Wow, was today awesome or what. As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan I don't think any of us really have experienced what went on today in the Steel City. The Steelers signed four different players today. Now, I am not just talking about practice squad players and special teams guys, I am talking about people that are expected to produce both as starters and as immediate backups.
The Steelers started the day by signing WR Arnaz Battle and safety Will Allen. Battle is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and he has played his last seven years for the San Fransisco 49ers.
Battle has 178 career catches for 2150 yards and 11 touchdowns. Probably more of a special teams guy than someone who is going to go out and catch 10 balls a game. Good depth signing.
Will Allen is coming to the Steelers from the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Now, I know what most of you were thinking. Ryan Clark was gone. I mean all over the papers they were talking about how he went to Miami and said he wanted to play somewhere that they wanted him and he was hoping to get a contract done before he even left Miami. You had to be thinking that it sucks because Allen is new and was going to be a downgrade from Ryan Clark, especially when he and Troy are both healthy.
Oh man then what happened? I get on Twitter for the first time all day around 6:00 PM and what do I see? The Steelers sign Antwaan Randle El.
Oh shit. El was with the Steelers for four years before he bolted to go play with Dan Snyder at Washington. What a mistake. El was the best return man we have had when he was with the Steelers, but found little to no success with the Redskins. Last season he had 50 grabs for 530 yards and didn't find the endzone one time. In his four seasons with Washington he caught 186 balls for 2,202 yards and eight touchdowns. He will be get balls from Ben instead of Jason Campbell, big difference.
I am not going to say I expect El to catch 95 balls and rack up 1500 yards but it will be nice to have a little depth and with him and Battle they will most assuredly push Limas Sweed out of the picture. Can't say I am surprised. I mean Sweed was put on the non-injury IR at the end of the season so something must have happened that we all don't know about. Whatev.
So the day was winding down and what happens? BAM. The Steelers sign Ryan Clark.
Holy Shit what a day. Clark signs a four-year deal worth $17 million. I have no idea what happened but from what I can remember reading on Twitter today (sorry I don't remember who tweeted it) but Clark told his agent to get him home and get a deal done with Pittsburgh. Oh man that is awesome.
Before everyone gets in a tizzy about having Clark on the books for four more years I will just tell you one thing, relax. This is a front heavy contract with Clark getting $5 mil of that in the first year. From what I understand the latter years of the deal will be VERY cap friendly so even if Ryan isn't here for years three and four it isn't that big of a deal. Oh. Yea.
What a job by the Steelers. Clark was a priority and it got done. They got depth in the secondary with the signing of Will Allen and depth in our receiver core with El and Battle. Allen wasn't going to be starter material but he is going to be a nice option in case something happens to Clark. I mean lets not kid ourselves we don't want Ty Carter to be back there as much as he was last year.
Great job by the Steelers front office.
Get your shit together Ben.
Here We Go