin is possible, but as of right now thats the worst group of CB’s ive heard of. Theres a lot of potential, they gotta prove it tho..just sayin

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    I hope they won’t let Allen walk next year.

  • Paul

    Christopher, I’ve been saying this for the past year, but every time I mentioned that on this site, I got ridiculed for saying such a thing. The guy isn’t worth nowhere near the money he got. We need to draft an athlete at the position and stop taking these developmental corners in the 4th and 5th rounds every year. Please!!!

  • Willy Steel

    My God, I cannot believe how bitter and negative you guys comments are. Just be happy for the man. Steelers may have the biggest fan base, but it’s evident they’ll turn on a player in a sec. Wow! All I have to say is that it may be true he only played 2 years, but they were the no. 1 pass defense those 2 years. When’s the last time The Steelers even broke the top 10 in PD? Agree or not we lost a rising player. Wish him all the best, now stop hating and move on. Geesh

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.lewis.9634 Jake Lewis

    lots of sour grapes here tonight. The guy was at or near the top of so many teams shopping list for a reason. All that crap about “he really isn’t that good” is classless. I’m not going to bash Allen or Gay, I like both and wish them the best. But to say we won’t miss Lewis is a fantasy. He was without a doubt, the best CB we had, Yeah Ike had some good years, but face it, he’s lost a step or 2, and is on his way out. We made a mistake by letting him hit the open market hoping to get him cheap. Once the Saints chimed in, I don’t think we had enough money to keep him. That’s the breaks.
    Good luck Keenan, I enjoyed your stay, increasing productivity every year, no character issues off the field, my kind of player. And the fact that he didn’t just jump at the biggest check says a lot about the man. Big loss for us, big win for the Saints. Congrats.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.lewis.9634 Jake Lewis

    “Allen makes splash plays”? I must have missed something. oh, right, he got lucky in a couple of meaningless garbage games at the end of the season. big whoop. Face it they went cheap. Allen will make what just over a half mil next year, maybe 1 and a half the following year, compared with 12 mil for Lewis over that time. The question I have is Is it about saving money or winning?

  • SteelSpine

    That was my observations of them too. Prior to last preseason I was hoping Cortez would pass Keenan because Keenan had gotten himself into Tomlin’s doghouse with dumb behavior, but Keenan turned it around in his last chance year for Steelers & turned out fine. I agree too that they should not let Cortez follow in Keenan’s FA footsteps, re-sign Cortez to a multi-year before he hits the market.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.lewis.9634 Jake Lewis

    I feel your pain Willy

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.lewis.9634 Jake Lewis

    management is a bunch of cash strapped knucleheads

  • SteelSpine

    I too notice homerism about players. Homerisim is what it is. Typical examples are teams passed on VanDyke & Victorian, & because we signed them they are “gems with solid potential which every team failed to see”. Heheh, then when they get surpassed by guys with more potential, they’ll be cut.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Told ya people! Steelers intentionally let him walk!

  • kandskess37@yahoo.com

    lock cortez up now!

  • HarryBackside

    Doesn’t make plays? He breaks up passes and doesn’t give up YAC. That’s the number one responsibility for a CB.

  • HarryBackside

    Great comment. It appears we live in this fantasy football world where INT’s are more important than shutting down WR’s. Lewis still hasn’t hit his ceiling. Even when he didn’t break a pass up, he was always in position to try and break the pass up, make the tackle and not give up any YAC. I think his instincts were getting better, and eventually those break ups will start to become turn overs. The Steelers would have been able to afford Lewis if they didn’t go on their retread FA shopping spree.

  • HarryBackside

    Allen has two years left on his contract. Under the new CBA, all rookies sign 4 year contracts

  • HarryBackside

    Yup. Once again the Steelers sacrificed youth for age

  • James Doogin

    I agree, he has been a player who’s been improving each year. He’s a rising star and will be a Pro Bowler in the Saints new system. He’s a natural man, press corner and Ryan’s system will allow him to play to his strengths. He only allowed a little over 50% completion rate and I believe that will be somewhere in the 40′s this year.

    The whole Cortez > Keenan thing is also absurd. Yes he did cause a few turnovers in the last games, but he still allowed over 100 yds to AJ Green. When he took over for Ike in the Ravens game he struggled with Boldin. The most yards Keenan gave up in a game was 64yds to Dez Bryant, another beast of a receiver. But I guess fans rather a few turnovers and giving up 100+ yds in a game instead of shutting a receiver down.

    And on the one season talk. Look, this guy was the second most targeted corner in the league last year and held his own.

  • John A Stewart

    IF HE WAS ONE OF TOMLINS YES MEN AKA GAY THEY WOULD HAVE SIGN HIM.

  • John A Stewart

    GAY GAVE UP OVER 720 YARDS LAST YEAR HE WAS RATED 105 AS A CONERBACK SOLID LOL TOMLINS’ BOY

  • John A Stewart

    TOMLIN GOT RID OF PORTER BECAUSE HE WAS VERY OUTSPOKEN AND A VOCAL LEADER.PORTER WOULD LET YOU HAVE IT IF YOU SCREW UP.

  • ScottBrown

    Someone smarter than me is going to have to explain this one. I normally defer to the Steelers FO (as they have forgotten more about football than I will ever know) but you’ve got 3 guys in the secondary that are a combined 100 yrs old and you let a young, promising corner just walk away????

  • steeltown

    Ike Taylor was a 4th Rd pick… that worked out pretty well

  • steeltown

    Agreed. He’s a UFA in 2015.. so let him start this year, see what he has to offer, if he’s successful extend him in 2014.. BEFORE he’s a UFA!

  • steeltown

    Yes, but that was a totally new Team and Defense.. He had a very solid year as a starter for us, before leaving in FA, he can thrive in the Lebeau system, plus he wont be asked to be the starter

  • steeltown

    Everyone calm down

    We have Ike and Cortez dont we?.. and Gay was resigned for very cheap. In the end, lets hope that C.Brown turns the proverbial corner this year. We’ll probably draft a CB to compete with Brown, Van Dyke and Victorian

    I’m sorry but I’m still more concerned with the depth at Safety and ILB, not much experience behind the perennial starters

  • TJimmy

    I never meant to say that he flopped later, or that Lewis would. I said that the coaches know what they have better than we do, and they must have a lot of confidence in Allen or they would never have let Keenan go.

    They had a lot of confidence in Harrison, or they would not have released Porter either. That’s the only comparison I’m drawing.

  • TJimmy

    But they knew they had something special with Harrison. Perhaps they know they have something special with Allen as well.

  • Paul

    Ike is average at best. Extremely overrated as well. If you follow the Steelers, you should know that he was in the dog house with Cowher and was close to getting benched. The same with Tomlin as well. Ike is an athlete no doubt, but lock down corner he isn’t. Even if you believe that Ike is a great corner, 1 out of 20 isn’t a good ratio. While there really isn’t a perfect formula for picking superstars, I would really like to see the Steelers make a early run at a corner. Someone who is a pure athlete. That’s what we need!

  • steeltown

    Extremely overrated? Average at best? You’re talking about a guy that goes up against opposing Teams #1 WR every week and usually shuts them down.. most times covering them well enough that their QB’s dont even throw his direction

    You’re not one of those people who base their opinion of CB ability on INT stats are you?

  • steeltown

    Not sure im smarter than you, but I’ll give you my opinion. I think its a bit of two things.. one, they have confidence in Cortez Allen to replace Keenan.. and two, even though Ike and Troy and others with their higher salaries /cap hits will be gone soon we still have to re-sign or extend Pouncey and possibly Hood, Worilds, McLendon, Sanders etc. and possibly even give Ben and Heath an extension, all of this after this upcoming season. Thats alot of new contracts. I think you have pick and choose your battles.

    We overpaid to keep our SB Team together for another run, now we are kind of hurting from it, but things will even themselves out.

    Look what the Ravens are doing.. they’re going a different route, they are not overpaying to keep their SB Team together and theyre losing players left and right… which method is better… I dont really know.. but I know we almost won another SB in 2010.. that one wouldve been sweet

  • Paul

    That’s not the only important thing at corner, but turnovers are extremely important at that position, which ike doesn’t get. Is he good? Yes, but elite number 1 corner he isn’t. We need one more corner next to him. I do however like cortez a lot. I’m sure we will see him starting this year. I just don’t understand the gay pickup regardless of how much of the defense he knows. He’s just not good. We could’ve got someone better to fill in the slot position. Whatever though, that’s what the steelers do right? Lol

  • steeltown

    They brought Gay back for pretty cheap, plus I think it shows they are not quite sold on C.Brown just yet.. but either way if Brown shows improvement, Gay can be released in the offseason with very a low dead money hit

    I’d be more concerned now , if they hadnt re-signed Gay.. he basically cost what a restricted tender cost, it was a solid move for experienced depth IMO

  • kill75@bellsouth.net

    Hey, let’s be real read the artical , Lewis said it himself that if the Saints offer him he was gone. He is were he wants to be and that is at home, he stated that he took trips to see them play to checkout the vibs, he had a plan all the whole and that’s cool. But let’s not make comments just to running our mouths STEELERS NATION, let’s look at the facts we could not have competed with others teams to sign this kid, because of our cap situation. STEEERS FANS let’se thankful that we have a kid like Allen with good skill sets and can play the position, he will do very well for us and Coach Lake will have him ready to compete. LET’S GO STEELERS

  • Pete

    Even though he’s only really had one year starting and no INTs, I thought that might limit his possibilities but it does look like he had the interest of a lot of teams. I am surprised the Steelers never gave him an offer but I suppose they had their reasons. We will miss him but Lake is the reason Lewis is where he is today. Before Lake, Lewis was on his way to becoming a big bust. Lake has and will continue to do a great job developing the Steelers secondary into a first class unit.

  • Pete

    Lewis struggled at times too, and would’ve been a bust if not for Lake. Cortez and Lewis are both young corners and haven’t hit their full potential yet. Good luck to Lewis and I have every confidence that Lake will continue to give the Steelers an excellent DB unit.

  • James Doogin

    I must say though if you watch the tape, Ike had help over the top in a few games though. I know off hand the Bengals, Giants and the Ravens games for sure. Being overrated though, i would go as far as saying that.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Well said, steeltown. That is the only explanation that makes sense to me. The Steelers could not afford to pay Wallace and Brown at the same time, so they chose Brown and let Wallace go. The Steelers cannot afford to pay Lewis and Allen long term, so they (will) choose Allen and let Lewis go. When you pay a franchise QB and a few pro bowl defensive players there just isn’t that much money to go around.

    The Steelers love stability. They don’t like cutting veterans (even if their skills have slightly deteriorated) because veterans are like glue. They don’t make mental mistakes, and they help groom the rookies. As long as they still have Big Ben, the Steelers would rather put a competitive team on the field every year, than go the Ravens route and cut/re-build. And I can’t say I blame them.

  • LucasY59

    I agree I think Tomllin likes Will Gay alot more than he liked Lewis, that is one thing that makes me question Tomlin, holding on to guys too long that he likes, and bringing in guys he knows/likes even if they are not the best players available.

  • LucasY59

    I agree on the depth/experience/familiarity with the D, but I would’ve waited for Lewis to be gone before I brought back Gay, even then with all the CB’s available Im not sure that Gay would be the guy I would sign.

  • Superdriller316

    When ARII comes out and says he’s disappointed with the lack of turnovers, something is going to happen. When Kevin says, we aren’t married to anyone, something’s going to happen. I like Keenan and I thought he took a big step forward last year. Lets not forget our coaching staff. When Keenan was drafted Ray Horton was the DB coach and Keenan couldn’t get a whiff of the field. Now we have Lake, and Keenan started to make progress. It’s like everyone thinks we don’t have anymore CB on the roster. Keenan went home to play and I think it would have taken a lot more for the Steelers to keep him than what the Saints offered. For the Steelers to not offer Keenan a deal says a lot. We as fans only see the players for a few hours one day a week. The coaches see them every day, all day. I think they know what they are doing, I might not agree with what they do, but I’m not paid to make those decisions, and neither is any one else. So lets be happy for Keenan that he gets to go home and play, and hope he plays well. If he does we will get a good comp pick next year.

  • Superdriller316

    Keenan was a starter and we lost 8 games. I’m not saying its his fault, but I will say a turnover is more important than a pass defended. Just knocking down a ball gives their offense another try. A turnover gives our offense that chance. Just because a player makes a lot of money doesn’t mean he’s any good, ask Philly, or Washington.

  • TsarPepe

    Even at his best, Lewis was never close to Ike. The latter is a true shutdown corner, the most under-appreciated one in the league. What he did with AJ Green in that first game was ridiculous. And he’s been doing it for years. Don’t put him in the same league with a guy who showed flashes in one season.

  • Madelyn Bryson

    Emmanual Sanders probably going to the Patriots. What’s happening? Are they bailing? Good for them. Pittsburgh treated some of these men like dirt. Good luck Lewis and Sanders

  • Madelyn Bryson

    Because they are dysfunctional and are unable to think out of the box.

  • charles

    Pete heres hoping that you are right. I am sure that Colbert is not making these decisions in a vacuum. If I were him though, I would be looking at the housing market in say Baltimore or Cincy…

  • charles

    It also depends on what the coaches teach. I can’t imagine Colbert, Tomlin, and Lake being this stupid. There must be reasoning to this madness.

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