After two seasons of being in rarely-traveled waters, the Pittsburgh
Steelers took measures to counter that...by going into rarely-traveled
On the first day
of free agency, the Steelers unexpectedly dove into the free agent pool
and signed former Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers safety, Mike
is a day after the Steelers announced other transactions affecting
their secondary as cornerback Ike Taylor accepted a pay cut to stay with
the Steelers. A cut from his original $7 million salary to $2.75
million, which saves the team $4.25 million in Salary Cap room.
Cap hit was lowered to $7.692 million, down from $11.942 million.
Meaning the Steelers started the day at approximately $7.3 million under
on Monday, outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley was released with a June
1st designation. Officially released Tuesday, Woodley is now free to
sign with another team, but the Steelers won't benefit from the $8
million Cap savings until June 2nd. He also carries a $5.59 million dead
money hit this year and $8.58 million in 2015.
aforementioned amount made it possible to sign Mitchell. According to
ESPN's Adam Schefter, the "Steelers gave former Panthers S Mike Mitchell
a five-year, $25 million deal, per source." If It Ain't Steel is expecting $7.5-$10 million guaranteed. UPDATE: Per ESPN's David Todd, it carried a $5.25 million with a $4.75 million signing bonus prorated over five years. He will count $2.2 million against the Cap this year.
receiving what basically can be considered a starter's contract means
that he will replace free safety Ryan Clark in the Steelers secondary.
will replace RC25 in more ways than one: he's a hard-hitting player who
can play both safety positions and is adept at getting to the
quarterback. According to Pro Football Focus, he is "one of the best
blitzing safeties in the league, generating 11 pressures and four sacks
on just 23 pass rushes.”
was ranked as PFF's 10th best FA safety on the market. In their ranking
they also speak on his shortcomings in writing that he has "major
questions against the run. No safety missed more tackles than his 18.” -
Most of that can be chalked up to aggression, however, as Mitchell is known to look for the big hit.
Despite his four interceptions, he isn't a great cover guy. Good, but not great. His 4.39/40 speed does help, however.
Troy Polamalu seems to be the Steelers better safety in coverage,
therefore. Since defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau likes to use his
safeties interchangeably, don't expect a move from strong safety to FS
for Polamalu. Though it will allow him to step outside the box (no pun
intended), as he had the most snaps among safeties in the box at 79.8%.
addition, plus the presence of recently re-signed Will Allen and
2nd-year man Shamarko Thomas takes away safety as a position of need in
TIDBITS: Steelers finally announce the re-signing of safety Will Allen. The Steelers also announced the signing of C/G Cody Wallace to a three-year contract, which likely sounds the death knell of C/G Fernando Velasco, and of 10-year veteran Long Snapper Greg Warren. Term have to be disclosed.
Defensive end Al Woods will visit the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday.UPDATED: Per Ed Bouchette, Woods has signed with the Titans.
assume the Steelers are done for now, though. If the Steelers stay in
the free agent waters, their next move might be a backstroke to a