Recapping The Steelers Second Day Of Free Agency

The first full day of the 2014 league year officially came to an end at 4:00 p.m. EST and for the Pittsburgh Steelers it was day highlighted by the re-signings of several of their own unrestricted free agents.

In case you missed anything, here is quick recap of what happened on Wednesday and you can follow the attached links to the full post on each story.

The Wednesday news really started late Tuesday evening when it was reported that unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Al Woods would be visiting with the Tennessee Titans later on in the day. By Wednesday afternoon it was reported that Woods had agreed to terms with the Titans, but a short time later word surfaced that he still planned on visiting the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals. Those extra visits apparently never took place, however, and by the end of the day Woods signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Titans.

I really did not expect Woods would receive the attention that he got and especially not this early. The Steelers spent two plus years grooming him and now he’s gone just like that. I was pretty sure he would be back in 2014, but he’s a Steeler no more.

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, news surfaced that the Steelers came to terms with their longtime long snapper Greg Warren. Later on in the day the Steelers officially announced that transaction along with the re-signings of safety Will Allen and center/guard Cody Wallace.

No official numbers have surfaced on any of those three contracts, but being as Warren and Allen both signed one-year deals, there’s a very good chance that both were qualifying contracts for the veteran minimum that come with reduced cap charges. As far as Wallace goes, he signed a three-year contract and I will be surprised if he was given a signing bonus in excess of one million and base salaries of more than the minimum allowed.

Being as Wallace did receive a three-year contract, that could definitely be a sign that free agent center/guard Fernando Velasco might not be re-signed. At the very least, the Steelers will wait until his torn Achilles’ is fully healed before offering him a one-year contract for the minimum.

Also on Wednesday, we finally got the full breakdown of the contract signed by former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell and close inspection shows the Steelers got a good deal being as he only received $5.25 million guaranteed with $4.75 million of that being his signing bonus. Mitchell’s cap charge in 2014 will be a measly $2.2 million and after the 2014 season they can decide whether or not to move forward with him by paying him a $2 million March roster bonus he is due. At worst, the Steelers will have a $3.8 million dead money charge on the books in 2015 if he does not play well.

As far as other Steelers unrestricted free agents go, defensive end Ziggy Hood and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders both had visits with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday and the latter was reportedly scheduled to visit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after that. Neither are expected to be back with the Steelers in 2014 so a loss of Hood combined with the Wednesday loss of Woods really leaves Pittsburgh ultra thin as far as experience goes on their defensive line. You have to wonder if they might be forced to re-sign defensive end Brett Keisel for one more season if they can’t find a younger defensive end to their liking in free agency.

In other Steelers free agent news, safety Ryan Clark let it be known that he has a visit scheduled with the Washington Redskins and fullback/tight end David Johnson signed a two-year contract with the San Diego Chargers on Wednesday. Neither player was expected to be back with the Steelers in 2014. Also, late Wednesday, it was reported that running back Jonathan Dwyer signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.

Finally, recently released linebacker LaMarr Woodley reportedly visited with the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday.

  • cencalsteeler

    Surprised by Woods like most, but it must mean they have confidence in Williams and Arnfelt going forward. Other than that, I love what I have seen so far!!

  • Virdin Barzey

    First Day = A
    Second Day = D

  • Blue

    Sign Terrance Mt Cody ASAP

  • Derick L Young


  • JohnB

    Hey I liked Woods and Dwyer as much as the next guy but I don’t fret when it comes to Steelers finding backup running backs and backup defensive ends.

  • Blue

    Plug the middle, Nix sux

  • Derick L Young

    and Cody is good?

  • Derick L Young


  • Derick L Young

    How do you know Nix sucks already. Has yet to play a down in the NFL…

  • Iron Cadet

    We need a starting defensive end. I’m not worriers about the back ups but heyward can’t play both spots

  • Blue

    Where was Nix at vs Bama in championship game? Getting pushed around the whole game!

  • Blue

    You must not watch football Derick! Stick to playing with your dog!

  • JohnB

    I’m in agreement with you on that but people are up in arms about losing Woods. That’s what I’m referring to. I’m sure Woods wasn’t a starter when he was here for a reason.

  • Blue

    Steve McClendon is moving to DE, not a true NT

  • shawn

    reallly ?

  • shawn

    first day = C+
    Second Day u are correct

  • Cols714

    The fretting over Woods by SteelerNation is out of control. The guy was a 5th year player who barely saw the field until last year and then he was serviceable, but no one special. He’s a backup DE. They’ll find more.

  • cencalsteeler

    What are your complaints?

  • Blue

    Can’t afford to pay a backup 2yrs for 5 million. When we can go pay a proven starter some $

  • pat

    With the past 2 days who do you guys see us getting in the 1st round? It might just be Mosley as I see Gilbert, Evans, Dennard all gone. Anyone know about Shazier and does he fit our system heard he ran 4.39 40 but needs to put on some weight.

  • Blue

    If Mike Evans is gone, Kelvin Benjamin is the pic. Whoever we draft on defense isn’t going to play except on Special teams.

  • Steelers12328882

    I’m not sure Dennard will be gone, but really who knows? I still see CB and WR as our top needs(in the draft), but DE or NT has certainly become an issue. That depends on wether we resign Hood or not tho. If we lose everyone along the line then certainly Louis Nix becomes an option. I’m still holding out hope for one of five; Gilbert, Dennard, Evans, Ebron or Benjamin in that order.

  • dgh57

    That could be part of it but also they may have their eyes focused on a DE in the draft or they could still yet sign a DE as a FA.

  • shawn

    what have u seen that u like exactly lol … horrible job so far in 2 days “D”

  • harding36

    Thank you! And he couldn’t beat out Ziggy Hood.

  • steelster

    Kelvin Benjamin is now being projected to fall out of the first round because he had a really bad combine. I would be blue if the steelers picked this guy.

  • Addison

    Kinda feel like the rug got pulled out from underneath them with this woods. I hope the front office doesn’t panic and draft Nix. Wasn’t Jarvis kind of a panic move

  • Madi

    Dave, since when is Ziggy “not expected back”? I thought it was pretty much up in the air – he’d see what the offers are, and if they were low enough Pittsburgh could match it and keep him around. Not like we have anyone else. Was there a report I missed somewhere, or do you have some kind of feeling he’ll sign with Jacksonville?

  • cencalsteeler

    Very true!

  • Jollyrob68

    Agreed, sign My Cody put McLendon ay end

  • SteelersDepot

    Bouchette shared those same sentiments in his chat and blog. Could Hood be back? Sure he could, but most that cover the team seem to think he will be gone.

  • SteelersDepot

    Goodbye, Blue. Time for you go play with YOUR dog and let the grownups talk.

  • Brendon Glad

    Yep, because almost nobody cracks the starting Steelers Defensive Starting 3 DL in their first 2 years. That would be the reason. So I’d be pretty surprised if the higher-ups aren’t a little bit bummed about losing Woods also. I liked him a lot.

  • shawn

    Just looked on ESPN tracker … they had Mitchell just about where i had him B- … i think thats giving him a little tho

  • Brian Miller

    Does anyone know what Wood’s last contract was? I highly doubt we would have resigned him for what he got in Tennessee, 2 year, 5 million…I could be wrong though.

  • Brian Miller

    It doesn’t help that these teams like Jacksonville, and Tennessee, and Tampa Bay, all have plenty of money under the cap to spend, so they tend to overpay for everyone they get…

  • Madi

    That’s disappointing. I’m sad to say I’d rather have him than Keisel at this point, and now that Woods is gone I think it’s all the more important we keep him so we don’t have a giant gaping wound on the DL. I hope the team agrees and makes an effort to keep him. Nothing crazy, but still. I’d hate to feel forced into drafting a DE high this year, with so many CBs and WRs to drool over.
    Hmm, Ryan Clark made a trip down to Florida once and came back to Pittsburgh with a 3 year deal. There’s still hope yet.

  • Madi

    But… then Cody is starting for us…

  • steelster

    If the steelers don’t resign Hood do you think Ra Shede Hageman comes into play as the steelers first round pick because he can play NT and DE.

  • steelster

    very true. all those teams have one thing in common they don’t have a good qb that they have to dish out huge amounts of money too.

  • Paul Barracliffe

    I have a bad feeling about Nix but NT is our biggest need…

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I like just about everything.

    If it was a game with no rules using monopoly money I would have signed all the free agents and not lost anyone but given the reality of the game its pretty flawless.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    My understanding is the Shazier is about the same size as Mosley but Mosley is much more instinctive but is also slower and has injury concerns.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Yes. I was thinking the same think though I would prefer to trade down if we go dl

  • cp72

    Hopefully we will be giving LeGarrett Blount a call. He’s a more talented that Dwyer but will also be more expensive. I am a LeVeon Bell fan but he is not a great short yardage back.

  • As thin as our defense is, any draft pick could earn a lot of PT. I don’t think you realize how little depth we have at some spots. We don’t even have a second starting DE signed at the moment, though that will change.

    Picking Benjamin gives them nothing that they can’t get in a later round.

  • Poor argument. Nobody was “allowed” to beat out Hood. In an open competition, Heyward would have been him out in 2012, but the team wasn’t going to let him get replaced until the need was obvious.

  • Which still leaves us with no NT.

  • Woods could play NT and kick McClendon to the outside. He was exactly the kind of versatile vet the front office loves.

  • Cody has proven not to be any good, yet you want him over someone that at least has potential. Brilliant.

  • I wouldn’t say flawless. I like the Mitchell signing, but letting Woods walk hurts. I would prefer Velasco to Wallace as he gives them more flexibility, but the cap factor is understandable. Hood is likely gone which means they have to re-sign Keisel for at least a one year deal, and while it is early, safety is the only position they have any depth at all at on defense.

  • joed32

    “Benjamin impressed from the minute he arrived at the combine. Coming in at 6’5″ and a chiseled 240 pounds, he casts an imposing shadow. Add 34.875″ arms and 10.25” hands, and it is easy to understand why many consider him a first-round pick.

    Ran a 4.53.

  • 20Stoney

    One thing that I think a lot of people aren’t considering is that Woods could back up both DE and NT and do a decent job. As it stands right now, unless they find a similar player somewhere, they are going to have to dress a guy who is strictly a backup nose tackle.

  • Derick L Young

    Don’t you think the FO would have signed the man sooner if they thought this…

  • Derick L Young

    McClendon is your other starting DE. Problem solved. Still lack a lot of depth yes but I am simply answering your question.

  • Derick L Young

    I dabble a little

  • Derick L Young

    I am not totally sold on the guy but I do believe in a solid NT that can only maybe play 2 downs. Fine with me. I really hope a team wants to trade up for the 15 pick and Steelers land Nix later in the 1st than 15 OR they get McCullers in the mid rounds. I can see a Heyward, Nix, McClendon line 30-40 % of the d snaps.

  • steeltown

    Yea, I think Williams and Arnfelt will serve as backups this season atleast intially, but we’ll still need more quality starter experience, I see Keisel being re-signed and an early-mid Rd draft selection as well

  • steeltown

    If Woods and/or Hood are both gone, then I am ALL FOR drafting DL in the 1st and the CB and WR in the 2nd and 3rd

  • steeltown

    We need to sign someone.. drafting another guy is no longer enough, we need to sign a FA RB

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Its nuts to blame the steelers for failing to complete their free agent shopping in a few days or refusing to overpay for a marginal lineman.

    They had a ton of huge holes and filled most of them well enough to not be desperate anywhere while still having money time and the draft to upgrade where ever the opportunity arises.

    None of our FA DL were even rated in the top 100. Why do you think the only option to replace them is with old, failed Steelers?

  • shawn

    rose color glasses do we …

  • Paul Hoover

    We’ll hoods gone now also !!!! Oops !!

  • Iron Cadet

    that doesnt solve the problem. if we move mcclendon to de, then we need a startin nose tackle. so all that changes is what position we need a starter at

  • Iron Cadet

    if we are now using bleacher report as an accurate source of information then i quit

  • Iron Cadet


  • alex

    tough FA period again for us, with little $$ to play with and the opposite for many other teams…so let them all overpay for players early and let us plug our holes as needed at more economical prices…

    the hit is we have to train new dogs… 🙁

  • Brendon Glad

    Not sure…I think they mis-calculated the interest. When they sign Brett Kiesel in about a week or 2, then we will know that they were expecting 1-2 of Woods and Hood to return…and my feeling is that it was Woods. If they don’t re-sign Kiesel, then I will stand corrected. But won’t change my opinion on Woods. I think he will be good.

  • Brendon Glad

    And I should acknowledge that it was Woods 4th year in the actual NFL…I meant “with the Steelers”. His tenure with Tampa and Seattle made him basically a rookie when being asked to play “Steelers 3-4 DE”. From all accounts…it’s not something you just walk into and start…usually, but when/if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you can’t play either. Off the top of my head…Ray Seals, Aaron Smith and Ziggy Hood are the only 3-4 DE’s in Steelers recent time who walked into Pittsburgh (as vets or Rooks) and been a regular starter within 2 years. So apparently that position in Pitt. has a major learning curve.

  • “Its nuts to blame the steelers for failing to complete their free agent
    shopping in a few days or refusing to overpay for a marginal lineman.”

    It is, which is why I am not doing that. I AM however, pointing out that their FA period has not been flawless by any means. Do you honestly think they didn’t get caught off guard by Woods signing elsewhere so quickly?

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I don’t think they were caught off guard at all and could care less if they pay woods or someone a little better for the same amount.

    Flawless means they made the right decision on all of the options at their disposal. Not that all of their dreams come true.

  • I know what it means, and I disagree with that assessment. Is that so hard to understand?

  • Eric MacLaurin

    There is no value in knowing that you disagree.

    Forgive me for discussing the reasons for that assessment which is all I care about.

  • Strictly speaking, there is no value in posting your opinion at all. And it sure as heck doesn’t carry more weight than anyone else’s. So you saying they “made the right decision on all of the options at their disposal” is completely meaningless.

    If you think letting players like Woods and Hood (who I wasn’t keen to bring back other than for depth, but still, there was value), who are familiar with our defense, walk so they can interview a guy that lost his starting job last year due to poor play and another guy that isn’t in your coveted top 100, while we have only one DE with any regular season experience at all on the roster is “flawless”, then by all means, keep finding ways to justify it.

  • I also can’t help but wonder who you think the “old, failed Steelers” are, but I am pretty sure I don’t want to know.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Wow! World record sentence length anyway.

    Why would you pretend that my position is that letting worlds and hood go just so they could talk to someone who lost his job is flawless?

    My mistake was trying to talk you off the ledge and at least recognizing that the assessment of the steelers has to wait until they spend the 6.5 mil they would have had to spend to keep them.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Old failed steelers in this case means paying guys who couldn’t do the job even more money and hoping they do better.

    Specifically it means paying woods and hood 21 million when neither one of them could hold a starting job.

  • Sorry the long sentence was tough for you to follow. I will try to speak more simply for you.

    “Why would you pretend that my position is that letting worlds and hood
    go just so they could talk to someone who lost his job is flawless?”

    Because, seeing as how that is what they are doing, and you called their offseason “flawless”, that is exactly what you said. Why would you forget that so quickly?

    Your mistake was thinking I am on a ledge at all, and then compounding it by focusing on a single position, when I was merely disagreeing with your initial assessment. Another mistake is thinking I am advocating paying 6.5 million to keep those guys. Personally, I would have let Hood walk and offered Woods a 2mil/year deal prior to FA starting, which he would have been very likely to sign. That would have kept us in a good spot cap wise, as well as retained a solid player that can play two spots on an extremely thin DL.

    That would be far more “flawless” than what they have done.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I think I’m just confusing you because you don’t get my point and get upset when I explain the disconnect.

    I’m going to stop responding.

  • Wow, the layers of mislogic in that assessment. We’ll skip the fact that Woods made a valid case for starting over McClendon at NT at the end of last year, and focus on the obvious misses:

    1: Neither is old. Both are 27.
    2: Neither “failed”. Neither was cut. Hood was a disappointing first round pick likely playing in the wrong scheme, but he is still a solid depth player. Woods has always been exactly what was asked of him. Your statement is further refuted by the fact that they signed for 21 million elsewhere…
    3: You cannot say it would take 21 million to retain them. If you think it would, you don’t understand FA or hindsight.

    So I am just going to go ahead and pretend you never posted that last comment.

  • You aren’t confusing me at all. I see your point completely. You think we need to wait to provide a full assessment, even while that self contradicts your initial assessment, which is what started this discussion. The cause of the disconnect is, as I said earlier, I disagree with your assessment. You weren’t happy leaving it at that and stated that you only cared about reasons. I provided them, you got bent out of shape. Feel free to take your ball and go home if it makes you feel better, continue on by trying to have an intelligent adult discussion. It’s all the same to me either way.

  • They will sign at least one RB. Bell is the only guy on the roster that has a regular season carry ATM.

  • Exactly what I thought. Apparently Benjamin has really been working on improving his height and arm length since the end of the season…

  • I agree with this completely. They didn’t expect a market for Woods at all and got caught off guard.

  • I think they would have signed him for around 1.7 to 2 mil to stay. I don’t remember what he was making before.

  • They signed an inferior replacement to Woods for a contract worth more guaranteed money. Still looking flawless?

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Inferior based on what?

    One lost a starting job and one never sniffed one.

  • Look beyond meaningless starts for once and think like a coach.

    1: You have one guy (Woods) who was recognized as an important role player that hasn’t met his ceiling yet, and another (Thomas) who has been inconsistent and was judged to have already hit his ceiling by his former team.

    2: Woods can play both DE and NT in a 3-4. Thomas can only play NT.

    3: Woods had 4 years in Lebeau’s complex system and zero learning curve. Thomas is starting from scratch.

    Are your glasses really so rose colored that you can’t see the different between those two guys for what amounts to essentially equal money? The Steelers got caught off guard by losing Woods, and signing Thomas was a reactionary move.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I see, inferior based on your familiarity with him and the truly lame idea that knowing the system is what makes one player better than another.

  • Nope. Let’s avoid the straw man arguments, shall we?

    It’s simple, with two players that either have limited history available or evaluate fairly closely (which you seem to think they do), you have to look at other factors. First is cost, which is virtually the same. Next you look at upsides, time in system, age, and other less tangible factors to make your judgement call. That is basic player evaluation.

    All of those factors favor Woods. If you weren’t so intent on proving me wrong (with no attempt at all to make your own argument, I might add), you would probably see that in an open comparison, Woods would be the preferred pick.

  • You also seem to either conveniently forget, or remain blissfully unaware, of how Mitchell builds DL players. They ALL take a 2-3 year investment of time for him to coach up to where is wants them. This is another case of the Steelers putting in that investment and then watching it walk away so they can start over with someone else.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    You have limited information to work with and yet feel so humble as to dismiss the Steelers as fools because of your advanced metrics about system experience?

    Absolute nonsense.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Wrong. They don’t all take 2-3 years.

    He has the ability to develop talent for this system that allows the use of lower draft choices but it’s not some sort of rocket science. An elite prospect or veteran doesn’t need years of his tutelage.

  • If you are going to say I am wrong, at least bother putting up something of substance to back up your point. We will skip the fact that you are implying that Thomas is either an elite prospect or a veteran, when he doesn’t really qualify as either. Name the last D-lineman to become a significant contributor in his first year with us.

    -Hood didn’t become a significant contributor until the second half of his second season with us.
    -Heyward didn’t until his third, though he was ready in his second.
    -Kiesel was in his third season when he started contributing
    -McClendon took three years
    -Woods was coming in to his own in his third season here

    The last FA to make a significant contribution on the DL in year one was Kimo von Oelhoffen in 2000. The last rookie to do so was Chris Hoke in 2004, and then only because Casey Hampton blew out his knee and they had no choice.

  • Derick L Young

    Woods only started 2 games lol, people will forget him once the season starts. this is not a big deal or much of a loss. you say depth, i say FA is still happening.

  • Derick L Young

    keeping “in house talent” is not necessarily the best decision.

  • Derick L Young

    playing time and starting are not “meaningless”. you yourself used the point of players on the roster with experience as a good thing. “Our defensive line currently consists of Cameron Heyward and Steve McClendon. They are the ONLY DLs on the roster that have any game experience whatsoever.” Well, the Steelers signed a guy with starting experience, more than 2 games as Woods had, and versatile. Where do you get Thomas can only play NT?

  • Derick L Young

    So Mitchell just makes every player the best he can be? lol so Hood is what exactly? Some guys just won’t be great players ok. Woods was not even drafted by the Steelers. Let go by them at one point.

  • Derick L Young

    uh Woods was cut, multiple times from multiple teams. child please! yeah you can expect similar money if they tried to resign those guys. Clearly the Steelers didn’t think too much of Hood. They liked Woods so much they let him sign elsewhere. See Worilds. If they really did like the players, they would find a way to keep them. Lewis was an exception.

  • Uhm, what? That is not even remotely what I said. I said that Mitchell takes 2-3 ywars to build up players in our system.

  • Starts for one team are largely meaningless when comparing a player qualitatively to a guy that played for a different team. Whether Woods was able to beat out Hood or Heyward says absolutely nothing about his quality as a player compared to Thomas.

    The game experience is nice, but one of the biggest reasons so many FAs fail with their second teams is because theu don’t know/fit/adapt well to the new systems. With a known quantity, you don’t have that risk.

    Thomas’s body type is almost pure NT. From what I can find he has never played 3-4 DE, and every assessment of him I have ever read, including several here, list him as ampure NT.

  • That’s true, it’s not. Yet we know from various sources that they intended to keep Woods, so clearly they thought it was the best decision before he signed with TN.

  • Child pleae, a player being cut years ago has no bearing on his current ability. Unless you think Jame Harrison always stunk because he was cut early in his career from multiple teams…

    I don’t think they did think a lot of Hood. I myself have argued that he belongs in a 4-3. That doesn’t make him “old and failed” though.

    D as I mentioned before, Bouchette and others have reported that they wanted Woods back and got caught off guard as he didn’t tell them he was going to TN.

  • Derick L Young

    lol so now Woods is the next James Harrison? I was referring to YOUR comment man. “2: Neither “failed”. Neither was cut. …” See there. You said neither was cut and that is not true.

  • Derick L Young

    Limas Sweed just really shines in that spot light.

  • Derick L Young

    Do you want me to find the few articles I have found saying he is versatile? They are on this website. I didn’t know this until I read it here.

  • Kindly respond to the arguments I actually make, not the ones that are convenient for you to respond to…

  • How does that remotely have anything to do with what we are talking about? At all? Are we just picking names out of a hat?

  • Feel free, if it makes you feel better. The only mentions I’ve found of it are statements like “he is versatile” on the Steelers website.

    On HERE I have found far more of:

    “it’s clear that Thomas is inconsistent with his pad level, hand placement and ability to anchor in the middle. He’s a big boy, but that’s about it. It’s no wonder why the Chargers are letting him walk.”

    “The Chargers run defense was horrible up the middle last season and it appears as though Thomas deserves a lot of blame for that and it explains why they were letting him move on.”

    Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

    Most likely, if they need versatility, McClendon would move out to DE, where he can play, and Thomas would plug in at NT.

  • Derick L Young

    Why are you making more from what I am simple pointing out?

  • Derick L Young

    I mean look how you attack that comment. I believe it was meant for another post.

  • I am supposed to know that how? I responded to the post in context. I am not the one who put it in the wrong place.

  • I didn’t say Woods was “never: cut. I said he wasn’t cut. As in, that is not how what separated him from the team THIS time. You inserted never just so you could respond to it, and that is the reason for my reaction.

    I will continue to say that Thomas is not versatile until I see otherwise. I have seen nothing in his career so far, and very little analysis, to make me believe that he is. And trust me, I HOPE he is, we need it.

    “I never said he would play both NT and DE and Steve wouldn’t. You just said that and assume.”

    I don’t even know how to respond to this, as this is not, at all, an argument that I have made. I mentioned McClendon moving to DE as a possibility, but I never said anything about you mentioning him or where he might play, so how could I be assuming what you think about him?

  • Matthew Marczi

    If by “versatile” you mean “can play defensive end”, yes, Cam Thomas can play defensive end, as you can easily see if you watch a Chargers game from last season.

  • Fair enough. The games I watched last year, I only saw him playing NT. I haven’t seen him play DE, and nearly all of what I have read lists him strictly as an NT. Like I said above, I hope he can play both spots.

    I still don’t think we would have gone after him if keeping Woods was an option, which is the opinion that started this whole tangled mess.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Well, when he was the starting nose tackle, no, he didn’t play defensive end much. Watch the game against the Broncos, for example, however, and you can see that he plays both. He may have a more prototypical nose tackle body, but he plays lighter, in both the positive and negative sense. He can penetrate, but he can struggle to anchor as well.

    For what it’s worth, like Woods, he was a player the Steelers were interested in during the draft when he came out. It’s certainly quite possible that they wouldn’t have signed him if Woods didn’t walk, but frankly I don’t consider the trade-off overly positive or negative.

    Woods simply hasn’t played much in his career to justify such lofty evaluations. While I like what I’ve seen from him, I’ve also seen him struggle as much as anybody. At the end of the day, this might be revisited as a lateral move at worst. And when dealing with a lateral move, I would probably skew toward the slightly cheaper, slightly more experienced option.

  • I remember him coming out of college, I wanted him at the time as well. I have just been disappointed with what he has done so far.

    And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that Woods was some great player and this is a huge step down or anything. I agree they are on similar levels. I’d grade Woods slightly ahead, but not by much. I just look at the lateral move differently. Given that their guaranteed money is about the same, I skew toward time in system over overall experience.