Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Steelers busy with three free-agent visits
By Jamison Hensley
After expressing very little interest in other teams' free agents this year, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a busy day planned, hosting players on Wednesday, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Kicker Dave Rayner, pass rusher Matt Roth and linebacker Brandon Johnson are all scheduled to meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The one that's surprising is Rayner, even though the Steelers should bring in a veteran to compete with Shaun Suisham. Rayner, 29, converted 10 of 15 field goals (67 percent) in seven games with the Buffalo Bills last year. He's a journeyman -- he's played for eight teams -- who has failed to latch onto a team because of his career 72 percent conversion rate. The Steelers should think about upgrading over Suisham, who made 13 of 21 (62 percent) from beyond 30 yards last season.
Roth and Johnson would be vying for backup jobs. The Steelers didn't address outside linebacker in the draft, which could explain the interest in Roth. He had 3.5 sacks in nine games for the Jaguars last season, which was shortened because of a concussion. Johnson was voted the Bengals' special teams captain last year and can play inside or outside linebacker.
Tight end Leonard Pope (Chiefs) is the only unrestricted free agent signed by the Steelers this year who played for another team in 2011.