One of my favorite writers here on Bleacher, Brian Carson, wrote an article about the Steelers All-Decade team.
It made me wonder: What would the Steelers look like, if there was no Free Agency in the NFL?
As most of you know, I am not someone who is real big on writing slide shows, and I have only done a couple of them.
If there is anyone that I forgot, please add it to the comments, and I will add them to the slide show.
Since the departure of Burress, the only BIG receiver Ben has had to throw to is Limas Sweed, who is not filling Burress's shoes very well.
Sure Plax has had some off field issues, but imagine if he would have stayed in the Burgh?
That whole shooting himself in the leg issue probably would not have happened.
Can you imagine going 4-wide with Hines, Plax, Holmes and Wallace? There is not a defense in the league that could stop it.
I was one of the people who was OK with the Steelers not paying top dollar for McFadden. I was wrong with that pick!
McFadden was more than just a corner. He helped out amazingly on defense, not only covering the receiver, but with the run assistance.
Will Gay is a great Nickle and is not BAD in my estimation, but he is not the every down corner that McFadden is.
Imagine Gay still being able to stay in the Nickle and Townsend being able to play the dime. Those are nice thoughts.
I was sad to see Hope leave for Tennessee. I thought he was an above average player who really fit in well with the Steelers.
I saw the Steelers letting him walk, because they signed Ryan Clark. The Steelers were lucky that Clark and Polamalu have the same chemistry that Hope and Polamalu had, but with Polamalu going down to injury this year, had Hope still been on the team, the defense would not have suffered.
Larry earned his rings with the Steelers and was allowed to leave because he was going to be losing playing time to Lawrence Timmons. He would have been great to keep for depth, because Farrior is slowing down.
I am glad that Foote got to go home and play for his home town Lions, but I think he would have been great staying in a backup role with the Steelers.
Faneca's reasons for leaving the Steelers really had nothing to do with money. He left because he felt that Russ Grimm should have been hired as the head coach and was not.
The Jets only offered $1 million dollars more than the Steelers did, which goes to show that it was not about money.
Faneca is not the player he was when he played for the Steelers, even though he is still an above average Guard.
Kreider is a REAL Fullback, and nothing but. His specialty was pounding Ray Lewis when the Steelers played the Ravens.
Kreider was allowed to walk because Bruce Arians does not think that the position is important enough to have someone that is only a FB on the roster.
The Steelers running game has suffered since Kreider left, and until the Steelers replace him with a REAL FB, then Kreider will be missed, at least by me.
I know he was not a free agent, and coaches can't be. But for ANY Steeler fan to say that Whisenhunt is not the greatest Offensive Coordinator the Steelers ever had would make them either lying or crazy or both!
Whiz brought a dimension to the Steelers they never had before or since. His creativity made the Steelers offense extremely dangerous.
Given the weapons the Steelers offense has, it would have been great to be able to keep him with the team.
I was sad to see Grimm go, but I don't think he would have been as good of a Head Coach as Mike Tomlin.
Grimm is the best offensive line coach in the game. When he was coaching the Steelers line, they were one of the best in the league, and for good reason. Grimm was a member of the Washington Redskins "Hogs". He knew how to play the position, and he knew how to teach it as well.
The Steelers are a great team always in the thick of the playoff race. They won at least one Super Bowl without ANY of these guys and won two without most of them.
They are a great team and let the people that are not a necessity leave for greener pastures. The replacements for these guys all do a great job, but to be honest, I know how the Steelers are, and I don't expect them to pay top dollar for players when they already have the replacement on the team ready to go.
That being said, we did not sign anyone in Free Agency to replace these players, so had the Steelers decided to keep them, they would have only been that much better.
Is there anyone I forgot? Add their name to the comments, and I will add them to the list.
If you want to check out Brian Carson's article that inspired this, check it out here.