Steelers Expected To Sign An Experienced Running Back By End Of Week

Addressing reporters Tuesday morning at the AFC coaches’ breakfast at the annual NFL owners’ meeting, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he expects an experienced running back will be signed soon, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

As of right now, the only two visible candidates are free agents Maurice Jones-Drew and LeGarrette Blount. The former visited last week, while the latter is expected to be in Pittsburgh later this week.

On Monday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News wrote that the Steelers are one of four teams interested in Jones-Drew and that talks with his camp were expected to continue this week in Orlando, FL. In addition, Mehta said earlier reports that Jones-Drew was looking for $3.5 million a season aren’t necessarily true, as that number is high, according to his sources.

Unless the Steelers have another running back lined up to come in that we haven’t heard about, one would think that Blount’s asking price would still be much lower than that of Jones-Drew’s. The Steelers don’t have a lot of salary cap space to work with unless a  contract restructure or extension is all lined up ready to go, so they would essentially have to pay in rolled coins if neither of those two events take place.

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  • Steelers12328882

    Cool. Sounds like that would rule out signing Carrington tho, unless we restructured or extended a contract or two.

  • Callentown

    It’s interesting because each of these RB’s adds something different than the other. MJD has the higher pedigree, but Blount adds that touch running presence that we haven’t had since the Bus left the building.

    If we weren’t moving to the zone blocking scheme, I would say let’s pound the rock. But, MJD might be the better fit – also as a mentor to the Bell cow.

  • steeltown

    Yea I like the receiving ability that MJD brings, but to be honest either one would be a welcomed sight at this point.

  • Jason Vancil

    I noticed Blount also averaged nearly 30 yards per return as the Pats Kick off return man last year. So, he also offers that versatility.

  • dkoy85

    Anxiously anticipating who will be signed.

  • ApexSteel

    I would take MJD over Blount. I like my change of pace backs to actually change the pace.

  • RW

    Blount changes the pace… to slow…

  • dgh57

    If money was the same I would say take MJD as he’s the more well rounded RB but since it’s not it probably will be Blount. Then again they could surprise us with someone completely different.

  • Chad H

    RB is more of a glaring hole than DL right now. We have to get someone as a back up prior to the draft.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    If the price is right, I would take MJD. 2 years removed from leading the league, he could take over in case Bell were injured, and great on 3rd downs. Conversely, if you expect to have LSH or another scat back type around, then you would want the younger power runner, Blount, even if he is one-dimensional.

  • Jason

    We have a stud starter at Rb. Who is going to start opposite Heyward? Cam Thomas? Bring back Keisel? DE is a big need IMO

  • srdan

    Whats up with Moreno?

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Bust up until was in a shotgun offense

  • Steelers12328882

    Yeah, I agree. A starting DE is definitely a higher priority then a backup RB. I think the market agrees too.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    They can get by, remember they have Nick Williams, Arnfelt plus they can in some defense alignments slide mcClendon out and put Thomas at NT. Its not ideal, but they can get by, plus you never know who will get cut in roster cut downs either.

  • Jason

    I agree with your last thought about roster cuts but I view that as a more ideal time to find a Rb tha a DE. Le’Veon is getting the majority of snaps at Rb regardless of who we sign so if you give me a choice of Carrington or Blount give me Carrington every time.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Tomlin is a great admirer of MJD. The last time we played Jacksonville, he made that clear. However, my bet is we sign Blount (a bigger, bruiser type RB), and get a speed guy (possibly with return experience) in the draft.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Moreno would be a cheap reliable backup.

  • dkoy85

    They’ll surprise us with C2K! :-D

  • joed32

    Miami wants him and they have the money to pay him.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    NFL running backs? Tough job. Behind Bell this team needs Blount AND Drew.

  • steeltown

    Yea but the ‘change of pace’ back could be drafted or signed later, like LSH… we need to add more than one RB

  • steeltown

    Im getting the feeling that Blount will be signed.. he’ll be affordable

  • steeltown

    He wont be cheap

  • steeltown

    Agreed

  • Matt Manzo

    That’s my ideal scenario! Rather have the younger Blount! MJDs got a Napoleon complex.

  • dkoy85

    Whoever they sign I’m hoping it’s for 2-3 years. Would be great to have a nice 1,2 punch for the next few years.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    No they won’t

  • Milliken Steeler

    Really? He has breakaway speed for a big back. Did you see some of his long runs? He can run away from people as well as over them.

  • Callentown

    Thinking it’s going to be Blount.

  • steelster

    Can’t see them being able to afford Blount. It may end up being Michael Bush.

  • Matt Manzo

    Yes! Sounds like it has to Blount? MJD wants too much and if it’s by weeks end, who else have we met with that’s not signed? And! I don’t think Blount wants a one year, I think a three year with a low 1st year is just what we can afford and he’ll be able to play and not be expected to carry the load. Hopefully he understands what it is to be a Steeler?

  • steelster

    I like blount but he comes with high risk with his off the field issues.

  • dkoy85

    Everything…exactly.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I base him being cheap on what’s happened so far on the FA market. The RB position has suffered during FA and no RB has gotten what MJD is asking for as a starter. He’s 27 with some bumps and bruises. The market has so far dictated that backup RB’s aren’t getting big money. I like Moreno watched him at UGA and followed his NFL career. He’d be a nice pickup if they could work it out.

  • Douglas Andrews

    That means we can cross him off our list of backup RB’s.

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m hoping he’s matured some. I just loved him in college too. If it’s a reasonable 1st year it shouldn’t be too much of a risk if we let him go?

  • http://twitter.com/hoofdaddy Hoof

    With the $ we have, I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high. However, didn’t we win a Super Bowl with an undrafted rookie as the change of pace guy?

  • steelster

    True, but he was the starter.

  • alex

    STs, the stinker in the room…:(

  • JP

    MJD. vs. Blount
    Age- 28/29. + (27)
    Speed- +
    Health- +
    Power- +
    Ask price + (would cost less to obtain)

    ObVious choice gentlemen …….
    ***plus by getting LeG. Blount – we would stick it 2 NE (F**^kn cheaters)!!

  • JP

    Btw carrington is signing w/ St. Louis Rams.

  • steelster

    good chance the steelers sign neither.

  • Chad H

    Ok Bell gets hurt. Who do we put in? There isn’t even a back up right now. Yes we need another DE but there are guys on the roster to fill in. At RB there a couple PS guys that’s it. So unless one of those guys shows something more we would actually need 2 more RBs.

  • Jason

    I certainly agree that we need a backup Rb badly but I’m just saying I would have my 22 starters in order before I worried about depth. If they think Arnfelt or Williams are ready then so be it. Irrelevant now anyway since Carrington signed elsewhere.