All three starters on the Steelers defensive line are in their 30’s and getting younger on the D-Line is a priority for the Steelers via free agency and the draft. It is not a foregone conclusion that the Steelers will draft an offensive lineman in the first round. Going D-Line at #32 is a strong possibility.
Remember the name Chris Canty from the Dallas Cowboys. Canty, 26, is a talented defensive end that is expected to test the market and I’m told Steelers scouts are very high on him.
At 6-7 – 304 lbs, Canty has great size and is a great fit for the Steelers 3-4 scheme or a 4-3 scheme if the Steelers were to move to a 4-3 base in the future.
The Steelers are not very active in free agency but Canty is a player they will be in on.
Miami Dolphins OT Vernon Carey is one of the most under-rated tackles in the game. Carey is one of those potential mid-tier free agents that would be a great addition to the Steelers via free agency but the Dolphins have discussed putting the franchise tag on Carey according to the Miami Herald.
Sources indicate agent Drew Rosenhaus is keeping a close eye on the Houston Texans negotiations with cornerback Dunta Robinson. The Texans are expected to make a Robinson a huge offer to keep him off of the free agent market.
Other cornerbacks who could hit the open market like DeAngelo Hall and Nnamdi Asomugha are reportedly close to re-signing with their 2008 teams. If Robinson and Asomugha re-sign with their respective teams, that drives up the market for Bryant McFadden who is not as polished as the three mentioned but has a lot of upside and teams love his size ( 6-0 190 lbs).
The Carolina Panthers signed cornerback Chris Gamble to a 6 year – $53 million deal in November of 2008. Gamble received $23 million in guarantees.
Suitors are already being mentioned for Bryant McFadden. Read more the latest and updates on James Harrison, Nate Washington, Larry Foote and Marvel Smith
McFadden is one of the Steelers top two priorities and they don’t want him get away. The Steelers have made it known they will make a competitive offer to McFadden prior to free agency. McFadden see’s Pittsburgh as a great opportunity and would like to return but Rosenhaus urges a lot of his clients to test the market.
The New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions are already being mentioned as three teams that will make a run at Bryant McFadden if he hits the open market. The Lions have over $35 million to spend in free agency.
The Steelers are expected to exchange prosposal’s with James Harrison’s representatives by the end of next week. Steelers expected to make an initial offer with $14-17 million in guarantees. More on this later in the week. Harrison is believed to be seeking $20 million guarantees.
It is being speculated that a contract worth $5-6 million over two years is the highest the Steelers will go with Nate Washington
Larry Foote seems to be pushing for a release or trade by his recent comments. Steelers will listen to offers for Foote.
Marvel Smith remains a wild card. Ken Zuckerman the agent for Smith tells the Tribune-Review, Smith is 2-3 months ahead of schedule and could have played in the super bowl. The Steelers are open to signing Smith for the right price, and both sides appear open to Smith playing right tackle if he returns.
Discussions with Max Starks will begin at the end of the week. The Steelers are looking at a 4-5 year deal but not at the $7 million per season price tag Starks made last season. $5.5 per season is a number being thrown around right now. Starks and McFadden are the Steelers top priorities.