Player: Ramon Foster
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2018 Salary Cap Hit: $3,591,668
2017-8 Season Breakdown:
Ramon Foster doesn’t change a whole lot. By and large, he is still the same player and the same person that he has been since he broke into the league a decade ago as a 2009 college free agent out of Tennessee.
The only real differences is that he is more outspoken off the field and more consistent on the field. He never had a world of athleticism to lose, so age hasn’t really affected his game at all, but he still pulls occasionally and has done just fine when he’s drawn that assignment.
But you know that his bread and butter is his pass protection, and in his understanding of the protections and how to read the defense. He is Maurkice Pouncey’s left-hand man and helps call out the blitzers, as well as indicating when to snap the ball.
This year has been no different than any of the past several for him—in fact, I would say it might be a little better than the past two. But he continues to be overlooked while the rest of his linemates get named to Pro Bowls.
The interesting thing about this season for Foster is that he remained healthy. That wasn’t exactly expected considering that he suffered a significant ankle injury in training camp that looked like might bleed into the regular season.
But not only did he get himself ready for the opener, he also didn’t look much worse for wear. He is veteran enough that he didn’t need that time to work his way into regular season form—and as a bonus that got his backup plenty of work in his place, which may be important in 2019.
Free Agency Outlook:
This one is a hard one to read, for a number of reasons. For one thing, Foster was pretty clear that he wants to be compensated at a level better reflecting his performance than he has been on his past two contracts. He’s been a bargain for a long time.
Yet they also have B.J. Finney waiting in the wings, who has made successful starts at left guard in place of Foster due to injury in each of his first two seasons already. The Steelers can’t break the bank for somebody they think they can replace in-house on the cheap.
But the loss of Mike Munchak could change things and perhaps up their offer. Foster has said that the team has already expressed interest in keeping him, and Art Rooney II said they want to keep the line intact. Foster doesn’t want to leave, either. If they can find the right number, he will be here.