The Steelers 2011 training camp has begun in Latrobe and here is a quick recap of what happened today in case you missed anything.
The day started with the official announcement that both tackle Max Starks and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El were being released. The surprising Starks news broke last night and the not surprising news on Randle El came this morning.
Art Rooney II joined the DVE morning show to discuss the release of Starks and also said he did not see either James Harrison or Hines Ward missing any playing time due to their recent incidents both were involved in. Rooney also commented on the process of getting under the salary cap and how they are working on getting some contracts restructured. He also explained that Plaxico Burress indeed will meet with head coach Mike Tomlin this weekend so they can see where he is at. He made no guarantees of where it would go from there.
Rooney also was interviewed by Rachel Nichols from ESPN and reiterated that Harrison would not be suspended by the team due to his recent comments in the Men\’s Journal article.
The players started arriving at camp at several met the media. Most were asked about Harrison and Burress and all showed their support for each as you would expect them to. Brett Keisel, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Wallace, Lawrence Timmons and Emmanuel Sanders all have video interviews up on Steelers.com.
Here are more on the comments made by Brown, Sanders and Byron Leftwich, who said he has stayed in close contact with Burress.
Around lunch time it was announced that unrestricted free agent tight end Matt Spaeth had come to terms with the Bears on a new contract. I know so many of you are upset to hear that.
Next up was conditioning evaluation as Tomlin put it and many reported that Limas Sweed and Jonathan Dwyer were excused after three or four sprints as both did not seem in great shape. Casey Hampton and Flozell Adams were also excused after just a few sprints, but it may have been veteran courtesy.
Tomlin held his press conference after the evaluation and shed very little light on the left tackle situation after the release of Starks. He called the remarks made by Harrison about commissioner Roger Goodell inappropriate, but was not too worried about the comments he made about his teammates. He said it will not make as big of blip on the radar in the lockerroom that everyone thinks it will. He said everyone knows Harrison and how he is. He did reveal that Ward, Chris Kemoeatu and Eugene Bright would start camp on the PUP list. Ward (thumb) and Bright (shoulder) are recovering from injuries while Kemoeatu (knee) had some knee swelling due to some personal workouts. Tomlin also announced that the only draft picks that remained unsigned were Cameron Heyward and Curtis Brown.
After the press conference ended, news broke that the Steelers were re-signing tackles Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott. Colon agreed to a five-year deal worth $29 million with $7.5 million guaranteed and Scott agreed to a two-year deal. No terms have been announced on Scott yet. Colon reportedly turned down an extra $3 million offer from the Bears to stay in Pittsburgh. Exclusive rights free agents Doug Legursky, Ryan Mundy and Jeremy Kapinos also have signed their one-year tenders and all three are in camp as expected.
The Steelers are still deciding on the fate of several more of their unrestricted free agents as William Gay, Keyaron Fox, Chris Hoke, Mewelde Moore, Trai Essex and Greg Warren all remain on the market and in limbo. Their two restricted free agents, Dennis Dixon and Tony Hills have yet to sign their tender offers and both will likely be along next week when and if they do re-sign.
Later in the evening it was reported that unrestricted free agent Nick Eason had agreed to terms with Cardinals and Daniel Sepulveda had a meeting set up with the Texans for Saturday. It seems very unlikely he will be brought back at this point.
Friday begins the on field practice work in shorts and there will likely be a morning walk-thru followed by the afternoon practice without the pads.