It was reported Wednesday evening that Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent nose tackle Steve McLendon visited with the Green Bay Packers. While no offer sheet has been signed as of yet, the obvious question being asked, is how much could the Steelers afford to match.
The Steelers currently have $742,760.00 in cap space at their disposal, and when added to the $1.323 million right of first refusal tender given to McLendon, that means the Packers would have to sign the Troy product to a one-year offer sheet worth more than $2 million to make it tough for Pittsburgh to match.
Should the Packers decide to offer McLendon a long-term deal offer sheet, the first year cap hit would also have to exceed the $2 million number to make it rough on the Steelers. Anything lower than that, and they might be doing Pittsburgh a favor depending on the total value of the deal. It should be noted that the Packers, much like the Steelers, aren\’t known as being a team to just throw money around.
Since being signed originally as an undrafted free agent in 2009, McLendon has played less than 400 snaps on defense. While he certainly does project as a player that can start and be productive moving forward, it would be pretty surprising to see the Packers invest a lot of money into a player that would likely rotate in on their defensive line.
McLendon has shown that he can also play the three, four and five technique in addition to playing the zero and the one. Even so, you would think that Packers aren\’t looking at him to be a starting defensive end. If indeed they are, that is the only way I could see them giving McLendon an offer sheet that the Steelers couldn\’t match.
The Packers had plenty of cap space to work with headed into Wednesday and likely still have more than enough after signing linebacker Clay Matthews Wednesday to a long-term extension.
The deadline to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets is Friday, so we will not have long to wait to know the outcome of this.