Steeler Nation, in just four short days, free agency will begin across the National Football League. Just like the rest of the 31 teams in the NFL, the Steelers have a lot of big questions to answer. Some of them before free agency even starts. The Steelers have fifteen free agents, and although some are expected to be wearing different colors next season, the Steelers will find ways to get some back under contract for the 2015 season.
The Steelers N Stuff staff will weigh in on who they believe the Steelers will re-sign or who will be better off finding a new home in the NFL. Let’s begin.
Jason Worilds – 27 years old – 2014 Salary $9,754,000 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Let go. The Steelers have began creating some salary cap space and if anyone is hoping that it was for Worilds, think again. The Steelers seem content with letting Worilds getting a bigger contract somewhere else in the league. Worilds needed to be more impressive than he has been in recent years for a big contract.
Steve:Let go. The Steelers already over paid Worilds by giving him 10 million last season. The Steelers are looking for more bang for their buck than 7.5 sacks. Jason Worilds has had a couple of shots to prove himself and has underachieved for the most part. Its time to move on.
Ike Taylor – 34 years old – 2014 Salary $3,442,403 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Let go. Although very good in his prime, Taylor looks like he has played his last snap as a Steeler. Taylor’s 2014 campaign was not very convincing to keep him in the plans of going forward.
Steve:Let go. Ike Taylor was a very good player for the Steelers for many seasons but time catches up with us all. Time has caught Taylor and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Thank you Ike, but it’s time.
Matt Spaeth – 31 years old – 2014 salary $1,037,500 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Re-sign. Spaeth is a great blocking tight end that bodes well with running packages. I expect to see Spaeth back with the Steelers in 2015.
Steve:Re-sign. Spaeth may be the best blocking tight end in the league and the Steelers value that. Matt Spaeth will be back for another round.
Will Allen – 32 years old – 2014 salary $635,000 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Let go. Another veteran presence the Steelers could be missing out on defense but one has to think there is better talent to add depth to the secondary once free agency begins.
Steve:Let go. Will Allen is like Jason …you think you’ve gotten rid of him but he keeps coming back. Allen is a solid veteran presence but the Steelers are in the middle of a youth movement and they released him once so I believe its his time to go but don’t be surprised that like Jason …he comes back.
Arthur Moats – 26 years old – 2014 salary $635,000 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Re-sign. Moats proved he can add depth to the outside linebacker position last year playing in all sixteen games and recording four sacks and two forced fumbles. Moats has expressed his desire to stay in Pittsburgh and I think the Steelers share the same interest.
Steve: Re-sign. Moats adds quality depth to a position that desperately needs it . He is starter capable and more than capable of getting the job done. The Steelers know what they are getting in Moats and that’s a quality player on and off the field.
Brice McCain – 28 years old – 2014 salary $635,000 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Re-sign. I think this is a must for Kevin Colbert. McCain ended up being the best cornerback on the roster in 2014 as he became a playmaker. Funny to think that McCain was a long shot from making the 2014 roster.
Steve: Re-sign. McCain was a pleasant surprise last season and the Steelers are very thin at the position. The Steelers usually sign their own when they are productive and McCain was among the most productive at his position.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – 28 years old – 2014 salary $635,000 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Let go. Although Heyward-Bey played special teams and was willing to do much of anything, I think there is more talent out there the Steelers can hop on once free agency starts.
Steve: Re-sign. Heyward-Bey is a valued special teamer and a veteran wide receiver that still has some speed. He contributed in every way the Steelers asked him last season and I’m thinking he gets re-signed
Robert Golden – 24 years old – 2014 salary $571,667 – Status: Restricted Free Agent
Brandon: Re-sign. Golden adds depth to both the secondary and special teams. He was a team captain in 2014 on special teams. As a restricted free agent, it should be easy for the Steelers to keep him in the black and gold.
Steve: Re-sign. Golden is a young and up and coming player. His skills on special teams can not be over looked. He still has a lot of upside as a safety and being named a captain shows the Steelers respect him. They have little to lose by signing him.
Michael Palmer – 27 years old – 2014 salary $570,000 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Let go. Since joining the roster in 2013, Michael Palmer has not had much playing time on the offense. With Rob Blanchflower entering his second season, I think it will push Palmer out the door to find another home in the NFL.
Steve: Let go.Palmer has shown little in his time as a Steeler. I think they can upgrade this position else where
Antwon Blake – 24 years old – 2014 salary $570,000 – Status: Restricted Free Agent
Brandon: Re-sign. In 2014, we seen the first big dose of Antwon Blake. Although he made mistakes, he shows a lot of potential. I think the Steelers have full intentions on keeping Blake on the roster.
Steve: Re-sign. Blake is another young player who showed potential last year and is only going to get better the more he plays. The Steelers like to develop their own and it will cost little to keep Blake.
Will Johnson – 26 years old – 2014 salary $570,000 – Status: Restricted Free Agent
Brandon: Re-sign. Another must in my eyes for the front office. I believe Johnson has a lot of talent the offense has yet to use to their advantage. Johnson is capable of catching and blocking.
Steve: Re-sign. I believe Johnson may be one of the most underrated talents on the Steelers offense. He is young and has experience now. I’m hoping he is more invoked in the offensive game plan in 2015.
James Harrison – 36 years old – 2014 salary $534,412 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Re-sign. Maybe something the Steelers will do right away, but sometime in the 2015 season I think Harrison will be on the roster. Harrison proved he still has some left in the tank in 2014 as he came on strong as the season progressed.
Steve: Re-sign. This is a very tricky one because the Steelers are starting a youth movement but the position is so thin that I think the Steelers should sign Harrison. No young player has really proven themselves to be a better option.
Bryant Browning – 26 years old – 2014 salary $303,000 – Status: Restricted Free Agent
Brandon: Re-sign. The more depth on the offensive line, the better. Bring him back to camp and see what is to come from there.
Steve:Re-sign. The Steelers have little to lose by resigning him and they could always need at least another camp body at the position if nothing else
Clifton Geathers – 27 years old – 2014 salary $171,765 – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Let go. Geathers was added in the middle of last season. Unless the Steelers feel he has a legitimate shot at making the 2015 roster, I say let him go.
Steve: Let go.This ones hard to tell but when the Steelers picked him up they were depleted by injuries. Now with more options they may go in a different direction.
Ben Tate – 26 years old – 2014 Salary (1 Game) – Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Brandon: Let go. With free agency right around the corner, there is not a peep about a possible re-signing of Ben Tate. Although Tate offers some success in the league, along with being a veteran, there are more names to choose from the running back position.
Steve:Let go. The Steelers have a lot more options on the table now then they did in January. Tate made waves last season because of lack of playing time for the Browns he was cut. The Steelers don’t need that problem again.
We soon shall see exactly what the Steelers will do with these players. Which ones stay and which ones go, lie in the hands of Kevin Colbert and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ front office. Colbert and his staff have already begun digging their teeth into framing the 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned to Steelers N Stuff for more news and updates. Like us on Facebook and share this post with Friends. Follow us on twitter @STEELERSNSTUFF and @NFLNSTUFF. Go Steelers!