Share This Page

Cornerback McFadden signs with Arizona

The Steelers lost their first starter to free agency Sunday when cornerback Bryant McFadden signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, according to the Associated Press. The deal is worth $10 million, according to ESPN.

McFadden, a second-round draft pick in 2005, overtook Deshea Townsend as the starter opposite Ike Taylor last season and recorded 41 tackles and two interceptions despite missing five games because of injuries.

William Gay, a fifth-round draft pick in 2007 who started four games last season, is expected to get the first crack at McFadden's old job.

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said recently that Gay answered any questions last season about whether he is capable of starting on a full-time basis.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Gay had 41 tackles and an interception in 16 games for the Steelers last season.

"I think we've got a good, quality player there," LeBeau said of Gay, "who should continue to grow."

Free agency has compromised the Steelers' depth in the secondary.

Safety Anthony Smith has signed with the Packers, according to ESPN. Smith, once thought to be among the Steelers' most promising prospects, fell out of favor with the coaching staff near the end of the 2007 season. He started 10 games in 2007 but is best known for his ill-fated guarantee that the Steelers would beat the then-undefeated Patriots.

Smith, whom the Patriots beat on several big pass plays, played sparingly last season and did not dress for Super Bowl XLIII.

McFadden had been widely considered one of the top cornerbacks on the free-agent market, although Dominique Foxworth (Falcons) and Ronald Bartell (Rams) signed lucrative long-term deals before he agreed to terms with the Cardinals.

The Steelers have also lost wide receiver Nate Washington to free agency. Wide receiver and the defensive backfield might be two of the more pressing needs for the team as it prepares for next month's draft.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.