The 2014 free agency signing period is getting ever nearer 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 seven 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 2007 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 2007 offseason was yet another quiet one for the Steelers during the main part of free agency as they only signed two unrestricted free agent from other teams. Below is a quick recap of those signing and I will also remind you that the salary cap for the 2007 season increased to $109 million per team.
Sean Mahan – March 10, 2007 – In 2007, the Steelers signed Tampa Bay Buccaneers unrestricted free agent center Sean Mahan to five-year, $17 million contract. Mahan was signed to compete with Chukky Okobi to replace the retired Jeff Hartings at center. Mahan, however, won the starting job by default thanks to Okobi missing a lot of time during training camp and the preseason with injuries. In fact, Okobi was released just prior to the start of the 2007 season. While Mahan did start all 16 games for the Steelers in 2007, his play was well below the line. OK, it was awful. The following offseason, the Steelers signed free agent center Justin Hartwig and Mahan was ultimately traded back to the Buccaneers that September for a seventh-round draft pick. Trading him, however, resulted in dead money charges in both 2008 and 2009.
Nick Eason – April 17, 2007 – In April of 2007, the Steelers signed another unrestricted free agent as signed defensive end Nick Eason, who had played the past two seasons for the Cleveland Browns, to a one-year, $510,000 contract. Brought in to be a backup defensive end, Eason wound up dressing for all 16 games during his first season in Pittsburgh and even started one game. The Steelers ultimately re-signed him the next offseason and he wound up playing a total of 55 regular-season games in a Steelers uniform and started 11 times. Eason would go on to finish out his career with the Arizona Cardinals.
So why isn’t running back Kevan Barlow on this list? Barlow, who signed a one-year, $635,000 contract with the Steelers in May of 2007, had been released by the New York Jets that February. He was thus a street free agent upon signing with the Steelers and thus does not qualify per our guidelines above. The former University of Pittsburgh product didn’t last long with the Steelers as he was released during the first round of roster cuts in late August.
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
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2006 Season