Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers have major decisions to make at the running back position in the coming months. A combination of salary-cap restrictions and a disappointing 2012 season from their backs has forced their hand and changes are coming.
With Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer presently restricted free agents and Rashard Mendenhall unrestricted, and the Steelers yet again well over the salary cap, there's little chance all three will be retained this offseason. And even if the Steelers had the cash, that would be no guarantee that any of the three would be safe—not after an 8-8 season that has the Steelers reconsidering nearly every position on the roster.
Redman, Dwyer and Mendenhall all dealt with injuries during the 2012 season and none looked like ideal, every-down starters when they were healthy. Dwyer had the most work, with 156 carries for 623 yards and two touchdowns. Redman had 110 carries for 410 yards and three scores, while Mendenhall had 51 rushes for 182 yards and no scores.
Chris Rainey contributed 26 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns but was released in January following a domestic assault arrest, and Baron Batch had 25 carries for 49 yards and a score—not the kind of performance or usage that indicates the Steelers would want him to be their primary starter going forward.