Report: Saints Close To Deal With Steelers Free Agent CB Keenan Lewis

Pittsburgh Steelers unrestricted free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis is visiting with the New Orleans Saints on Thursday and Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting via Twitter that a deal is close to being finalized and could be done as soon as today.

The price tag for cornerbacks remains low as the Kansas City Chiefs signed former Miami Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith on Thursday to a three-year deal that is supposedly worth $15 million.

The going rate appears to be around $5 million average yearly value and it would be shocking to see Lewis get more than that.

Rob Ryan, the Saints new defensive coordinator, is putting in a 3-4 defense in New Orleans that requires the cornerbacks to play more man coverage than zone. While with the Steelers, Lewis mostly played zone.

We will wait for the final word, but this news is not encouraging if you were hoping that Lewis would return to Pittsburgh.

  • Jollyrob68

    If he goes, he goes but I hope The Steelers get an opportunity to match.
    However I understand he has a chance to play for his home team.Best of Luck.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    i heard there also making a strong push for Asomugha lets hope they sign him instead of Lewis.

  • Jason White

    Yeah you watch, we will lose all these players and get some compensatory picks next year and some of those picks will get shoved to the practice squad where another team will sign them away and we will have nothing to show for it all. Just our luck. I know I am saying this out of frustration but lately the Steelers have become a developmental team for the rest of the league. We make great players and the rest of the league gets to enjoy the fruits of the Steelers’ labor.

  • Cols714

    This is nuts. How can you possibly say this about a team that is constantly in contention for the Super Bowl? Has in fact been to three of them in the last 8 years, winning 2 and just had seasons of 12-4, 12-4, and then one down year of 8-8?

    Steelers fans need to stop being so dumb. Your organization is one of the best run in all of football.

  • steeltown

    Again.. if he goes elsewhere I sure HOPE they use the extra cap that they were going to use on him to extend McLendon or Worilds or Sanders etc.

    I hate grooming players for other Teams

  • HarryBackside

    Just great. The entire 2008 and 2009 draft classes have almost been completely purged. The only player from either of those draft classes to be signed to a second contract is David Johnson.

  • HarryBackside

    I’ll bet dollars to donuts that they didn’t even make an effort to re-sign Lewis, meaning there is no extra cap space to use. Any cap space that could have been used to sign Lewis was already spent on the two Willie’s, Foote, Burress, David Johnson and possibly Beanie Wells. How’s that for an all-star line up?

  • HarryBackside

    Because they have basically lost two entire draft classes.

  • Steelers32

    Would have liked the Lewis / Allen / Taylor /Gay combo but it will not happen. Kind of makes sense in a way, the Wallace and Allen bromance, and Wallace being so eager to leave…

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I could see a couple of things happening here.

    1. The Saints really want him and are making a strong push to get him signed.
    2. The Saints really want Asomugha and this is an attempt to push him along faster.
    3. This is way to try to push the Steelers to up their offer because he wants to be here.

  • steeltown

    …one more Comp pick… yay {sarcasm}

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Burress got Veteran Minimum that would hardly even move the cap needle

  • Paul

    Everyone listen up, Lewis isn’t that good. I watch every game of the Steelers and nothing impresses me about him at all. Believe me, Cortez Allen is a much better corner then him. In fact, we can get someone else off the streets to play better then him. Don’t get caught up in the hype of the #1 defense crap. This defense was below average last year, but we didn’t play tough competition. Our schedule was very easy. In fact, if it wasn’t for horrible Cassell, we would’ve lost that game too. My dream is to get Nnamdi in the black and Gold. He would be able to press the heck out of the WR’s and have Polamalu and Clark doing their thing. Trust me, I don’t want Lewis back. Way overrated!!!

    PS: Name a CB that has left the Steelers and wasn’t a system player in the last 12 years? Anyone?

  • David S

    He is from New Orleans, if you could sign with your favorite team wouldn’t you? The front office can’t force a player to sign.

  • steeltown

    D.Johnson was even less, like $700,000k.. and the Foote deal is worth around $1.8MIL per season, very cap friendly

    I wonder what they paid Gradkowski and I wonder what else they have in store now… a RB maybe…

  • James

    Well, it’s hard to be mad a guy who signs with his hometown team. It
    would have been nice to keep him, but he had 1 solid year with our
    Steelers, but was nothing spectacular for a 3rd round pick. I think he may find it difficult especially
    if he’s asked to play mostly man-coverage instead of zone. Dave did a
    great write up a few weeks back about CBs who leave. They don’t do well (though I hope he has a nice career).

  • CrRe

    I know he is from there but did he say the Saints were his favorite team? Or is this an assumption? Just wondering. If it is true than there is no doubt it would weigh heavily on his decision to sign with them.

  • Jollyrob68

    I was all fot Cutting Ike or trading Ike to keep the younger CB’s and start the future now. Losing him changes around the draft because this is Ike’s last year at 33. Steelers will need a CB who can start in a year if Curtis Brown doesn’t turn around.

  • Agreed. For the most part, the Steelers keep their best free agents. I can’t think of too many who have left the ‘Burgh only to become stars somewhere else. Especially since the move from Three Rivers Stadium. Back then, the Steelers rarely signed their players to expensive deals. Now they are up against the cap every year so we can’t say they don’t pay their players.

  • HarryBackside

    A lot of little things can add up to one big thing. Burress got $940K. Add that to Gay’s $1M, and you’re only a few bucks shy of having enough money to offer a $10M signing bonus.

  • CrRe

    One of the things that stinks the most, assuming he signs, is the fact that CB will all of a sudden become a need for the upcoming draft, and you have to rank it pretty high with the million other needs we have.

  • SG

    Wallace was never going to get that big money from the Steelers, so I know why he’s gone. And Mendenhall basically shoved himself out the door. But losing Lewis makes no sense whatsoever. Last few Steeler drafts have been poor but the talent they did manage find didn’t stick around. That’s bad management.

  • steeltown

    Well look at the bright side, atleast Cortez gets a chance to start now opposite Ike Taylor.. If he excels HOPEFULLY they can give him an extension BEFORE he becomes a UFA in 2015

    Problem is, we’ll need yet another starting CB by then, because Ike will be done

  • James Doogin

    Cortez is not a better corner. If he was, he would’ve beat Lewis out last year. Lewis held him off with a bad shoulder at that. Comparing the 2, they’re coverage skills are what and what, but Lewis had the edge in tackling and the run game, which i don’t think is Allen’s strong suits. Fact is he’s gone too if he has a big year and we don’t get the cap situation straight. Do the math. The Steelers had the no. 1 pass defense 2 years straight and Lewis was huge part of that both years. Coincedence? I think not, Don’t hate because the man’s leaving. Not his fault we didn’t offer him.

    Don’t get caught up because of the turnovers, those are merely luck of the draw. In the Bengals game, yes he had 2 picks and a FF/FR, but he gave up over 100 yds to AJ Green. He also had his hands full with Boldin when Ike went down. Lewis didn’t allow more than 64yds with the receivers he covered all year.

    As far as the system player argument, if you followed his college career as I did, you’ll find that his strengths is man-to-man and press, not zone, which he’ll be playing if he goes to N.O. The reason Gay and BMac didn’t succeed when they left, is because they couldn’t play man. Keenan can, and he’s real good at it. He’s more dangerous because he can play zone if need be now thanks to his time in the Steelers D.

    Be happy for the man, it was fun while it lasted. I wish him the best, but I’m not totally on Allen bandwagon just yet. We’ll see how it will play out.

  • David S

    Okay, I do not have a quote that his hometown team is his fav team. Regardless, last I’d read his family is still there. That may weigh heavily. Also warmer weather. My point is that there are more factors than we can ascertain from a couple media blurbs. Many people would prefer to make millions and live near family and/or friends in the warm climate they grew up in. Add in Drew Brees and he still gets a chance at a Super Bowl.

  • David S

    Hope so too. A year ago it was doom and gloom because Keenan Lewis was going to be #2 yet wasn’t a proven CB. Now it’s Allen.

  • Rubem Dornas

    I think LeBeau will put Gay in place of Lewis, instead of Cortez.

  • Paul

    James, please don’t throw these silly #1 defense stats around to me. We all know that its flawed, due to the fact the Steelers schedule was PUMPKIN PIE SOFT! Please! Granted we do have a decent run defense, but our secondary is EXTREMELY overrated. Polamalu is always hurt and Ike stinks. Period. Look at teams like the Niners and Ravens. While I don’t like both teams, even though they made it to the bowl game last year, they still made big changes this year. More so the Niners move, but you get my point. Lewis will be a below average corner when it’s said and done and Allen will be pretty good. We still need to draft a 1st round corner. We never draft a 1st round corner. We always get these 3, 4, or 5th round corners and try to mold them into a player. It’s called the “SYSTEM”. The only athlete that we have at corner is Ike and that’s not saying much. Do you watch the games buddy? No disrespect, but this defense isn’t that good and we keep bringing back bums like William Gay, as if he was a baller before he left. No athletes at the corner position that can play. We need to draft a true athlete early in the draft and call it a day. We don’t need much on defense at all!

  • dgh57

    This doesn’t give me much faith when Cortez Allens contract comes due!!

  • damn it. This will be an interesting season here in 2013. That’s for sure.

  • CrRe

    Yeah, I would say almost any player would prefer to play close to home, unless they hate their family, haha.

    And if he did grow up a saints fan then there is double incentive.

    Really, to the point that there is no way Steelers would be able to compete with those factors, if both are true, and we know one at least is.

  • steeltown

    Oh god, I hope they give Cortez a shot, so we atleast know BEFORE he’s UFA if he’s worth locking up long term………. but I fear you may be right

  • David S

    Haha on your family comment!

  • Cody Younkin

    Use the extra cap space to sign Bernard Pollard

  • Rubem Dornas

    I totally agree with you, it’s just my feeling. I hope I’m wrong.

  • James

    I had similar thoughts. I like Taylor, but his best days are behind him. I don’t know how realistic it would have been from a salary cap standpoint to trade or cut him though. The Steelers have themselves in a jam with the cap. I would like to have seen them have Lewis and Allen for the next few years.

  • David S

    I’d say sign him now but if he is about the money he knows he can play out a good year and get more $ afterward. Time will tell I guess…

  • walter mason

    Lewis probably holds a grudge for being in Tomlins doghouse and I dont blame him. He should have played earlier. Make a stupid mistake and you are benched. But the past is over. Keenan, we love you, you made it as a first string Steeler but now you are either with us or against us.

  • Kysteeler

    I love hearing some fans complain about losing Wallace and Lewis. Did anyone really think that Wallace wasn’t going to chase the money? He was way over paid by the Phins and who knows about Lewis. He had ONE good year and people act like he is Champ Bailey (insert any other good CB).

  • zyzak

    This is no cap room for a signing, please stop people

  • dgh57

    Yes, he can play a good year and get more $ but with who is the BIG question. We still have to sign a FA or two and draft picks so we don’t have the money to sign him now. Unless of course we cut someone!

  • James Doogin

    You’re a hater dude. You need to pick another team for real. No matter what you say about those guys above, you can’t do what they do period. Seems like everything you’re saying in negative, so that tells me you’re not a true fan.

    I’ve watched EVERY game, TWICE or more last year, plus I’ve played ball on every level except pro and I coach so I know a thing or 2 about football. Like I said, if you followed Lewis’ career (as I did most of the players we drafted), you’d know that it’s easier to make a man corner into a zone, but it’s harder to do the opposite. Nnamdi, Gay and BMac are perfect examples. Lewis will be going to a system that plays to his STRENGTHS! Hell, if dude catches at least 3 picks last year, he’s a Pro Bowler because he was top 5 in almost every other CB category except 1 in which he was top 10. Go look that up and get back at me.

  • Melly

    Dave, have you seen the money numbers for Gradkowski, Johnson, Burress, etc?? I’m hearing $1.8 million for Foote, and just under a million for Burress! IMO those numbers are too high!!! I would rather they went after Myers(TE Oak), Barden(WR NYG), and/or a Q.Groves, Durant, PWheeler type LB. Plus Gay got around $1.5 mill if I remember correctly? I just know anymore, and its not cuz they went 8-8, etc! I questioned when they just cut W.Saunders last yr(thought he had upside) and kept POPE!!!! I would be feeling better about our TE situation if we had Saunders w/ Heath being hurt.

  • Clint Martin

    They can purge on the 2008 class it was horrible! 2009 however.
    Other than Hood,Wallace,Lewis it wasn’t a good class either Kraig Urbik 2nd round Joe Burnett,Frank Summers,Rashon Harris,Shipley,David Johnson.

  • Gay will be dime and nickel package only. If K Lewis walks Cortez will be the starter ut was close last year anyway moreso than anyone (fans) realized. It is his time, everyone knows Gay is not a man to man cover CB, we do need a FA and a high draft choice.

  • Willy Steel

    Brown had one good year before he got 40+. He made the Pro Bowl as a returner not a receiver. So do u think he was worth that after one good year?

  • Willy Steel

    Do your research, Lewis is a natural man and press corner. He only started playing zone when he got to Pittsburgh. He’s not Gay or BMac. The Saints are going to allow him to play to his strength and he’ll be good at it.

  • I don’t get it, you’re already paying Ike 7mil and you let Keenan get away for 5? It doesn’t make sense. We’ll miss him, but I’m happy for Keenan though, getting to play for the hometown team is a great thing. More power to ya’. Best of luck.