Will The Steelers Reach Out To Former Saints T Jason Smith?

The Pittsburgh Steelers need to find some depth for their offensive line as veteran Guy Whimper just isn\’t going to cut it. On Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints released former first-round draft pick, tackle Jason Smith, so it will be interesting to see if the Steelers try to reach out to him.

Smith was originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the second overall selection of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Baylor, but was traded last August to the New York Jets after having a poor start to his career. The Jets released Smith back in February and he wound up signing with the Saints to compete for the starting left tackle job.

Smith is certainly not a starting caliber tackle, but he would figure to be an upgrade over Whimper. He shouldn\’t have to go through the waiver process being as he has four years accrued, so essentially he should be a free agent that is free to deal with any team that reaches out to him.

Beggars can\’t be choosy at this point, so we will have to wait and see just how choosy the Steelers actually are right now with just a few weeks to go until the start of the regular season.

  • Tom

    Any move to upgrade tackle depth would be a good move in my book.

  • GunsDontKillWoodleyKills

    Its hard to imagine him being any worse than Guy Whimper

  • dennisdoubleday

    Ouch, now THAT is what a 2009 draft bust looks like. Ziggy Hood is good value compared to that.

  • steeltown

    Yes, do it.. it cant be much worse than Batiste and Whimper.. Smith has been a major draft bust and has concussion issues..but why not try him out over the next couple weeks?

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I honestly don’t see how we CANNOT at least have him in for a visit and talk to him. We can sell him a couple of ways:

    1. We have zero other depth.
    2. If someone gets hurt, you could still earn a starting spot for next year…maybe.
    3. We are the STEELERS!

  • dgh57

    All I know is Batiste & Whimper aren’t the answer so sign the guy up, PRONTO!!

  • dennisdoubleday

    Look at the Top 5 in 2009–what a FUBAR draft.

    1. Matthew Stafford (good pick)
    2. Jason Smith (big bust)
    3. Tyson Jackson (looking bustish)
    4. Aaron Curry (bust!)
    5. Mark Sanchez (gaaah!)

  • Patrick

    The Steelers problem isn’t depth as it is talent at OT. They need to trade for a decent tackle

  • walter mason

    At this point we are starting to question the starters.

  • steeltown

    So what do you suggest, who are we trading and for whom from where??

    Depth is most certainly the issue. I think the best course of action is to not jump to conclusions, we’re still in the thick of preseason, keep an eye out and see who becomes available off waiver wire in the coming weeks..

  • CW

    Hell man, look at the rest of that year’s 1st round draft class…

    6th Pick Andre Smith (selected as a left tackle, failed, turned out to be a decent right tackle)

    7th Pick Darius Heyward Bey (bust like WR)

    8th Pick to 10th Eugene Monroe, B.J. Raji, Michael Crabtree, all good, one pro Bowler among them.

    So like five good picks out of the first ten picks.

    Then Aaron Maybin (huge bust), Knowshon Moreno (can’t stay healthy, effectively a bust), Robert Ayers (backup player only, minor bust), Peria Jerry (major bust), Donald Brown (underwhelming backup RB, pretty much a bust), and “Beanie” Wells (injury bust).

    That’s eleven busts out of 32 teams and that’s not including players that are basically mediocre or effective when healthy, but can’t stay healthy for a full season or players like Oher and Smith who failed to perform at the position they were originally drafted for, but turned out to be decent somewhere else on the the roster.

  • Pete

    He’s definitely much better than Whimper. The knock on Smith is his tendency towards injury. In 2009 he played in only 8 games. In 2011 he played in only 6 games. Do the Steelers want another Colon IR kind of guy? If they pick him up and he gets injured yet again what are we to think? To his credit he played in all 16 games as backup in 2012.

  • Mike.H

    Nice homework/research, CW.

    On a side note, whether to pick up Jason Smith is a consult between Colbert, Tomlin and OL coach with Omar Khan… earsdropping from his office via a coffee mug and a string.

    Go STeelers!

  • CW

    True, but if all we are looking for is a backup swing tackle to allow Beachum to cover fewer spots on the o line roster, then he could be a good investment.

  • george

    You need to add one word to be correct. ( Quality ) “Depth is most certainly the issue”

  • Crazy Bone

    In other words, which bum would you like to have? Clearly neither Smith or Whimper belong in the NFL. If either player gets on the field for the Steelers, the team is in big trouble.

  • steeltown


  • Eric

    I bet the saints released him so early in the pre season for a reason. Better than Whimper or batiste, probably, but the answer to our problems…… not likely. Too bad Ebernasty got hurt. I was high on his potential.

  • steeltown

    Emb is an OG

    Speaking of Embernate, why isn’t he listed on the IR list?

  • treeher

    Rap on Smith is that he lacks motivation and doesn’t seem to love football. He’s been a victim of signing huge contracts but performance hasn’t justified them and teams have released him to avoid the $. I think he’d definitely help with depth and maybe he’s matured enough. By the way, he has some skills as a blocking tight end also. I think other teams will be looking hard at him, such as the Skins.

  • bgsteelfan

    That paper tape they use at the end of races would be an upgrade over Whimper

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Speaking of lineman, anyone else missing Colon just a little bit? Yeah, durability was an ongoing concern, but he could certainly bull rush. You didn’t see many D-lineman pushing HIM around. Against the Redskins, our O-line folded more than an origami crane.

  • Kevin Artis

    how good is starks, Colon and Kemo looking right now?

  • Eric

    He was getting reps at tackle during camp or so I heard. He can’t go on IR until the season starts because he already practiced.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    “Which bum would you like to have?” …Hilarious..!!

  • RedCarpetDefense

    The fact that the Steelers are even considering the possibility of an inquiry should light a conflagration under the O-line’s collective arse. Pride men pride

  • steeltown

    I think Golic Jr was the interior guy being used at RT during camp, I think Embernate was running with the 2nd Team OL at RG, but I may be misinformed.

    I have a feeling he would’ve made the 53man roster

  • Christopher Wilkes


  • Christopher Wilkes

    They waived him. He’s gone.

  • Brendon Glad

    It’s not even depressing anymore…because the Steelers have won 2 AFC championships and 1 SB with something between below-average and woeful OL play.

    I hoped maybe it was coaching…and it still may be…but they’ve flipped that coaching position 2 or 3 times to no avail.

    Every die-hard member of Steelers Nation from about 1998 onward goes into each season worrying about 3 things as a given (and any other worries are random events): Special-teams, OL play, and injuries.

    The third one is something EVERY fan worries about…it’s only been in the last 3 years where Steelers Nation has needed to worry “extra” about that.

    But here we go again…a line where 4/5 are extremely high draft picks…AND a new coach…yet they still look woeful compared to EVEN the 1984-1989 Steeler O-lines which was a hodge-podge of low-round and undrafted guys for the most part.

    Is Kent Stephenson still alive and healthy? Someone needs to pick up the phone and get him off the fishing boat, if he is…as a consultant or something. smh

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Ughh, I don’t know about this. I heard he was manhandled during team drills in this summer.

  • steeltown

    Yea but he cleared waivers and reverted back to the reserve injured list. What I was confused about is why he isn’t listed on IR

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Even jason smith would be an upgrade over Ramon Foster at OG. i’d sign him up to be a back-up swing tackles or competiting for LG.

  • steeltown

    I guess im confused, how was Burress placed on IR? He was injured during practice

  • Brendon Glad

    Personally, my first phone call would be to others. But a phone call needs to be made. I’d prefer someone who actually has been a good player in the NFL at some point.
    Off of the top of my head…I’d be looking at someone resembling Lyght from NE. I’m doubting Lyght would do that…so I’m suggesting a poor-man’s version of that…a recently retired guy who actually was GOOD at some point. Lyght was great…we would happily take “formerly-good” as an alternative.
    And I know this isn’t Matthew Marczi’s article, (and I respect Marczi too)…but this is EXACTLY why I lamented letting Max Starks walk without even a whisper of an offer.
    So if you are reading, Matthew, now (one month later…and with Gilbert performing exactly as I feared he would…and Guy Whimper doing what Guy Whimper does)…it should all be coming clearer as to what I meant.

  • NW86

    Only Starks. Colon would be on IR by now. Kemo was a guard, not tackle, and he was injury-prone too (and penalty-prone).

  • joed32

    Colon was OK but went on IR 3 years in a row. Kemo was just dumb. The jury is out on Starks in San Diego, pas pro is OK but run blocking is non existent. They need to pick up someone and hopefully they will.

  • joed32

    I like Foster, not flashy but solid, him and DD were the only ones to play well on Monday night.

  • Jason White

    The Steelers could sign a blind, one legged, hunch back retard and it would be an improvement over Whimper and Batiste.

  • bgsteelfan

    Well, I hear Starks is looking bad in SD. Kemo and Colon could not handle our new blocking scheme.

    Then again, it appears that the guys we have are having trouble with it as well. I think that is on Bicknell though, I don’t think he has done that good a job in implementing the scheme. I hope they right the ship REAL fast.

  • bgsteelfan

    Injury Settlement? If so they’ll sign him to a futures contract after the season ends and bring him back to camp if nobody else does.

    But the last thing I can find on him has him going to IR.

  • bgsteelfan

    That is PUP, not IR.

  • bgsteelfan

    Yep. A first round washout that doesn’t play guard would be an upgrade over Foster… SMDH.

  • Patrick

    You mean mentally challenged

  • moderatelysane

    Let’s all chill down and realize that it’s only the second preseason game with a new scheme. I think the bigger concern than talent is motivation. When we see the 3-time probowler Pouncey getting his butt kicked, it screams either scheme adjustment or sandbagging until the regular season. Objectively, we have a talented but green O-line learning a new scheme for which any scout would say they are well-suited. Colon and Starks were insufficient, period. Kemo may as well have worn yellow flag underwear to every game to save the refs the trouble of pulling out a flag on every play.

  • Brendon Glad

    It’s kind of amazing how poor the scouting process is. For as much $ is at stake.
    My 2 other favorite sports are NBA and MLB.
    I get it when they have poor success rate in MLB…because they can draft 16 year-old-kids…aluminum bats…etc…
    But NBA does a way better job of their scouting, as a whole. It’s incredibly rare when a non-top 20 pick makes an all-star team.
    They (the NFL) have major work to do in that department. But the NBA Combine doesn’t have the players playing with a women’s ball on 9 foot goals.
    The NFL combine has players not wearing pads or helmets, and testing in track shoes. They might want to start THERE, and a THANK YOU would be all I’d need to feel good about pointing it out to them. Because APPARENTLY noone has…how ELSE could they ignore such a simple, obvious “fail” in their system?

  • Jason White

    Nope I mean window licking, helmet on the head, shoes on the wrong feet retarded. haha

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Ramon foster actually were very mediocre. I know about the grade he received but by my counts he faced more linebackers than he did with D-line last Monday. He is reliable and durable but that doesn’t mean he should be our starting guard.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Robert gallery, ring a bell? As I stated, its my opinion. If you look over stat sheet, Jason Smith actually was decent, couldn’t stay healthy. It is common in NFL for big tackle who couldn’t make it as a tackle at next level to make switch to guard. Diehl of Giants come to mind.

  • JPDQ

    Batiste & Whimper sounds like a Robert Smigel SNL cartoon…

  • BDK

    Jason, you forgot crayon eating………..

  • bgsteelfan

    Past results with different players do not say anything about how Smith would fit at guard. Yet you stated unequivocally, based on nothing, that he would be an upgrade over Foster. I smacked my head over the lack of logic there. I still am.

  • sean mcmartin

    Anyone will be an upgrade on this line. It looked real ugly against the redskins starters..

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    That’s fair like I said its my opinion which is obviously, I already have a strong feeling about Ramon Foster. I’m stating this based on my observation and belief that it could work and would…

    I mean why is it that every time our O-lineplay great, Ramon Foster is noticably bad? But then again when our O-line play bad, I mean getting pushed and everything Ramon Foster doesn’t get noticed. Ramon Foster definitely isn’t bad but I’m much more comfortable with him as a back-up than I am with Beachem because of quality itself among talent if that makes any sense?

    I guess you could say I’m also the guy who want Beachem starting over Foster at LG. For this ZBS to be successful ran, we must have two athletic guards, we only have one in DeCastro.

  • steeltown

    Yea I haven’t even heard anything about him having surgery either

  • bgsteelfan

    As an opinion, you may well be right. He could wrok out better, or at least tack the reserve tackle spot freeing up Beachum for other roles. We just don’t know.

    Foster definitely has the lowest ceiling of the starters, so when everyone is playing well, he is the weak link. On the flip side though, he is also the most steadily average player on the line, so when they are playing bad, he is more or less the same. Given the work they’ve put into rebuilding our line, I am OK with that. It’s near impossible to get a line of 5 top notch guys.

    Beachum I don’t think they can afford to start, since they need him to be able to play OT at any time. I think that’s also why we won’t hear much about him playing center from here on out.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Bingo. Remind me of the time we started Stapleton over Essex who was easily a better player (even if that’s not saying much) the versatility Beachem provide right now is very valuable. Which is why I want Jason Smith- even Jason Smith show the.. ability to play both tackle, there WOULD be some competition at LG and that its not a gift for Ramon Foster.

    For example… going with back-ups, we could have this- Jason Smith/Kelvin Beachem/or and Ramon Foster, and John Malecki. Sudden I feel much better.

  • Arthur Branch

    I say keep the place holders we have for the backup spots on the O-Line. Wait for final cuts and get a decent backup tackle.