The Pittsburgh Steelers had Jacksonville Jaguars free agent running back Maurice Jones-Drew in for a visit last week and while he left town unsigned, there still seems to be some optimism within the organization that he might ultimately be the one that backs up starter Le’Veon Bell in 2014.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday from the NFL owners’ meetings in Orlando, FL that he “felt good” about the recent meeting they had with Jones-Drew and also let it be known that they’re still “open” to possibly signing him.
Mike Tomlin said he “felt good” about last week’s meeting with Maurice Jones-Drew and said “we’re open” to possibility of signing him
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 23, 2014
“I felt good about (the meeting with Jones-Drew),” said Tomlin. “We are open to it. I’ll stop short of saying ‘have to,’ but we need to add quality depth to that position, whether it’s through free agency or the draft. Le’Veon Bell is a talented player but a young player. It would be good to get a been-there, done-that type of guy in the room to maybe help him with growth and development. But I don’t view it as a necessity, quite honestly, because Le’Veon is a very grounded and humble young man and is open to getting better, and is a good listener.”
After Jones-Drew left Pittsburgh, it was reported that the longtime Jaguars running back was looking to get paid roughly $3.5 million a season. If indeed that asking place is correct, one would think he’d have to lower it considerably if the Steelers were to sign him.
The Steelers are not waiting for Jones-Drew, however, as they already have a visit set up next week with New England Patriots free agent running back LeGarrette Blount.
Prior to Jones-Drew visiting, the Steelers reportedly had a visit scheduled with Green Bay Packers running back James Starks, prior to him re-signing with his current team.
The Steelers currently have three other running backs other than Bell under contract for 2014, but none of them have NFL game experience.