Sweed to join Big Ben
Wide Receiver Limas Sweed, the Steelers 2nd round pick in 2008, is fully recovered from a torn Achilles and is expected to join Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for workouts in the “immediate future”, a league source tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
Various Steelers receivers have joined Roethlisberger for workouts over the past month and Roethlisberger also reached out to the underachieving Sweed who believes that he’s still in the Steelers plans for 2011.
Sweed will be given a chance to earn a roster spot but he’s one of those players who needs a training camp to show that he has his head on straight and is ready to turn the corner.
With the lockout, there’s no certainity there will be training camps this summer.
“His competition is getting stiff, ” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told the Tribune-Review in February during the “Coaches Lunch” at the NFL owner meetings.
The Steelers have Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, Antwaan Randle El and Arnaz Battle under contract, although Battle can be considered more of a special teams specialist.
The writing has been on the wall that Randle El is likely on the outs after falling to 5th on the depth chart but he’s a player who showed in the Super Bowl that he can still be a factor and the Steelers are loyal to him, so Sweed won’t be handed a spot in the top-5.
Randle El is due to make $2 million in 2011. He turns 32 in August.
Harrison ready to go after back procedures
Linebacker James Harrison is recovered from two off-season back procedures that nagged him for most of the 2010 season. Harrison’s initial surgery removed a piece of herniated disc off a nerve and than he had a second follow up to remove some fragments doctors wanted to get out of there.
Harrison is currently training in Arizona and is antsy to get back on the field.
“He is recovered and training in Arizona, ” Harrison’s agent Bill Parise told Inside Pittsburgh Sports today. “He is very ready and waiting for a chance to play again.”
The 33 year old is entering the third year of a 6 year – $51.8 million deal he signed following the 2008 season.
Harrison is due to make $3.66 million in 2011 and is due a $900,000 roster bonus on the first day of the new league year.
Colon excited about returning to the field
Offensive tackle Willie Colon is training in Pittsburgh and back at full speed after missing the entire 2010 season with an Achilles injury that took about 10 months to heal.
While Colon remains hopeful to return to Pittsburgh, a place he loves, his agent said today he’s never seen him this excited about playing again.
“He, more than most, wants to get back on the field, ” agent Joe Linta said today. “He’s as excited about playing as I’ve ever seen him.”
Smith not fully healed
Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette reported last week that there have been no setbacks in Aaron Smith’s recovery from a torn triceps, but it’s still uncertain if he’ll be 100 percent by the start of training camp.
The 35 year old is due $4.5 million in 2011 and despite failing to stay healthy in 3 of the last 4 years, the Steelers will not ask him to take a paycut.