The Pittsburgh Steelers offseason continues on and we are about half way through with our breakdown of the free agents as we inch closer towards the start of free agency. Next up on the list of unrestricted free agents is veteran linebacker Brandon Johnson.
Player: Brandon Johnson
Experience: 7 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2012 Salary Cap Hit: $540,000
2012 Season Breakdown: The Steelers signed Johnson right at the end of their last mini camp session in the middle of June due to the lack of healthy linebacker bodies on the roster. During the preseason Johnson worked at both the inside and outside linebacker positions and made the 53 man roster due to his ability to play special teams.
During the regular season Johnson only saw the field for two plays on defense when Larry Foote briefly left the Week 2 games against the New York Jets with a leg injury. He recorded one tackle in those two plays and added two more tackles in that game on special teams. He finished the season with 9 total special team tackles. As far as special team penalties went, Johnson was flagged twice for holding.
Free Agency Outlook: Johnson will turn 30 years of age in April and that is an age that will not bode well for his chances to return. The Steelers will more than likely address both the inside and outside linebacker positions at some point during the upcoming draft and those young players will be expected to initially cut their teeth on special teams.
While Johnson would not cost a lot to bring back on another one-year qualifying contract, it is hard to see that ultimately happening. He does have some position flexibility, but the Steelers will more than likely choose to go another direction instead.
Other 2012 Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis
Charlie Batch – Unrestricted Free Agent
Casey Hampton – Unrestricted Free Agent
Plaxico Burress – Unrestricted Free Agent
Larry Foote – Unrestricted Free Agent
Byron Leftwich – Unrestricted Free Agent
Will Allen – Unrestricted Free Agent
Max Starks – Unrestricted Free Agent
Greg Warren – Unrestricted Free Agent
Leonard Pope – Unrestricted Free Agent