With almost one week to go before the start of free agency, the Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly working hard two retain at least one of their two high-profile unrestricted free agent offensive linemen.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports on Saturday, the Steelers are continuing their efforts to re-sign tackle Kelvin Beachum and guard Ramon Foster prior to the start of the new league year. La Canfora goes on to say that both are unlikely to get away.
Steelers continue to work on retaining one of their FA OL – Beachum and Foster. Unlikely both get away
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 27, 2016
While the Steelers might indeed be working hard to retain both Beachum and Foster, it really would be surprising if at least one of them wasn’t allowed to at least test free agency. Beachum is likely to be the more expensive of the two as not only is he a proven starter at left tackle, he’s considerably younger that Foster. Beachum, however, is still rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee that he injured early in the 2015 season.
Keep in mind that former undrafted free agent Alejandro Villanueva did an admirable job filling in for Beachum at left tackle after he was lost for the season and because of that, it’s likely the Steelers will let their former seventh-round draft pick out of SMU test free agency.
As for Foster, who undoubtedly would like to finish his career right where it started in Pittsburgh, it really could go either way with him. However, the Steelers aren’t likely going to want to give their former undrafted free agent out of Tennessee very much guaranteed money as part of a new deal due to him now being 30 years of age.
Foster has started 87 regular season games over the course of his first seven years in the league with most of them coming at left guard.
Personally, I expect both Beachum and Foster to test free agency but hopefully the Steelers will be able to at least re-sign the latter prior to the start of the new league year.