It’s no surprise that the Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t signed anybody as of yet in the opening hours of free agency, but the sheer lack of information of any kind, outside of the release of LaMarr Woodley, is somewhat surprising.
I find it somewhat amusing that the Steelers on their website instead choose to celebrate the best free agent signings of their history, rather than talk about their free agency plans for the present.
There has been one—exactly one—bit of information that came out today, and it’s not particularly surprising. The Steelers have reportedly expressed interest in former Miami Dolphins safety Chris Clemons.
The information was reported by Adam Schefter and later by ESPN Steelers blogger Scott Brown.
The Dolphins have already signed former Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas on a one-year, $3.5 million deal. Delmas is the only free agent known to have visited the Steelers in any capacity this offseason.
As with the offensive tackles, the safeties have been flying off the shelves, with former San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner going to the Cleveland Browns, former Browns safety T.J. Ward signing with the Denver Broncos, and former Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea heading to San Francisco.
Clemons, a former 2009 fifth-round draft pick of the Dolphins, has started all 32 games over the past two seasons, making 98 and 93 tackles in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and has three interceptions in that span, with 12 passes defensed.
The 28-year old has already been linked to several teams, including the Lions, who have to replace Delmas in the starting lineup.
The Steelers, meanwhile must decide if they can replace free safety Ryan Clark from within. Inquiring about a starting safety suggests that they don’t have a concrete answer on that question.
While Troy Polamalu has been signed to a three-year extension, there is no guarantee that he completes that contract. In addition, Will Allen, who was the third safety for the past two seasons, is already over 30.
The Steelers drafted Shamarko Thomas in the fourth round last year, trading a pick in the third round of this draft to do so. He could well be in the starting lineup this season if the Steelers fail to add a body in free agency.