Love them or hate them you have to respect the talent of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They will have a busy couple of weeks trying to keep some of that talent that can become free agents and one who cannot quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Big Ben has two years left on his contract he signed as a rookie in 2004. He said in a recent interview that getting an extension and getting it done quickly was something he wanted. “I’m eager, anxious, because I want to get it done with. I want to say let’s go, let’s get it over with so the talks can stop, people can stop bugging me about it,” he said. “Because I just want to play football.”
Two other things on Roethlisberger’s’ wish list this offseason, finding a tall receiver and keeping guard Alan Faneca. Although it seems Faneca will not be back next the Steelers will make at least one more phone call to his agent. Oh yeah, the tall talented receiver, good luck with that they aren’t exactly a dime a dozen.
The team will also lose another key piece in their offensive line as it is expected that tackle Max Starks will leave during free agency. Starks is young enough and talented enough to draw a lot of interests around the league, but neither he or Faneca will get the dollars that G Eric Steinbach got from the Browns last year.
Linebacker Clark Haggans, defensive ends Travis Kirschke and Nick Eason, fullback Dan Kreider, quarterback Brian St. Pierre, running back Verron Haynes and linebacker Marquis Cooper are the other players that would become unrestricted free agents on February 29th.
Guard Chris Kemoeatu could benefit mightily from a one year tender since he is seen as the replacement for Faneca. The other restricted free agents on the roster are tackle Trai Essex, receiver Nate Washington, linebacker Andre Frazier and long snapper Greg Warren.