´ Steel Curtain Rising: Watch Tower: Steelers Sign Warren, Eason… and McFarland?

Why Did the Steelers Lose to Tampa

Friday, March 28, 2008

Watch Tower: Steelers Sign Warren, Eason… and McFarland?

The Steelers continue to make moves in free agency, although a cloud of mist appears to shroud the exact nature of some of team’s latest personnel decisions.

In resigning Greg Warren, the Steelers shore up the small, but highly significant position of long-snapper. You don’t hear Warren’s name much, and that’s a good thing.

Nick Eason’s resigning is more interesting, if for no other reason that the confusion surrounding Anthony "Booger" McFarland. On Wednesday March 26th, the Post-Gazette reported that the Steelers had signed defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, whom the Colts had recently released. However, on the same day the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that McFarland had been “ecstatic when he got back,” from his meeting with the Steelers, but Scotty Brown made clear that no agreement had been reached.

Wednesday’s article disappeared from the Post-Gazette’s Steelers section on Thrusday, although the paper reported Nick Eason’s re-signing.

Interestingly enough, Wednesday’s article was available via the Post-Gazette’s search engine. The story’s headline proclaims: “Steelers sign Warren; McFarland agrees to deal.” As currently posted, however, the text in the article does not refer to any agreement between the two parties. If memory serves, the original text did (I remember reading that in wondering why dollar terms had been disclosed.)

What’s going on here? Is McFarland a Steeler or not? It would appear that he is not, in light of the Tribune-Review article and the mysterious disappearance/editing of the Post-Gazette article.

The 24 hour news cycle is unrelenting, and concrete facts can be incredibly elusive in the age of cyber-journalism. If the Post-Gazette made a mistake, so be it. But if Wednesday’s article was in err, then why not issue a clarification?

If McFarland is not a Steeler, then that raises the more pertinent question for Steelers fans is did that fact impact the decision to resign Eaton? At this point, the Steelers probably could have signed Eaton at their leisure. McFarland most certainly would have been an upgrade over Eaton, and so there’s a strong possibility that they would not have resigned Eaton if McFarland was still in their plans.

The defensive line is a need area for the Steelers, and it would be interesting to know exactly what has gone on these last few days.

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