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This may be bold, but Rey Maualuga might end up being an affordable free agent when the carousel stops spinning for free agency.
His reputation and name are stronger than his play. Teams look at the tape and make decisions based on production. That will drive down his price somewhat and make him an alternative for a team that doesn't have a ton of money to spend.
The free-agent class around him is also ridiculously good. Similar to what might happen to Keenan Lewis, he simply may be lost in the shuffle for a while.
Cincinnati doesn't seem interested in bringing him back, so he will have to take his services elsewhere.
That could mean coming to Pittsburgh. There's history here if you know where to look.
James Farrior was a disappointment with the New York Jets and hadn't lived up to his draft stock. The Steelers signed Farrior because they believed they could fix him. The rest is history.
Maualuga has conditioning issues. Mike Tomlin won that same battle with Casey Hampton years ago. He might be a better fit in a 3-4 scheme because he won't be alone in the middle. This seems like a good match.
If Pittsburgh can make the dollars work, the should forget about Larry Foote and bring this guy in.
Contract: Three years, 6.5 million (build in some incentive bonuses too for an overall potential value of $8 or 9 million)