Steelers Sign DeAngelo Williams to Back Up Le’Veon Bell

If nothing else, the Pittsburgh Steelers are consistent. The big news out of the South Side last week was of course the Steelers resigning Ben Roethlisberger to a 5 year contract extension.

But that wasn’t the only deal they made.

The Steelers also signed running back DeAngelo Williams to a 2 year deal valued at 4 million dollars. While Williams is coming to Pittsburgh to back up Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers need him to be more than just a change of pace back, as Le’Veon Bell faces a minimum two game suspension for last August’s DWI arrest.

What makes the Williams deal interesting, is that the last time the Steelers extended Ben Roethlisberger’s contract, they also signed a backup running back, coming to terms with Mewelde Moore.

Moore’s signing and then his presence on the Steelers roster was almost totally ignored by the press, and his role was different from Williams. In addition to Willie Parker, the Steelers were about to draft Rashard Mendenhall, and had Gary Russell and Carey Davis on their roster.

Moore was buried deep on the depth chart, and the biggest question behind Mewelde Moore’s signing was tied to Mike Tomlin’s abilities as a talent evaluator – his first several signature personnel moves – signing Sean Mahan, trading for Allen Rossum, drafting Dan Sepulveda and picking Matt Spaeth with a third round pick were already seen as questionable 14 months into the job.

Moore of course turned out to be phenomenal value free agent signing, and Steel Curtain Rising has long argued that Mewelde Moore served as the unsung hero of the Steelers Super Bowl XLIII season.

DeAngelo Williams Signing Raises Different Questions

The DeAngelo Williams signing raises different questions, namely whether or not he has anything left in the tank. Williams was drafted by Carolina in the first round of the 2006 draft. Since then he’s started for 5 full seasons and split time in four others. He’s rushed for close to 7,000 yards in his career, with his best year coming in 2008 when he ran for over 1500 yards and scored 18 touchdowns.

  • Williams however, did not play well in Carolina during 2014.

Injuries limited him for much of the season, and he only gained 219 yards averaging 3.5 yards per carry. On Steel City Insider Jim Wexell reports that Williams was not happy with the support he got in Carolina after the death of his mother, and is quite motivated to show he still has something left.
Indeed, William’s own words back this up:

Steelers Nation welcomes DeAngelo Williams to Pittsburgh, and does so with the hope the he indeed has something left.

Thanks for visiting. Click here for more of our Steelers 2015 Free Agent Focus.

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