We aren’t even there yet but I feel a pre-emptive strike is necessary for those fans who will inevitably say, “Why aren’t we signing player x or player z in free agency?” The free agency period for the 2013 season will not open up until March but already I’m seeing the comments about what the Steelers may do in free agency.
This is exactly what they will do, very little. This is nothing new and it should not be shocking. The Pittsburgh Steelers have and for the foreseeable future, like to grow their talent. They rely on free agency to fill positions of depth, not to become starters. Signings like James Farrior are rare in the Steel City and we must not always point to that when we scream for more activity.
Keep in mind also that the Steelers have guys that they may or may not want to re-sign including Keenan Lewis or Ramon Foster or Larry Foote and a host of others. Even though it may not be ‘sexy’ to call a guy you re-sign a ‘free-agent signing’ that’s still exactly what it is.
As I detailed yesterday, this team has more areas of concern than a broken down old car. That isn’t to say there isn’t a lot of talent on this team, but what it does say is that the team is getting older and needs to get younger in a hurry.
There are many areas where free agency can serve a purpose as it relates to depth, but will the Steelers look internally? Guys like Will Allen, Doug Legursky and Ryan Mundy are key contributors to this team as back-up players and each of those guys saw serious playing time throughout 2012. The question is, can you and do you re-sign guys like this who know the system or do you go outside in free agency in an effort to save a few bucks and possibly get better?
If you’re a die-hard Steelers’ fan then you know how the Steelers operate when it comes to the free agency period, but if you don’t follow the team that closely then you need to be aware of how the Rooney Family operates during this time.
Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder have routinely been owners who have been willing to spend on free agents and that’s why they get much of the ink and publicity during this time of the off-season. Let it go Steelers’ fans. Rarely do big-name free agents equate to instant Super Bowl appearances so let’s comprehend this with the Steelers. Besides, this isn’t the year for big signings anyway simply because of the salary cap issues the team faces.
So when the flurry of activity begins in March, don’t expect huge things from the Steelers and it has been a fairly successful plan of action. This year, it will be dictated by other circumstances however. Either way, it’s about depth, not stardom.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.