Player News - Steelers

Date: Team: Pos:

MMQB's Peter King expects impending free agent Le'Veon Bell to "go to the highest bidder" and names the Raiders as a team to "watch" for Bell.

King doesn't do much reporting in terms of breaking news anymore, but he still has many connections throughout the league. The new staff in Oakland has been mum when it comes to Marshawn Lynch's future with the team, so Beast Mode could very well be one-and-done for his hometown Raiders. Oakland could use that money to go after a younger stallion like Bell, but he'll have no shortage of suitors should he reach the open market. It's going to be tough for the Steelers to use the franchise tag on Bell again this year since they have very little cap room at the moment. However, creating cap space is a relatively simple task.
Jan 22 - 10:59 PM

Steelers WR Eli Rogers underwent ACL surgery on Wednesday.

Rogers tore his ACL in the Divisional Round against Jacksonville. This injury will set him back multiple weeks into the 2018 season, making for a tricky situation this offseason as he's a restricted free agent. The No. 4 receiver on Pittsburgh, the Steelers will likely look to replace him.
Jan 20 - 1:30 PM

Impending free agent Le'Veon Bell reportedly missed almost all of the Steelers' final walkthrough the day before last week's Divisional Round loss to the Jaguars.

Additionally, coach Mike Tomlin has told players and coaches to arrive two hours before kickoff for games. Bell (and reportedly one coach) arrived to last Sunday's playoff loss "much later than that," even after skipping all but the final five minutes of Saturday's walkthrough. Bell is headed for intense contract negotiations, of course, and the Steelers have leaked negative info about players in similar situations before, most notably Antonio Brown. Whether it be from the Steelers or another team, Bell is going to get paid this offseason.
Jan 20 - 11:53 AM

Steelers WR Eli Rogers suffered a torn ACL in the Divisional Round.

The timing of the injury will sideline Rogers well into the 2018 season. It's a worst case scenario, though Rogers may still be re-signed as a restricted free agent. The Steelers will need to find a replacement for Rogers as the No. 4 receiver behind Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Martavis Bryant.
Jan 19 - 4:40 PM

Steelers promoted QBs coach Randy Fichtner to offensive coordinator.

This was the expected move after the Steelers let Todd Haley's contract expire. Haley and Ben Roethlisberger seemed to detest each other, while Ben apparently has a strong relationship with Fichtner. A Steelers assistant since 2007, Fichtner had served as QBs coach since 2010. He knows the offense inside and out. Neither personnel nor scoring points were a problem in 2017. Although Haley remains somewhat underrated as an offensive mind, Roethlisberger and company shouldn't miss a beat under Fichtner.
Jan 18 - 3:29 PM

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Steelers are expected to hire QBs coach Randy Fichtner as their offensive coordinator.

According to Dulac, Fichtner's promotion is "pending final approval of his contract." This comes hours after it was announced the Steelers would not be retaining Todd Haley, who was at the end of his contract. Fichtner is known to have a strong relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and even served as a buffer between Ben and Haley when the two weren't getting along this past season. The Steelers also considered Mike Munchak for their OC position, but instead he'll remain in his current role as the team's OL coach. Fichtner has served on Mike Tomlin's staff since 2007.
Jan 17 - 5:46 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Steelers QBs coach Randy Fichtner is the "favorite" to be promoted to offensive coordinator.

Fichtner, 54, has been coaching with the Steelers since 2007 and has been the team's QBs coach the last eight years. He's said to be "very close" with Ben Roethlisberger, which is obviously a huge deal after Big Ben and ousted OC Todd Haley butted heads. The defense is Pittsburgh's bigger concern.
Jan 17 - 12:29 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Steelers OL coach Mike Munchak has turned down the Cardinals' request for a second interview for their head-coaching vacancy.

It's a sign the Cardinals have either already settled on a head coach or Munchak may be getting the OC job in Pittsburgh if current OC Todd Haley isn't brought back. Perhaps even Munchak is simply just happy with his OL gig in Pittsburgh and doesn't see the Cardinals job as one worth leaving for considering they have no quarterback. Munchak is going to get a second chance at some point. Schefter adds that Patriots LBs coach Brian Flores is back in play for Arizona.
Jan 17 - 10:04 AM

Steelers re-signed CB Mike Hilton to a one-year, $555,000 contract.

The Steelers' slot corner, Hilton was an exclusive rights free agent. In other words, he could only become a free agent if the Steelers let him. Playing his first regular season snaps, the 2016 UDFA was an asset at nickel back this season, and should retain his job for 2018. He will be a restricted free agent in 2019.
Jan 16 - 4:51 PM

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reports a group of the Steelers' limited partners want coach Mike Tomlin fired.

Tomlin has never had a losing season in 11 years with the Steelers while winning at least 10 games eight times, but that record has not prevented his name from popping up in rumors the last couple years. To be fair to the rabble-rousers, the Steelers have not been to the Super Bowl since 2010 and have made the Championship Game just once over that run, arguably an underachievement given the talent on the roster. Still, it remains unlikely Tomlin is shown the door, but perhaps the discontent will lead to changes to his staff. For what it is worth, Tomlin did not throw his support behind OC Todd Haley when given the chance during his season-ending press conference.
Jan 16 - 12:20 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Steelers OL coach Mike Munchak will have a second interview for the Cardinals' head coaching vacancy.

Arizona will give other coaches a second interview as well, but this indicates Munchak is a serious candidate. Munchak spent 17 seasons with the Titans before being promoted to head coach in 2011, going 22-26 over three seasons. He has been with the Steelers since 2014.
Jan 16 - 10:46 AM

Steelers re-signed TE Xavier Grimble and LS Kameron Canaday to one-year contracts.

They were exclusive rights free agents. Grimble, 25, operated as the Steelers' third tight end in 2017, playing 175 snaps and blocking on 63 percent of them. He will vie for a roster spot behind Jesse James and Vance McDonald in 2018.
Jan 15 - 5:09 PM

Martavis Bryant says he wants to remain with the Steelers for 2018.

2017 should have been the final year of Bryant's rookie contract, but it tolled to 2018 after he was suspended for all of 2016. Frustrated with his role, Bryant tried to force his way out of Pittsburgh ahead of the trade deadline, earning himself a team-imposed Week 8 suspension. He returned following the Steelers' Week 9 bye and settled into a steady role down the stretch, catching 50 passes for 603 yards and three touchdowns on the year. The Steelers could be open to moving Bryant this offseason, but he's an extreme bargain at his $705,000 salary. The most likely scenario is Bryant playing out his Steelers deal.
Jan 15 - 2:28 PM

Le'Veon Bell said he "definitely" wants to re-sign with the Steelers.

"I never want to leave this city, but obviously, circumstances and things like that," Bell cautioned. The running back has threatened to sit out or retire if the Steelers hit him with the franchise tag again -- he waited until September 4 to sign his tender last season -- but that appears to be where this situation is headed. The tag will be worth around $14.5 million for Bell.
Source: ESPN
Jan 15 - 9:17 AM

Ben Roethlisberger confirmed he will return for the 2018 season.

Roethlisberger seriously considered retirement last offseason and even spoke of it during the 2017 campaign, but he played far too well down the stretch to call it quits with plenty left in the tank. Including playoffs, Big Ben posted a 23:6 TD-to-INT ratio across his final eight games, and the Steelers have enough in-place talent to make another run at the Super Bowl. The watch is now on for the job security of OC Todd Haley, who called an atrocious game in Pittsburgh's playoff loss to Jacksonville and is known to have a "strained" relationship with Ben.
Jan 14 - 5:34 PM


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