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It's safe to say the Steelers' running-back-by-committee experiment hasn't worked this season.
There's a chance the entire committee could be gone next season.
Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman all will be free agents.
Mendenhall is an unrestricted free agent. The Steelers are going to face a lot of hard choices this offseason to get under the salary cap. They shouldn't waste any time agonizing over Mendenhall, who didn't show up for their Week 14 game against the Chargers after being told he was inactive.
The Steelers will miss the playoffs this year and are heading in a precarious direction as a franchise. Purging themselves of Mendenhall's attitude is one of the many steps they need to take to right the ship in 2013.
That leaves Dwyer and Redman. Dwyer, currently the starter, has two 100-yard rushing games this season while Redman has one. However, neither has shown an ability to be a consistent running threat for an entire season. Both backs are averaging less than four yards a carry.
Dwyer and Redman both are restricted free agents. If the Steelers tender them, they'd have the right to match another team's offer.
The Steelers should draft a running back who has the potential to start as a rookie, but try to hold on to Dwyer or Redman as the complementary back. Last year's original-round tender amount was $1.26 million. If it's in that same neighborhood this year and the Steelers use it on Dwyer, they'd receive a sixth-round draft pick as compensation if they don't match another teams' offer.
They wouldn't receive a draft pick as compensation if they tender Redman because he wasn't drafted.
Running back is a position that needs to look a lot different next season in Pittsburgh.