It made waves earlier this offseason when it was reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in free safety Louis Delmas, who had recently been cut by the Detroit Lions.
It was taken as an obvious sign that Ryan Clark would not be back, for one thing. For another, it suggested that the Steelers could be true to general manager Kevin Colbert’s word when he said that the team could be more active in free agency this season.
If that is to be the case, it won’t begin with Delmas, who just signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins, worth a maximum of $3.5 million.
In truth, it was never clear that the visit Delmas made to Pittsburgh was anything more than kicking the tires on a potential free agent who has a history of knee concerns and spent nearly the entire season on the injury report. Despite that, Delmas had a good season last year and didn’t miss a game.
Delmas is so far the only free agent known to have met with the Steelers, though he was only one of few notable players to have been released prior to the last few days.
Players set to hit free agency are obviously not allowed to visit with other teams, but players that are released immediately become free agents, and are free to sign with any team at any point in time.
It’s unclear if this impacts the Steelers’ plans at all. I would bet that it does not. If they intended to target him, they would have already worked out a deal. Perhaps he didn’t pass the team’s own physical.
There are a number of other safeties on the market, such as Antoine Bethea or soon-to-be-former Dolphins safety Chris Clemons. Or they could make it a priority to land one of the top safeties in the draft, with many of the most recent mocks having Alabama safety HaHa Clinton-Dix going to Pittsburgh.
But perhaps the Steelers look from within and like what they see. After all, they traded their 2014 third-round pick for the ability to draft Shamarko Thomas last April. He played over 100 snaps as a rookie before an ankle injury opened the door for the veteran Will Allen to usurp his role as the quarters safety.
Allen, too, has been re-signed, though the deal still has not been officially announced. He started seven games in 2012 in placed of Troy Polamalu, and played well last season to the tune of almost 400 snaps.
Robert Golden should not be forgotten about. He did see some early playing time as the deep safety in sub-packages, but was knocked out of the rotation once Cortez Allen returned from injury. Golden became a dynamic special teams player last season, and perhaps could contribute on defense in his third season.