Sunday, February 17, 2013
How to approach Steelers' RB mess
By Tom Carpenter
The Pittsburgh Steelers' roster may well look completely different by the time Week 1 of the 2013 campaign gets underway. They are projected to be around $14 million over the salary cap and have 18 unrestricted free agents they will have to consider. No area of their team may be in a tougher spot than their backfield, where Rashard Mendenhall will be unrestricted and Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman will be restricted. Here is how the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette sees things transpiring.
"Since Redman was not drafted, there would be no compensation required for the lower tender, which would only give the Steelers the right of first refusal if a team signed him. Dwyer was a sixth-round pick, so the Steelers would receive a sixth-round choice for him in return at the lower tender amount," he wrote.
"Do they want to tie up $2.646 million in two backup running backs? Do they give Redman a $2.023 million tender in order to pretty much guarantee that no team signs him?
"It's a tough call, complicated by the fact the Steelers not only do not have a No. 1 back, but they also don't have many backs at all after cutting Chris Rainey and with Rashard Mendenhall expected to leave as an unrestricted free agent. They have Baron Batch, and that's pretty much it. The guess here is that they give both backs the low tender, although it's possible they would give a tender only to Redman."
The one thing that we should be able to bank on when it comes to the Steelers and their backfield is that they will aim to add a legit No. 1 RB threat via the draft, free agency or a trade. They ranked 26th in the NFL last season with just 96.1 rushing yards per game and were one of just six teams that scored fewer than nine rushing touchdowns.