You gotta love today’s NFL. When the Steelers won their first four Lombardi Trophies, the off season was just that. Games ended, players went home (and some even took off season jobs to make ends meet) and the NFL disappeared from sports pages until the draft in April, and essentially did not resurface until training camp began in July.
Not anymore. The NFL is now a 10 if not 12 month a year sport.
The Steelers victory in Super Bowl XLIII is naught a fortnight old, and they haven’t even had time to expand their trophy case to accommodate their sixth Lombardi trophy. Yet, the 2009 season is already coming into focus.
Steelers 2009 Free Agents
On February 27th, 12 Steelers will become unrestricted free agents, in addition to starting right tackle Willie Colon who will become their most prominent restricted free agent.
Those free agents include Max Starks, Marvel Smith, Chris Kemoeatu, Trai Essex, Bryant McFadden, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, Andre Fraizer, Keyaron Fox, Orpheus Roye, Fernando Bryant and Nate Washington.
Joining Willie Colon as the Steelers 2009 restricted free agents for 2009 are, Anthony Smith, Sean McHugh, Arnold Harrison, and Anthony Madison.
Steelers fans always dread free agency. In 1990’s a parade of Pro Bowlers make their exodus, to the anguish of Steelers Nation. (It must be said that with a few exceptions like Kevin Greene and Chad Brown, most of the players the Steelers let go were grossly overpaid by their new teams.)
2009 Free Agency, a Challenge for Colbert and the Rooneys
While free agency has not pillaged Steelers in the first decade of the 21st Century, this off season figures to put Kevin Colbert’s personnel skills to the test. We also might get a glimpse of how much Dan Rooney and Art II’s buy out of the other Rooney brothers is going to affect Pittsburgh’s ability to field a competitive team.
In the coming days and weeks, Steel Curtain Rising will offer its assessment of each Steeler free agent, what the Steelers should do, and what we think will happen. To follow the series, check back regularly, or simply click here to see everything with the Steelers 2009 Free Agent Focus tag.
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