With the 2014 free agency signing period quickly approaching, we are gearing up for it by taking a 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 ten 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 2010 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 2010 offseason saw the Steelers sign four unrestricted free agents from other teams with one of them being a former player. Below is a quick recap of those signing and I will also remind you that the 2010 season was an uncapped season.
Arnaz Battle – May 8, 2010 – In need of help on special teams and depth at the wide receiver position, the Steelers signed San Francisco 49ers unrestricted free agent wide receiver Arnaz Battle to a three-year, $3.975 million contract in early March. Battle had played a lot on special teams for the 49ers where Al Everest, who the Steelers hired that offseason to be their new special teams coach, previously coached. In two seasons with the Steelers, Battle appeared in 25 games and played a total of 12 snaps on offense. He did not register a catch during his time in Pittsburgh. In February of 2012, Battle was released and that was the end of his football career.
Jonathan Scott – May 8, 2010 – On the same day that Battle was signed in 2010, the Steelers also announced that they had signed unrestricted free agent tackle Jonathan Scott to one-year, $545,000 contract. Scott was added for depth purposes and was reunited with then-new Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who coached him in Buffalo. Due to starting left tackle Max Starks getting injured that season, Scott started 9 regular-season and all three playoff games. It wasn’t pretty at times, but the Steelers managed to make to the Super Bowl that season nonetheless. The Steelers re-signed Scott the following offseason to a two-year contract and he started the first three games of the 2011 season at left tackle, and another two at right tackle. He wound up playing 418 snaps that season. Scott was ultimately released just prior to the start of training camp in 2012 after starting 14 games and three playoff games during his two seasons with the Steelers.
Will Allen – May 8, 2010 – In addition to Battle and Scott, the Steelers also signed Tampa Bay Buccaneers unrestricted free agent safety Will Allen to a three-year deal worth $4.495 million in early March of 2010. Allen had played for head coach Mike Tomlin in Tampa Bay when he was the defensive backs coach. Allen, like Battle, was signed primarily to play special teams in addition to providing depth at the safety position. In his first season in Pittsburgh, Allen played 44 snaps on defense and contributed heavily on special teams. The following season he played just 8 snaps. In 2012, Allen started seven games at strong safety in place of Troy Polamalu, who was hampered by a calf injury. While the Steelers certainly missed the presence of Polamalu, Allen did represent himself well in several games. The Steelers chose not re-signed Allen just last offseason, but after he was released early in the 2013 season by the Dallas Cowboys, they brought him back to once again add experienced depth to the secondary. Allen will once again be an unrestricted free agent in March.
Larry Foote – May 15, 2010 – In the middle of that March, the Steelers added a former player back to the fold as veteran unrestricted free agent linebacker Larry Foote was signed to a three-year, $9.3 million contract after spending one year with Detroit Lions. Foote, who had been released by the Steelers in May in 2009 after a seven-year career in Pittsburgh, was the primary backup inside during his first season back. In 2011 he started five games due to injuries and became the full-time starter at the buck position in 2012 after veteran James Farrior was released. Just last offseason, Foote was allowed to explore the free agent market but was ultimately re-signed to a three-year contract. After tearing his biceps in the 2013 season opener, however, he was lost for the season. Foote is still currently under contract with the Steelers, but his future with the team is currently up in the air.
So why isn’t wide receiver Antwaan Randle El on this list? It’s because he technically doesn’t qualify because he was released earlier that offseason by the Washington Redskins. In case you forgot, Randle El signed a three-year, $7 million contract that March. He only played one year of that deal, however, as he was released prior to the start of training camp in 2011.
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
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2007 Season
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2008 Season
Recapping The Steelers Free Agency Signings During The Kevin Colbert Era – 2009 Season