The Steelers are in great position as they will be about $25 million under the cap when free agency begins in four weeks. Among the teams top free agents are WR Nate Washington, CB Bryant McFadden, LT Max Starks, LT Marvel Smith, RT Willie Colon (RFA) and LG Chris Kemoeatu (RFA).
1. CB Bryant McFadden ‚Äì Likely gone
Analysis: McFadden has all intentions of testing the market. He has good size and agent Drew Rosenhaus believes he will get McFadden a contract in excess of the deal Ike Taylor signed a few years ago ( 5 yrs – $22.5 million)
2. LT Max Starks – Up in the air
Analysis: Word is Max Starks will test the market but is open to returning to Pittsburgh. The front office will make an offer believed to be in the four year range.
3. WR Nate Washington ‚Äì on the fence
Analysis: Washington is very loyal to the Steelers giving him a chance according to sources. Washington has developed into a deep threat but struggles in other assets of his game. Limas Sweed is waiting in the wings but Ben Roethlisberger is very high on Washington which could play a factor in the Steelers making an attempt to sign Washington.
4. LT Marvel Smith ‚Äì career over?
Analysis: Smith underwent back surgery for the second consecutive year. The Steelers are ready to move on.
Steelers to make Miller and Harrison an priority: The Steelers are expected to restructure James Harrison contract and give him a two ‚Äì three year extension. Another priority for the Steelers will be locking up Heath Miller to a long-term extension.
An extension for running back Willie Parker who will be entering the final year of his contract is unlikely.