Tough decisions ahead for the Super Bowl Champs

The Steelers head into the off season with key components on their team heading into free agency. The two names that jump out is Antwaan Randle El and safety Chris Hope. Before the season started it looked like Randle El could be signed at a relatively mid salary. Now after having a above average post season and winning the super bowl his stock has just risen considerably. Free agency begins March 3 and the Steelers have eleven players unrestricted free agents, including wideout Antwaan Randle El, free safety Chris Hope, cornerback Deshea Townsend, tight end Jerame Tuman, defensive end Brett Keisel, running back Verron Haynes, defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen, quarterback Charlie Batch, wide receiver Quincy Morgan, offensive tackle Barrett Brooks and linebacker Clint Kriewaldt. Before resigning there own free agents this team must restructure Jeff Hartings and Duce Staleys contract to free up some cap space. One move they also must make is release Tommy Gun and his 2.1 million cap number.

Chris Hope 25,: He is the most important player to sign. He is just about to hit his prime and is getting better every year since he took over the starting job from Brent Alexander in 04.

Randle El 26,: He is long gone, He’ll will be a Chicago Bear. You read it here He wont be that big of a loss in the recieving end. He’ll be missed on special teams.

Quincy Morgan 27,: This is one player this team brings back. Showed lots of potential and Ben went to him late in 4th quarters when they needed a big play during the regular season. Sign him and make him your #2. A recieving corps of Ward, Morgan, Wilson and Nate Washington who showed he has game will be a strong recieving corps heading into next season.

Townsend 31,: Had a good year again, but he is expendable. 50/50 he will be back. If they bring him back it will be as a nickle back not as a starter. Bryan Mcfadden will get every chance to be the starter along side Ike Taylor.

Von Oelhoffen 35,: He’s getting up there in age, but was solid once again. Said after the Super Bowl he wants to return, and i beleive he will be back but will he be the starter?

Haynes 26,:Is a valuable 3rd down back, but once a chance to start an it’s not going to happen here. Prediction not resigned

Brett Keilsel DE,: Keilsel looks like he is ready to take that next step to becoming a full time starter. Could be a valuable asset as a 3rd down pass rushing specialist.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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