Notebook: Steelers break even in free agency
The NFL’s free-agency signing period ended with 130 unrestricted players joining new teams. That represents 8 percent of the players in the league and the second-highest number since free agency began in 1993.
The Steelers lost four free agents: Linebacker Earl Holmes (Cleveland Browns), cornerback Jason Simmons (Houston Texans), wide receiver Bobby Shaw (Jacksonville Jaguars) and kicker Kris Brown (Texans). Brown was the only restricted free agent from the league-wide pool of 104 to join another team.
The Steelers also signed four free agents from other teams: Linebacker James Farrior (New York Jets), kicker Todd Peterson (Kansas City Chiefs), quarterback Charlie Batch (Detroit Lions) and wide receiver Terance Mathis (Atlanta Falcons).
Of the Steelers’ seven unrestricted free agents who jumped into the pool in March, linebackers Jason Gildon and John Fiala and cornerback Deshea Townsend re-signed, and safety Myron Bell failed to find a job, with the Steelers or anyone else.
Of greater importance were the four restricted free agents who signed multi-year extensions: linebacker Joey Porter, defensive end Aaron Smith, running back Amos Zereoue and offensive lineman Oliver Ross. The unrestricted free agents next year will include offensive tackle Wayne Gandy, strong safety Lee Flowers, quarterback Charlie Batch, wide receiver Terance Mathis, long snapper Mike Schneck and tight ends Matt Cushing and Jerame Tuman.
Schneck, Cushing and Tuman, however, are in battles for roster spots this year.
The Campbell’s Soup company will weigh Steelers guard Keydrick Vincent and a teammate Tuesday at training camp and donate 10 times their combined weight in soup cans to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.