Given the Steelers’ lack of free salary cap space and organizational aversion to dropping money on big-ticket free agents, most of the speculation this offseason has centered on what the team will do with the more than 20 players headed from the 2012 roster to unrestricted free agency.
The Steelers’ front office has its work cut out for it as it looks to navigate the constraints of the salary cap and re-sign the veterans and emerging players capable of leading the team back to the playoffs.
As they look to solidify the Steelers’ future, Kevin Colbert and company will have to decide the fate of numerous starters from this past year, including Rashard Mendenhall, Keenan Lewis, Casey Hampton, Mike Wallace, Larry Foote, Max Starks and Ramon Foster.
They will also need to weigh the pros and cons of making offers to several backups who saw significant playing time in 2012, such as Will Allen, Charlie Batch, Doug Legursky, Byron Leftwich and Ryan Mundy.
That Pittsburgh cannot sign all of these players is generally accepted and, especially given that the free-agency period hasn’t even started yet, has given rise to plenty of gossip about who might be staying and who might be leaving.
Though the team isn’t saying much thus far, it is possible to analyze the chances that each of those rumors is true.
With that in mind, the following is a breakdown of several rumors about impeding Steelers’ moves in the free-agent market and whether to put any stock in them. The analysis has been conducted based on the player’s or players’ probable contributions to the 2013 Steelers and what they are likely to cost the organization to sign.