The Pittsburgh Steelers nipped the situation with nose tackle Steve McLendon in the bud on Thursday as Adam Schefter of ESPN reports via Twitter that McLendon signed a three-year deal with a max value of $7.25 million that included $1.675 million guaranteed and $5 million in the first two years of the deal.
McLendon, a restricted free agent, was tendered at right of first refusal level in the amount of $1.323 million prior to the start of free agency. He also reportedly visited with the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, but hadn\’t signed an offer sheet yet.
Had the Packers inked McLendon to an offer sheet, the Steelers would have had five days to match it or lose their projected starting nose tackle without compensation. With less than $750,000 in available cap space at their disposal, an offer sheet from the Packers with a first year cap hit greater than $2 million would have made it tough for the Steelers to match without clearing additional cap space.
The Steelers made a great decision here as McLendon was worthy of a long-term deal. They can now go into the draft without worrying about addressing the nose tackle position.