A Look Ahead At The Steelers Potential Free Agents In 2015

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have finalized their initial 53 man roster for 2014, we an look ahead to the players that are currently scheduled to be free agents at the conclusion of the season.

Unrestricted Free Agents: (10)

Ike Taylor – While Taylor doesn’t sound like a player that could possibly be entering the final year in the league, in all likelihood this will be his final year in Pittsburgh. While he always keeps himself in great physical condition, the fact that Taylor will turn 35 next offseason certainly doesn’t bode well for him as he quite possibly would be the oldest cornerback in the league in 2015 if he plays.

Will Allen – Like it or not, head coach Mike Tomlin must absolutely move on from Allen after the 2014 season. Hopefully it’s a not a year too late as the veteran safety looks like he will be the first safety off of the bench at the start of the 2014 season should something happen to starters Troy Polamalu or Mike Mitchell.

Greg Warren – Warren dodged a big bullet at the end of training camp as he only injured his meniscus and not his ACL. His knees aren’t in great shape and thus this very well could be his last year in the league.

Matt Spaeth – How Spaeth plays in 2014 will determine whether or not he’s re-signed next offseason. The Steelers are likely grooming rookie draft pick Rob Blanchflower on their practice squad this year to take over for Spaeth in 2015. If Spaeth does return in 2015, he can expect to be asked to play near or right at the minimum for his accrued years.

Jason Worilds – Assuming Worilds doesn’t get extended between now and Sunday, he will play out his one-year, $9.754 million contract given to him back in March. Should the former second-round draft pick play well this season, he will once again be a candidate for another tag. If he doesn’t, he will likely be allowed to test free agency.

Cortez Allen – The Steelers likely still want to get an extension done with Allen prior to Sunday, but right now there’s no signs that a new deal is imminent for the former fourth-round draft pick. Depending on how things play out this coming week and this season, Allen could be a candidate for a tag if he plays at a Pro Bowl level and Worilds is allowed to walk.

Michael Palmer – In all likelihood, the Steelers will move on from their veteran third tight end after the 2014 season. He’s done good to stick as long as he has.

Brice McCain – McCain was signed to a one-year qualifying contract this past offseason and isn’t likely to play much in 2014 unless injuries hit the Steelers secondary. He certainly isn’t a future starter and thus will likely be one and done in Pittsburgh.

Arthur Moats – Moats is an interesting player and like McCain, he isn’t likely to see the field much on defense in 2014 unless injuries strike either of the two starters. It’s possible that he could be re-signed next offseason as the Steelers are very thin when it comes to future depth at the outside linebacker position.

Darrius Heyward-Bey – The Steelers are trying to develop several young wide receivers this season, so on the surface it appears as though Heyward-Bey will only be in Pittsburgh for one season.

Restricted Free Agents: (3)

Robert Golden – Golden is merely a special teams contributor that’s unlikely to see much playing time once again on defense in 2014. As we sit here right now, it’s hard to gauge what will happen with him after this season is over. He’s scheduled to be a restricted free agent and thus will be easily retained if wanted back in 2015.

Antwon Blake – Like Golden, Blake is merely a special teams warrior and nothing more. He’s certainly not a future starter at cornerback, so if he returns in 2015 it would be because he was tendered as a restricted free agent. Let’s hope we don’t have to see him play much on defense this season.

Will Johnson – How Johnson plays in 2014 will determine his future. The Steelers just don’t use a fullback much, so Johnson will likely have to show he can also function as an in-line tight end this season if he expects to receive a restricted tender next offseason.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents: (4)

Terence Garvin – Garvin enters the 2014 season as a swing backup linebacker. He is solid on special teams and being as he will be an exclusive rights free agent, there’s a good chance that he will at least be brought back to compete at training camp next year.

Justin Brown – We’ll have to wait and see if Brown even last all season on the 53 man roster as he’s a perfect candidate to be shuffled back and forth to the practice squad should a spot be needed. If he sticks, he will be easily retained as an excusive rights free agent for the minimum next offseason if wanted.

Chris Hubbard – Hubbard is pretty much the offensive lineman version of Brown. He is also scheduled to be an exclusive rights free agent and thus will be easily retained if wanted.

Brad Wing – Even if Wing were to make the Pro Bowl in 2014, he’ll still be an exclusive rights free agent at the end of the season. That would mean that the Steelers would get one heck of a bargain for 2015. Right now, we just hope that he punts well enough to stick on the roster all season.

  • Rufus Benard

    Lets face it, Not a single one of these players are worth signing. Worlds will find a stupid team to pay him an absurd amount of money, like we are this year and we have had him five seasons and he has performed at the same level as Chris Carter had. With the exception of HALF of last season. The rest of them are league throw aways until you get to the guys that we are developing from the draft. Other than this years draft picks. None of them are worth keeping. The Steelers have done a terrible job of assembling a roster this season and I predict this is going to be a very long season. Most of our roster consists of players no one else wanted or players that have no experience in the league. The exceptions are the old players from our 2008 championship team.

  • Jacque Strappe

    I wholeheartedly disagree about Worilds.

  • ApexSteel

    I mean at this point in their respective careers he has 2 less sacks than Steeler’s great Greg Lloyd (Worilds 18. Greg Lloyd 20) with 29 less starts than Lloyd had. He also has 1 more sack than Jason Gildon had in his first 4 years and Gildon had 9 more starts than Worilds did. They turned out ok, right? So to say he played at the same level as Chris Carter (who has yet to record one sack in his NFL career) shows that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Kevin Artis

    I’m hoping Worilds lights up the league this year. Or at least does better than he did last year. Maybe 10 sacks. Another I’m hoping for is Darrius Heyward-Bay. He intrigue me for some reason. A former first round pick. Number 8 overall I believe.

  • Brandon Andrews

    Chris Carter had 8 sacks, whoa

  • Michael Parker

    Youre way off with Worilds. He was making plays when on the field. Injuries, Harrison and Woodley kept him off the field. Carter couldnt smell the qb and would get pushec to the sideline or the defensive backfield on every run play. Get it together bro.

  • Steelers12328882

    C’mon Chris Carter?! Give the guy more respect than that. Injuries and Pro Bowlers have hurt him but when he’s on the field he has produced. 14 starts and 13 sacks the last 2 years.

  • Zumwalt Fan Club

    There isnt one player I would actually miss having. It would be nice to sign Cortez Allen because he is the best CB on the team, although that isnt saying much. Worilds is going to be overpaid big time and is not worth it.

  • John

    The mismanagement of the roster by the Steelers tese last couple years has been epic. About two years ago, we had two areas of young budding strength for years to come. We had Lewis and Allen as young corners who actually looked Luke they could cover people and we were set at WR with Wallace, Brown, and Sanders. In only two years, we have collapsed both areas of young strength and turns them into areas where we are picking up players cut by other teams and hoping they play better for us. Next year if we lose Allen we have NO real corners. If we lose Worilds, we have no even semi-established outside rushers. We also may lose Polamalu after this year. How are we going to stop anyone? We do not even know if we have a true NT either.

  • frednash

    I completely disagree!

    Steelers roster looks and feels like a championship type of team

    Plus we have great coach’s

    We stay healthy we’ll win…

  • Lil Smitty

    DHB intrigues me also. I have heard about how he is a body catcher, but he was snagging passes with his hands away from his body during the reason. If he becomes reliable, the 4 receiver sets will be nearly impossible to stop with him taking the top off the defense.

  • pat

    Very true if we would of cut our loses with Woodley earlier we could still have at least Lewis on the team possibly Lewis and Wallace. We have Shark waiting behind Troy so im good on that situation

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Epic mismanagement because they didn’t sign Wallace, Sanders and Lewis?

    You need to factor in who you lose if you pay those guys what it would cost. I agree they should have resigned Lewis but not sanders, or wallace.

    I wouldn’t be betting 10’s of millions on Allen either.

    You should consider following golf. It’s much more relaxing.


    Good on ya ApexSteel, nice stats! Also, just based on reports and game tape, I would offer Moats an extension as he seems to be a great fit for what Porter is looking for and provides nice depth. It is unfortunate that Lewis always Dreamt of playing for his hometown team – just like we would all have gone straight to the Steelers in a similar situation, right? – so any free CB’S have to be and are watched very closely; much like BW when we snatched him (and Richardson to develop)….hold off on both Allen and Worilds, because that’s what tags were provided to the FO for. (wouldn’t surprise me if they extended Cortez now
    anyways though (he just hasn’t shown anything worthy of it imo). Go Steelers!

  • John

    Eric: Your comments are flawed. You assume I am saying they should have waited until each player was an UFA and then sign them for top dollar. That is NOT the point. The organization should be able to see where players are headed and sign them earlier to more team favorable deals. The Steelers problem has been an inability to do this and letting players become UFA or RFA and then saying they are too expensive. The players we would have lost early would have been Woodley, Clark, and Taylor. There is no room for debate here.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I’m saying you don’t understand the word epic.

    As far as saying what a team should be doing you seem to think it’s an exact science. You need to look at the rest of the teams and how successful they are. The Steelers are not a bad team in selection or development.

    The room for debate comes from the fact that you are cherry picking changes that support your point without consideration for the timeline. You can’t look back and say that you would have signed all the good guys early for cheap deals instead of guys that ended up getting injured after they signed.

    What do you think you would have paid to sign Mike Wallace and Kenan Lewis early and when would you have signed those deals?

    Would you have let Woodley leave as a free agent?

    Let’s hear some specific’s of your plan’s and how they differ from Colbert’s “epic” failure. Hopefully you’ll reflect on the very early confidence and financial expectations of the young money crew before you count on long term deals at half market value.

  • John

    Eric: I have better things to do than battle nonstop with the intentional contrarian. I did not cherry pick anything. I noted we had two areas of young strength two years ago and turned them quickly into areas of doubt. I guess every national commentator that notes the Steelers and Cowboys are the two teams that have most badly mismanaged the salary cap are all wrong also. You provide no specifics. Maybe we should look at the reverse — turning the best young receiving core in the league plus Cotchery into two veterans cut by others, an inexperienced third rounder that missed most of last year and who knows what else — brilliant. Putting the team possibly in position to have William Gay as their top corner next year with a need for two other real players, brilliant. Maybe losing the only quality pass rusher we may have because we do not want to pay him, brilliant. All we need to do is not pay Ben and have Jones and Gradkowski at QB to complete the circle.

  • steeltown

    Well I hope they find a way to keep C.Allen and Worilds. Also think they’d be wise to get Moats, Garvin and Blake locked up on modest deals, same with Will Johnson, these guys serve different roles and are quality depth players and special teamers. DHB is beginning to intrigue me, if he has a solid yr as a #4 WR and special teamer he could be a great depth player for us for yrs

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Please don’t feel obligated to respond if you have more important things to do. That was such a clueless rant I’m not sure what you were even trying to say. I know you didn’t answer my questions and maybe you thought a whole bunch of words mashed together might make me forget everything we were talking about.

    You didn’t “note” anything. You called Colbert an epic failure.

    If the extent of your interest in the subject is that national media guys said so well, good for you.

    If you want to insult the team and complain about moves you should probably be prepared to talk about the moves and what you would do, instead of just saying that you heard other people say it.

    You shouldn’t expect to say it and not have anyone ask why you think you’re so much smarter than the Steelers and ask you to show what you bring to the table that qualifies you to even talk about the subject let alone insult a successful professional and the ownership team around him.

    I simply asked you for specifics about the moves you were complaining about because they don’t match up with my memory in any way.

  • Like it or not, Woodley earned his big deal. He also has no injury history until the middle of that year. It is just unforunate the way it happened. Nobody including you John could have foreseen that, except maybe Emporer Palpaltine, but even he was wrong from time to time.

  • Pete Johnson

    Couldn’t have said it any better. This team is so devoid of depth and young talent it is scary. It is only going to get worse next year unless literally every single draft pick from this year turn into stars. I mean it could happen. I guess.

  • SfSteeler

    you are correct sir…

    but based on this article, were gonna lose 4 of 11 DBs…gives Allen soooo much negotiating strength less any sour season he has…

  • steelster

    Yes, they need to sign him now.

  • gene mann

    I totally agree