The Pittsburgh Steelers came to a string of agreements with free agents today, resigning Mewelde Moore, Chris Hoke and Dennis Dixon. All three were reported to be one year deals.
Punter Dan Sepulveda who was cut just a few days ago, was also resigned, presumptively at a lower salary.
What These Moves Mean
In Mewelde Moore the team gains an experienced back-up running back whose good hands the team can depend on when a 3 shows on the down marker. Steel Curtain Rising has been big on Moore since he joined the team in 2008, which Mewelde Moore's best year.
Moore saw his action reduced last year, as both his number of carries and his average dropped. However, he continued to produce in the passing game and his presence in camp will ensure that players on the bubble such as Jonathan Dwyer and the 2011 7th round pick Barron Batch take their fight for roster spots seriously.
Gerry Dulac was reporting last night that the Steelers were not considering resigning Chris Hoke. Dulac explained today on PG Plus that the two sides had not been able to agree on a contract, which put his signing in doubt. Fortunately for Steelers Nation the two sides came to an agreement.
The nose tackle is the fulcrum on which the success of the 3-4 defense swings, and Chris Hoke has been more than up to the task when Casey Hampton has to come out.
The Steelers clearly wanted Dixon back, but Dixon will have to fight for a roster spot, as the Steelers are unlikely to bring four quarterbacks into the regular season. Charlie Batch may be fragile, but he proved his worth to the team last year.
Sepulveda Gets a Bounce
Just a few days ago it seemed like Daniel Sepulveda’s days as a Steeler were over. Perhaps the Steelers had already seen enough of the punters they have in camp to bring him back, perhaps this move has been in the works all along.
One way or another Sepulveda knows it is now or never.
Unsigned and Unwanted?
Trai Essex, Keyron Fox, and Anthony Madison are all unrestricted free agents from the Steelers 2010 roster and all remain unsigned.
Gerry Dulac has already reported that Essex will not be back. Trai Essex falls into the category of being a jack of all trades and master of none. Although he can and has played each of the guard and tackle positions, he has played none of them with distinction.
Essex may not join Steelers at St. Vincents, but he’d likely be the first person they’d call in the event of injury.
Keyron Fox flashed a lot of promise in 2009, only to make a name for himself with idiotic penalties in 2010, not the least of which came as the Steelers were attempting to mount a come back in the final moments of Super Bowl XLV. It appears that Fox has worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh.
Anthony Madison’s absence proves to be the most interesting, as the Steelers special teams have suffered dearly without him in the past. Madison also showed his versatility in 2010 by playing some cornerback.
If the Steelers can find cap space, they would be wise to welcome Madison back.
Roethlisberger, Harrison Renegotiating
The Steelers remain over the cap, but Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison are renegotiating their contracts to provide the team with relief.
Even still, the Steelers may need to release more veterans to get under the cap by Thursday.
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