Unprecedented- That’s the word that is being thrown around in regards to the signings of five free agent veterans, including backup tackle Jonathan Scott, WR Arnaz Battle, DB Will Allen, WR Antwaan Randle-El and LB Larry Foote.
That is because as far as the Steelers signing free agents who have a previous history with the team, well, it never happens. Larry Foote returning at linebacker is not that much of a surprise. Foote, a nine year veteran, was a fourth-round pick, selected by the Steelers in 2002. He started from 2004-2008, and then lost his starting job. He then pouted, and signed a one year deal in an “I’ll show you” move with the Detroit Lions.
Problem was, it was with the Lions. That apparently awakened Foote and made him realize that he had it pretty good in Pittsburgh. And that Super Bowl ring, two of them in fact, looked pretty cool. He will now back up Lawrence Timmons. The signing of Randle-El and Arnaz Battle, probably means the end of the road for second-round pick Limas Sweed. I would look for him to be released or traded before the draft. The Steelers also re-signed S Ryan Clark, who just about jumped ship to Miami.The Randle-El signing is a little more interesting. Randle-El left Pittsburgh after Super Bowl XL, and his pass that sealed the deal against the Seahawks. He left purely for the money, something that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has plenty of. The Redskins, who can’t really figure out how to get out of their own way, let alone how to use Randle-El. So, after four seasons living inside the beltway, Antwaan is back. Could be a good thing, too.
The Roethlisberger sexual assault case has everyone a little nervous. Don’t forget that Randle-El was a quarterback at Indiana. And who can forget the pass in the Super Bowl? This is the second time down that road for Ben, and the Rooneys are known for not putting up with whole lot of nonsense. But, then again, no one thought that the Steelers would ever jump into the free agent market with both feet.
There is a first time for everything. Should be an interesting summer in the ‘Burgh. And I’m not talking about the Pirates.