Plenty Of Offseason Business Awaits Steelers’ Attention Following Busy Monday

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a busy final Monday of February as not only did they place the franchise tag on running back Le’Veon Bell, they also signed wide receiver Antonio Brown to a four-year extension that results in him being the highest-paid player in the NFL at his position. With those two formalities now out of the way ahead of the start of the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, the Steelers still have some business at hand moving into the remainder of the offseason.

While Brown is now locked-up long-term, Bell isn’t past the 2017 season. Even so, the Steelers now have until July 15 to get a long-term contract finalized with Bell and one can easily speculate that will get accomplished even though it might not happen until right before the deadline. Like Brown, Bell should become the highest-paid player at his position before the Steelers report to Latrobe for training camp.

At some point during the remainder of the offseason the Steelers will likely sign defensive end Stephon Tuitt to a five-year contract extension and it will be surprising if that doesn’t happen. Tuitt is about to enter the final year of his rookie contract on March 9 and thus should have a new deal in place prior to the start of the 2017 regular season. Tuitt’s extension might not happen until after the team reports for training camp but that’s not to say that it can’t or won’t happen earlier.

Prior to Tuitt signing a new deal, the Steelers will likely come to terms with a few of their players who are set to become unrestricted free agents on March 9 and leading that list of candidates are linebackers James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons in addition to quarterback Landry Jones as the team has made it clear they would like to have the three back in 2017 if at all possible. While not guaranteed to happen, running back DeAngelo Williams and defensive end Ricardo Mathews are two other players who are set to become unrestricted free agents who might be offered contracts at some point during the coming weeks.

The Steelers are also expected to restricted tender cornerback Ross Cockrell before March 9 and the same thing could ultimately happen with tackle Chris Hubbard. Additionally, the Steelers might decide the time is right to sign tackle Alejandro Villanueva to a long-term extension in the coming weeks and months even though he can be easily retained with a one-year exclusive rights tender for the minimum for his accrued years. Regardless, Villanueva will be back with the Steelers in 2017.

While it’s only a formality at this point, the Steelers are expected to pick up the fifth-year option on linebacker Ryan Shazier between now and May 3 so that’s another order of business you can expect to happen.

With February now ending, the Steelers have begun to insert a few pieces of their 2017 puzzle firmly into place before turning their attention to the combine. Several other pieces of that puzzle will be arranged and put into their proper spots in the coming weeks and months and it will be fun to sit back and watch the entire picture develop.

  • Sam Clonch

    “CAN’T WAIT!!!”

  • steelersfan

    So far best offseason ever. not counting those with superbowl parades

  • steelburg

    I would love to see all the guys you named above resigned and or tendered if possible. I did a little hunting for a receiver that could be added for competition and or insurance that may come cheap somebody like Jaron Brown from the Cardinals should be able to be had at a veteran minimum contract. He has the size and speed to be a deep threat if Coates and or Bryant for some reason have more issues. I also think he has better hands and fight dor the ball in yhe air better than Coates. I love Heyward-Bey as a special teams guy but I would still make him fight for his job against Brown. Hamilton is just another guy to me I really don’t see him making the team this year.

  • george

    Good Lord. Do we have the cap space to do all that????

  • Cols714

    I hope they get Timmons back for 2 more years.

  • Mark

    Somebody please tell me we are not going to roll out the same team to play against the Pats and get smoked again for the umpteenth time. Please stop the madness! The 1st time I see Butler with 10 or 11 on the line against Brady I will give him credit.

  • Steelers072684

    We need to start drafting DB’s who can excell in man coverage.

  • Applebite

    Somebody call ‘Harrison’s Thumb Removal’ over to Goodell’s place…it can’t possibly take this long to even bother to look at Bryant’s return to the team.

  • Sam Clonch

    Says us and 31 other teams.

  • Sam Clonch

    He certainly COULD have, but doing some google investigation, I don’t believe he needs to have yet. Martavis applied 28 January. Sometime between then and the next 45 days he should be interviewed by a medical examiner. That will also go to Goodell to inform his decision. I haven’t heard if that ever took place, but I’m sure the process would be dead in it’s tracks until it does.

    Goodell is SUPPOSED to make a decision within 60 days of him filing, but I believe things have gone much longer for some other players such as Josh Gordon and Aldon Smith. Hopefully those cases are more complicated and we’ll hear something in the next month.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I believe so, but it doesn’t leave much for free agency. Personally, I have no interest bringing back Landry Jones or D-will though

  • Thomas

    I would like to see Cockrell, AV, Harrison, Timmons, Finney, and Mathews resigned. If we have any cap left over extend Tuitt and / or Shazier.

  • SteelersDepot

    Shazier will be next year

  • NW86

    Exactly. Doing that against today’s top WR’s, who know where they are going and can be proactive while you have to be reactive, and with the offensive-slanted pass interference rules, is next to impossible. There aren’t many on the planet that can do it well, consistently, without drawing flags. And if any do show up in the draft, they get drafted in the top 10 overall, where the Steelers are never picking.

  • Terrible Towlie

    Garcon wr ufa

  • Darth Blount 47

    The same team PLUS Martavis Bryant, likely a free agent, maybe 2. But knowing us, just 1… and a couple of new draft picks sprinkled in. Oh, and fingers crossed (and toes) Senquez Golson in the slot.

  • Trey

    I say offer Bryant for a draft pick for this year unless we know for sure he is done with his antics. If he is on the straight path keep him and only offer him a 4 year 15.5 million dollar contract. Something that won’t break the banks for us. Keeping Brown, Bell, Ben, Bryant and Green together man we would be so dangerous if the one can stay healthy and the other clean smh. For this season keep Harrison, AV, Timmons, Finney, Cockrell, and D. Williams. Let J. Jones, L. Jones, S. Thomas, R. Matthews, X. Grimble, and maybe Hey-Bey (if you can find someone better) walk/cut.

  • Trey

    Dave I know I am jumping ahead but would we have enough money for Shazier and Tuitt next year after spending the much needed money this year on the best WR and RB in the game and whoever else we lock up like AV and Harrison? Also would you give Martavis Bryant a contract extension after next year?

  • Thomas

    Probably. If needed they have the 5th year option as well.
    I’m just trying to say resigning our guys > FA.

  • Dubb Betts

    Isn’t todd Haley’s contact over? When will the Steelers extend him


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  • NW86

    As far as I can tell, BJ Finney hasn’t received his ERFA tender yet either?
    Obviously the most immediate actions we can expect in the next week are those ERFA tenders for Finney and Villanueva (barring a longterm deal for him before then), and the RFA tenders for Cockrell and possibly Hubbard.