Steelers Free Agent History Under Colbert Points Towards Another Slow Offseason

Every year at about this same time I am bombarded with questions on Twitter concerning unrestricted players who the Pittsburgh Steelers might be interested in signing. It’s amazing to me after all of these years that fans still set their sights high when it comes to the Steelers and free agency as there really is no reason for them to based on the team’s history.

My aggravation usually results in these kinds of posts reminding everyone of the history of the Steelers when it comes to them signing free agents under general manager Kevin Colbert.

Today, I wanted to give you an updated list of the “true unrestricted free agent” players who the Steelers have signed dating back to 2000. A “true unrestricted free agent” is just that and that means he was still property of another team prior to the new league starting. Additionally, a “true unrestricted free agent” is one who is signed prior to June 1 as that is the cutoff for signings to count against the compensatory draft pick formula.

By my count, the Steelers have signed 37 “true unrestricted free agents” dating back to 2000. 27 of these players were signed prior to April 1 and a good portion of them signed very inexpensive contracts.

In 2014, the Steelers signing of safety Mike Mitchell was a huge surprise and it really was the team’s first big signing since center Sean Mahan was signed in 2007. Prior to Mahan, running back Duce Staley can probably be considered the next biggest free agent signing and that took place way back in 2004.

Sure, the Steelers might sign a “true unrestricted free agent” or two over the course of the next few weeks, but if you’re expecting them to go after any higher profile players, you’re likely to be very disappointed.

2/14/2000 NT Kimo von Oelhoffen Bengals 95 94 4-years, $10M
2/22/2000 DE Chris Sullivan Patriots 15 2 3-years, $4.73M
2/28/2000 G Rich Tylski Jaguars 28 26 3-years, $3.24M
2/28/2000 QB Kent Graham Giants 14 5 3-years, $5.1M
5/30/2000 S Brent Alexander Panthers 64 64 2-years, $1.29M
3/8/2001 C Jeff Hartings Detroit 91 89 6-years, $24.25M
3/23/2001 S Mike Logan Jaguars 73 17 3-years, $3.1M
4/20/2001 LB Mike Jones Rams 21 1 3-years, $2.75M
3/25/2002 K Todd Peterson Chiefs 10 0 4-years, $3.975M
4/5/2002 LB James Farrior Jets 154 154 3-years, $5.4M
3/5/2003 LB Clint Kriewaldt Detroit 74 2 3-years, $2.38M
3/17/2003 T Todd Fordham Jaguars 11 6 3-years, $2.38M
3/6/2004 P Chris Gardocki Browns 48 0 5-years, $6.3M
3/9/2004 RB Duce Staley Eagles 16 11 5-years, $14M
3/10/2004 DT Travis Kirschke 49ers 92 18 4-years, $6.41M
5/26/2004 CB Willie Williams Seahawks 20 11 1-year, $760K
3/8/2005 WR Cedrick Wilson 49ers 47 14 4-years, $8M
3/14/2006 S Ryan Clark Redskins 80 78 4-years, $7M
3/16/2006 DE Rodney Bailey Seahawks 12 0 1-year, $625K
3/10/2007 C Sean Mahan Buccaneers 16 16 5-years, $17M
4/17/2007 DT Nick Eason Browns 55 11 1-year, $510K
3/3/2008 RB Mewelde Moore Vikings 59 4 3-years, $4.95M
3/12/2008 LB Keyaron Fox Chiefs 45 3 1-year, $645K
4/24/2009 CB Keiwan Ratliff Colts 9 0 1-year, $620K
5/1/2009 WR Shaun McDonald Lions 4 0 1-year, $620K
3/8/2010 WR Arnaz Battle 49ers 25 0 3-years, $3.975M
3/8/2010 T Jonathan Scott Bills 29 15 1-year, $540K
3/8/2010 S Will Allen Buccaneers 30 0 3-years, $4.495M
3/15/2010 LB Larry Foote Lions 31 5 3-years, $9.3M
4/10/2012 TE Leonard Pope Chiefs 16 2 1-year, $725K
3/13/2013 QB Bruce Gradkowski Bengals 1 0 3-years, $4.95M
4/26/2013 RB LaRod Stephens-Howling Cardinals 1 0 1-year, $780K
3/11/2014 S Mike Mitchell Panthers 32 32 5-years, $25M
3/14/2014 DT Cam Thomas Chargers 32 10 2-years, $4M
3/24/2014 LB Arthur Moats Bills 32 20 1-year, $795K
3/28/2014 RB LeGarrette Blount Patriots 11 0 2-years, $3.85M
4/2/2014 WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Colts 32 5 1-year, $795K
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