Friday, April 26, 2013
Steelers face a decision at running back
By Jamison Hensley
There's no question the Pittsburgh Steelers need to address running back. How they do it is up for debate.
Free-agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw has been cleared to resume all football-related activities, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Steelers have been among the teams most interested in Bradshaw with two visits this offseason, but they've held off signing him because he hadn't fully recovered from offseason foot surgery.
If the Steelers want to sign Bradshaw, they might have to create salary cap room by restructuring safety Troy Polamalu. The Bengals, Packers and Broncos have all expressed interest in the former Giants running back.
Instead of signing a veteran, the Steelers could look to add a running back in the draft's second round Friday, and they may land one of the top in the draft. No running back was drafted in the first round for the first time since 1963, when the NFL and AFL held separate drafts.
Mel Kiper Jr.'s top five running backs are: Alabama's Eddie Lacy, Wisconsin's Montee Ball, UCLA's Johnathan Franklin, North Carolina's Giovani Bernard, and Florida's Mike Gillislee.
The Steelers had one of their worst rushing seasons with the inconsistent combination of Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman along with a banged-up Rashard Mendenhall. Dwyer and Redman will be free agents next year, and Mendenhall signed with the Arizona Cardinals in free agency last month.