Steelers Re-signing Of TE Michael Palmer On Friday Shouldn’t Affect The Draft One Bit

The Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed unrestricted free agent tight end Michael Palmer on Friday and many believe that move now rules out the team drafting a tight end in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest leads the charge following Palmer’s signing as he wrote on Twitter, “Michael Palmer re-signed by @Steelers. 1-year, likely for the veteran minimum. U can cross TE off the list 4 this draft. QB, S, prob OL, too”

While Labriola might ultimately be correct, I don’t think it’s as big of a slam dunk that he makes it out to be.

First, Palmer signed a one-year contract and while financials have yet to be released, I will be surprised if it isn’t a qualifying contract with a reduced cap charge. At most, Palmer will receive a $65,000 signing bonus and we’ll know for sure if that’s the case within 24 hours.

Second, Palmer played all of 49 snaps on offense last season for the Steelers as his primary role was playing special teams. As his contract will likely suggest, he’s not a lock to make the final 53 man roster in 2014.

Yes, Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth are both locks to make the 53 man roster this season, but who’s currently behind them? As of right now, it’s Palmer and third-year tight end David Paulson, who dropped behind the former on the depth chart during the second half of the 2013 season. Should Paulson not make the final 53 man roster this year, releasing him only creates $11,474 in dead money in 2014 and another $11,474 dead charge in 2015.

Heading into Thursday, the Steelers only had three tight ends under contract for 2014 and they generally like to carry at least five or six healthy ones during training camp, and the preseason. As you can clearly see, they have room for two more and one of those two still could arrive via the draft.

So, if you are for the Steelers drafting either Eric Ebron, Jace Amaro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Troy Niklas, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Arthur Lynch or Crockett Gillmore, I don’t believe your hopes have been dashed by the Steelers re-signing a camp body on Friday.

  • Biggie

    I’m glad they resigned Palmer for camp but definitely would like to see another TE who fits all phases better and can develop as a great compliment to Miller. I really like Niklas and would be good with Fiedorowicz as well.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Like I said in the other thread. Palmer nor Paulson is going to keep them from drafting a TE, but they won’t panic if someone they like isn’t available to draft either.

  • tim

    Id like ASJ or CJ please God….like to see a GOOD draft for once…

  • dgh57

    Believe me if they are seeking a upgrade at the TE position they aren’t going to let a little thing like a Palmer or even a Paulson stand in their way.

  • Jay Jaber

    Rd.1 Eric Ebron(if mike evans is not available)
    Rd.2 devante adams(my opinion top 4 WR he’s going to be special)
    Rd.3 stanly jean-baptise(boom or bust)
    Rd.4 Justin Ellis NT(potential to start day1)
    Rd.5 shayne skov(if he falls this far he will be a day 1 starter he’s a Brandon spikes type of player 2 down player one of my favorite players in this draft)

  • Matt Manzo

    I’d be ok with that! If we nailed Baptiste! We have to come away with one of the big cbs! Would love Skov at five but don’t see him falling that far?

  • Jay Jaber

    I think skov will fall cause of injury and only 2 down player and baptiste has the potential to be the next Ike Taylor

  • Joe Gulaskey

    I am part of the Lynch or Gillmore bandwagon. They can be had in the 4th or 5th round but be the back up tight end….