Analysis of Steelers Restricted Free Agent Robert Golden

From icons like Ike Taylor and James Harrison, to household names like Jason Worilds to “second line” free agents like Will Allen, to the Michael Palmer’s of the roster, our Steelers 2015 Free Agent Focus has profiled all of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 unrestricted free agents.

With that complete, we now turn our attention to the Steelers 2015 restricted free agents, starting with back up safety/special teamer Robert Golden.

Capsule Profile of Robert Golden with the Steelers

46. That’s the total number of snaps played by rookies in Dick LeBeau’s defense during 2012. If the number sounds low, it’s because it is low. And those snaps were authored by one man, and one man only Robert Golden.

Robert Golden joined the Steelers as part of their 2012 unrestricted rookie free agent class. His play during training camp turned heads, and he earned himself a spot on the roster. 46 snaps isn’t a lot of playing time, but as indicated, its more than any other rookie got.

Heading into 2013 it was obvious that Ryan Clark’s time with the team was nearing an end. There were even internet rumblings that a strong summer at St. Vincents by Robert Golden and newly drafted Shamarko Thomas could cost Clark his spot on the team.

  • That never materialized.

Nor, so it would seem, did Golden’s development at safety (neither has Shamarko Thomas’ but that’s another story. But Golden carved a spot out on special teams where he has excelled. In 2013 he forced two fumbles and in 2014 he recovered another fumble. He also threw a picture perfect pass on a fake punt in the Steelers season opening victory over Cleveland.

The Case for Tendering Robert Golden

Golden is a solid special teams player and a leader of that unit. He knows the Steelers defense and could provide valuable depth in a secondary that looks to get a radical make over.

The Case Against Tendering Robert Golden

No one argues Golden isn’t someone you don’t want on your team.

  • But the lowest restricted free agent tender for a player like Golden would be 1.6 million dollars.

While restricted free agent tenders are not guaranteed, they still count against the salary cap of the player makes the team.

  • 1.6 million is a lot to pay a guy to cover kicks.

In fact, it is almost twice the veteran minimum.

Curtain’s Call on Steelers and Robert Golden

Dale Lolley and others have indicated that the Steelers will likely tender all of their restricted free agents.

  • That’s a safe move, albeit one that will take up about 4.5 million in 6.4 million in salary cap space.

The wisest thing to do would be to sign Robert Golden to a multiyear deal, which the team can do even after they tender Golden. One way or another Steelers restricted free agent Robert Golden looks to be back in Pittsburgh in 2015.

Thanks for reading. Click here to for more of the Steelers 2015 Free Agent Focus.

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2 thoughts on “Analysis of Steelers Restricted Free Agent Robert Golden

  1. While I agree that the steelers should re-sign Golden, if he is tendered he won’t have any motivation to sign a long term deal unless the steelers are willing to pay him at something better than a multiyear 1 mil/year deal with >500k signing bonus. I would argue a solid special teamer is not worth that much & the steelers are better off just signing him to a long term deal & skipping the tag.

  2. Tim, that’s a valid point, but remember, restricted free agent tenders are not guaranteed. Any longer-term deal is going to carry some sort of a bonus that will be fully guaranteed, which is an incentive to a guy who is looking at life on the roster bubble.

    Thanks for contributing.

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