Pittsburgh Tribune – Review – The first day of NFL free agency went about as expected for the Steelers.
They retained two of their players Thursday afternoon after the new league year kicked off at 4 p.m., re-signing backup quarterback Landry Jones and blocking tight end David Johnson to two-year contracts and not yet committing deals to anyone outside the organization.
The Steelers also waived running back Karlos Williams and lost free-agent wide receiver Markus Wheaton to the Chicago Bears.
Jones and Johnson joined linebackers James Harrison and Steven Johnson and long snapper Greg Warren as veterans who returned to the Steelers this offseason.
“I think it is the way people treat you around here,” Jones said moments after his contract was announced. “It’s a business. You can’t get around that in the NFL, but at the same time, the Rooneys treat you great. All of our coaches treat you great. It’s just a great place to be.”
The Steelers left the door open for others to return among the seven players who hit the market Thursday. Chief among them is linebacker Lawrence Timmons. A free agent for the first time after 10 seasons with the Steelers, Timmons has a meeting scheduled Friday with the Miami Dolphins. Timmons isn’t expected to re-sign with the Steelers unless he agrees to a team-friendly deal.
Okay, so maybe a slight little headline grab there with the title of this blog. As expected, the Steelers did basically nothing on the first official day of NFL free agency besides re-sign their backup quarterback and their best blocking tight end. This is how the Pittsburgh Steelers operate, though. They draft, develop, and retain their players more than probably any other team in the NFL. They also never overpay for players, which, quite frankly, surprised the hell out of Stiller Nation when they re-signed Antonio Brown to a five-year deal making him the highest paid receiver in the league. It’s sort of a buzz kill that they never go wild in free agency, but this is what life is like when you’re a Steeler fan. In fact, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert spoke at length about this not long ago:
What’s funny, though, is that there are still people that legitimately believe the crazy rumors they hear each year about top free agents the Steelers are trying to sign. These rumors NEVER materialize. And this year has been no different. Up to the point in free agency, the Steelers have been rumored to be interested in the following players that have already signed with other teams or are
most likely definitely going to eventually sign elsewhere: Brandon Marshall, Terrelle Pryor, Dre Kirkpatrick, Logan Ryan, Brandon Flowers, Marcus Cooper, and Patrick Robinson.
To be honest, that list of players is LOL funny. If you truly believed the Steelers were going to sign any of these players, you can now slap your face on the forehead Frank Costanza-style because you’re a complete dumbass. There’s a better chance that the Browns win 4 games next year than there is for the Steelers to sign any of these players. Their top priority is signing Le’Veon Bell to a contract extension, which makes a million times more sense than signing any of these other players. And as long as the Rooney’s own the team and Kevin Colbert calls the shots, the Steelers’ free agency philosophy will never change.