By Matthew Marczi
Player: Guy Whimper
Experience: 8 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2013 Salary Cap Hit: $555,000
2013 Season Breakdown: The initial signing of Guy Whimper by the Pittsburgh Steelers was met with righteous indignation by many, to the point that some even suggested that a team that includes Whimper could not possibly be a good one, or some variation thereof.
Well, the 2013 season didn’t end up being a very good one, despite the fact that the Steelers finished the second half of the year with a 6-2 record, so they were technically correct, but Whimper could hardly be blamed for the team’s deficiencies during the year. In fact, he proved to be a decent asset.
Whimper saw time in seven different games throughout the year for the Steelers, and he did so at a variety of positions. Despite being a tackle by trade, in fact, he made starts at both left and right guard in place of Ramon Foster and David DeCastro, respectively, which should be taken into account when discussing his value.
His best performance of the year by far was his first, when he was forced to step in for Marcus Gilbert at right tackle mid-game in the first bout with the Baltimore Ravens. While opposing some fierce pass rushers, he did give up a sack, but otherwise played well, particularly in the running game.
Nearly the entirety of the rest of his playing time came at either left or right guard, and it’s clear that while he can play guard, he is far more comfortable at tackle.
His run blocking in particular suffered while shifting inside, and he struggled mightily in this area against the stout defensive lines of the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions in consecutive weeks in the middle of the season with Foster out.
All in all, Whimper served as an adequate reserve offensive lineman for the Steelers and stepped up when called upon numerous times throughout the season. I think it’s safe to say that he exceeded many fans’ expectations, who were likely hoping that he wouldn’t even dress on game days.
Free Agency Outlook: As is the case with the vast majority of the Steelers’ free agents this year, there isn’t likely to be an active market for Whimper—certainly not as a starter. He is a capable athlete that can provide solid depth to an offensive line that already has its starting line intact, however.
The fact that the Steelers were able to stretch him out some and work him on the interior of the line a significant amount this year has added to his value to the team, and he should be able to continue to grow and become more adept at playing inside next year. I see no reason the Steelers wouldn’t want to bring Whimper back on another veteran-minimum one-year contract.
Other Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis
Ryan Clark – Unrestricted Free Agent
Emmanuel Sanders – Unrestricted Free Agent
Brett Keisel – Unrestricted Free Agent
Jerricho Cotchery – Unrestricted Free Agent
Ziggy Hood – Unrestricted Free Agent
Jason Worilds – Unrestricted Free Agent
David Johnson – Unrestricted Free Agent
Jonathan Dwyer – Unrestricted Free Agent
Fernando Velasco – Unrestricted Free Agent
Cody Wallace – Unrestricted Free Agent
Will Allen – Unrestricted Free Agent
Stevenson Sylvester – Unrestricted Free Agent
Felix Jones – Unrestricted Free Agent
Al Woods – Unrestricted Free Agent
Plaxico Burress – Unrestricted Free Agent
LaRod Stephens-Howling – Unrestricted Free Agent