Friday, February 10, 2012
Steelers: Free agency first look
By Jamison Hensley
Unrestricted (12): QB Charlie Batch, QB Dennis Dixon, QB Byron Leftwich, RB Mewelde Moore, WR Jerricho Cotchery, WR Arnaz Battle, OT Max Starks, G Trai Essex, NT Chris Hoke (retired), CB William Gay, CB Bryant McFadden and P Daniel Sepulveda.
Restricted (7): WR Mike Wallace, TE David Johnson, G-C Doug Legursky, G Ramon Foster, OT Jamon Meredith, CB Keenan Lewis and S Ryan Mundy.
Need to stay: The Steelers are limited in what they can do in terms of their own feee agents because of their cap situation. Pittsburgh has to make a decision about its backup quarterback, and Leftwich is the favorite to get the job. Gay did a solid job in getting his starting job back and should come cheaply if the Steelers want him back. Sepulveda was an effective punter, but Pittsburgh has to decide whether he's too injury-prone. The Steelers will use a first-round tender ($2.7 million) to keep their top restricted free agent, wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Likely to go: Starks, Batch and Hoke aren't expected to return. The Steelers already cut McFadden and Battle to free up $3.5 million in cap space. Others that could soon follow are: WR Hines Ward, NT Casey Hampton, DE Aaron Smith and G Chris Kemoeatu. This will be an offseason of transition for the Steelers.