Share This Page

Steelers sign Foster to 3-year deal, leaving Colon's future unclear

| Monday, March 11, 2013, 3:42 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon plays against the Broncos on Sept. 9, 2012, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.
Steelers guard Ramon Foster has teamed with Willie Colon to open up holes for breakout running back Jonathan Dwyer. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review

If the Steelers have any plans to release veteran offensive lineman Willie Colon after signing Ramon Foster to a three-year contract Monday, Colon's agent, Joe Linta, hasn't been informed.

“I've been told the opposite, to be honest,” Linta said. “Now they very well could cut him (Tuesday), but I haven't heard, and that's not what they told me. But who knows?”

Colon, who will turn 30 next month, suffered season-ending injuries (Achilles, triceps, knee) in each of his past three seasons, limiting him to only 12 games — 11 of which came last year.

Despite tearing his Achilles before the 2010 season, the Steelers signed Colon to a five-year, $29 million deal a year later. Colon turned down an offer from the Bears that would have paid him $3 million more over the life of the contract to stay with the Steelers.

“He has had a black cloud around him with injuries, and it is very sad for him because he is one of the best,” Linta said. “No guards were better than him when he was playing last year, that's for sure.”

Colon could be designated a June 1 cut, saving the Steelers $5.5 million of salary-cap space that wouldn't kick in until June 2. If they release Colon before June 1, it would save the Steelers $1.5 million immediately.

As for Foster, he has been a regular on the Steelers' offensive line since being an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee in 2009.

Foster's three-year contract calls for $6 million with a $900,000 signing bonus.

Foster started 30 consecutive games at guard and 42 of the team's past 44 (including Super Bowl XLV) since being inserted into the lineup for a Week 10 game against the Patriots in 2010.

Foster has been durable at a position that has been injury-prone for the Steelers in recent years. He missed only the second half of the season opener against Denver with a severe headache before playing the final 966 snaps of the year at right guard.

According to ProFootballFocus, Foster allowed only two sacks last season, the least of all Steelers starters.

Foster signed a one-year tender for $1.26 million last year as a restricted free agent after not getting much interest on the open market. He became expendable when the Steelers used a first-round draft pick on David DeCastro and decided to move Colon to left guard.

But Foster started all 16 games last year when DeCastro was injured during the preseason. Foster was getting interest from other teams before deciding to re-sign with the Steelers less than a day before free agency begins.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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.