Sunday, March 3, 2013

Is William Gay Coming Back To The Steelers?



That was the tweet sent by former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay Sunday evening. A tweet that caused an immediate stir and mixed emotions amongst Steelers fans. Does it mean, though, that he's returning to the Black and Gold?

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Jerrold Colton, Gay's agent, said that there is interest in the Steelers but would not say whether Gay has come to contract terms with the team yet." - http://tinyurl.com/d3n5lrb

According to Gay, he will be in Pittsburgh on Monday, most likely meaning that he'll be at the team's South Side facility. One of his next tweets confirmed this:



Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review made a good point on his Twitter (@MarkKaboly_Trib) account when he tweeted this: "It's not like #Steelers aren't interested in bringing back Keenan Lewis now, but they sure are covering bases just in case Lewis does leave."

Gay, 28, does know the defense and is referred to by head coach Mike Tomlin as "big play Willie Gay." He recorded 60 tackles, six passes defensed, and two interceptions for the Arizona Cardinals last season, but still graded out as one of the worst corners in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

If Gay does come back, whether unrestricted free agent Keenan Lewis is signed or not, he would only be used in Nickel and Dime packages on the slot receivers. Gay would be inexpensive and he didn't have a bad season his final year with the Steelers. Also, if brought back, it'd provide a bonus for the Steelers in that they should receive a compensatory pick, most likely a seventh-round pick, for him after his departure in 2011. BloggingTheBeast.com posted their projections a month ago regarding the NFL's compensatory picks. - http://tinyurl.com/cmzbw62

Despite popular belief, the NFL does define its basis for compensatory picks. NFL.com explains them this way:
"Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

"The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.
"

So, despite our previously predicting he'd wind up in Cleveland, the possibility of his being signed by the Steelers does exist. It's the probability that is up in the air.