The 2014 free agency signing period is less than a month away and in preparation for it, we will continue on with our look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers free agent signings dating back to 2000, when Kevin Colbert became the general manager.
So far we have recapped the first six years of Colbert’s tenure in Pittsburgh as it relates to the signing of free agents from other teams and today we will look at what happened in free agency prior to the 2006 season. Please keep in mind that these free agent signing recaps will be limited to only free agents from other teams that were signed prior to June 1st of that offseason as those are the ones that count when determining whether or not a team a team receives compensatory draft picks. The ones that are usually signed after that date are pretty much cheap, one or two year deals for the most part.
The 2006 offseason was another quiet one for the Steelers during the main part of free agency as they only signed two unrestricted free agent from other teams in March. Below is a quick recap of those signing and I will also remind you that the salary cap for the 2006 season increased to $102 million per team.
Ryan Clark – March 14, 2006 – While the Steelers weren’t very active in free agency in 2006, they did sign Washington Redskins unrestricted free agent safety Ryan Clark to a four-year, $7 million contract that March. Clark was signed to replace Chris Hope, who wound up signing with the Tennessee Titans about a week later. Clark, who will be an unrestricted free agent once again this coming March, has started 109 regular-season games for the Steelers during his eight years in Pittsburgh. He has 666 total regular-season tackles to his credit during that span to go along with 12 interceptions and three forced fumbles. While James Farrior likely ranks as the single-best free agent signing by Colbert during his tenure in Pittsburgh, Clark’s signing can probably be argued as being his second best.
Rodney Bailey – March 16, 2006 – In the only other free agent signing during the 2006 offseason, the Steelers brought back a familiar face as defensive end Rodney Bailey was signed to a one-year, $625,000 contract in the middle of that March. The Steelers had let Bailey leave as a restricted free agent in 2004 when they declined to match the offer sheet he signed with the New England Patriots. He never played a down for the Patriots, however, as a torn Achilles suffered on the first day of training camp resulted in him being placed on injured reserve that August. The Patriots released Bailey the following August and the Seattle Seahawks signed him just a few weeks into the 2005 season. During his second stint with the Steelers, Bailey dressed for 12 games in total and registered all of 6 total tackles. Bailey finished his career in 2007 with the Arizona Cardinals.
Previous Articles In This Series
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2000 Season
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2001 Season
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2002 Season
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2003 Season
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2004 Season
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2005 Season