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|