Steelers Gamble to Gain Flexibility in the Free Agent Market

The Steelers placed their tenders to Mike Wallace and other restricted free agents today, and in doing so they gave themselves some breathing room, while also opening themselves to come considerable risks.

The Steelers offered Mike Wallace a first round tender, in a move that was widely expected. The move ensures that the Steelers would get a first round pick should anyone sign Wallace – the Steelers would likewise get the chance to match any offer for Wallace.

However, Wallace was the only Steeler to get a high tender.

Over the weekend Steel Curtain Rising speculated, based on Ed Bouchette’s predictions in PG Plus, that the Steelers would offer their starting guards 2nd round tenders.

  • They did not, only offering them the original round tenders.

In doing so they opened themselves to some significant risk. As Doug Legrusky and Ramon Foster were both undrafted rookie free agents, the Steelers would get nothing in return if they left, although they would retain the right to match any offer.

  • This move entails some real risk, if for no other reason than the Steelers have NO other guards on their roster, in the wake of the departure of Chris Kemoeatu.

While neither Legursky nor Foster strike fear in the hearts of opposing defensive line and linebackers coaches the way Alan Fanaca and Will Wolford once did, both men have shown they belong in the NFL.

The Steelers apparent motive in taking this risk is to preserve precious salary cap space. The Steelers are about in the middle of the pack in terms of salary cap space, but to get there they’ve had to defer a lot of salary to future years, a move that could come back to haunt them.

The Steelers are clearly trying to keep their options open, either to match an offer to Mike Wallace, secure him to a long term deal, or give themselves the ability to sign other free agents.

The Steelers, as expected, tender Keenan Lewis, Ryan Mundy, and David Johnson, so they can match offers for any of those men and will get compensation should any of them leave.

Thanks for visiting. Click here for the rest of Steel Curtain Rising or here to see our Steelers 2012 Free Agent Focus.

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3 thoughts on “Steelers Gamble to Gain Flexibility in the Free Agent Market

  1. I like Foster and would be sorry to see him go. I’m not so high on Legursky, but if either guy leaves, I feel that they can go out and find an equal in talent to take their spots. It is a bit risky since both were starters at one point or another, but this is what happens to teams that go on championship runs.

  2. Tony, honestly, I think its hard to get a solid assessment of any of the offensive lineman after this past year – there was so much change.

    Legursky is valuable for his flexibility – the man can play three positions and line up at fullback in a pinch.

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