Lewis leaves Steelers for Saints; Mundy to Giants
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013, 5:36 p.m.
Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013
Day 3 of NFL free agency saw two more Steelers leave.
Cornerback Keenan Lewis signed a five-year, $26.3 million deal with New Orleans, and safety Ryan Mundy signed with the New York Giants. Lewis' deal included a $6 million signing bonus.
“I'm very excited to be able to come back to my hometown,” Lewis told the team's official website. “Having grown up here, I understand the passion that the fans have for the Saints, and I'm blessed to be able to have the chance to play in front of them here in the future. I had a great visit with the Saints and am thankful for the time I spent with the Pittsburgh Steelers and wish them continued success.”
The Steelers weren't interested in re-signing Woodland Hills graduate Mundy after he lost his backup job to Will Allen last year. Mundy, 28, started five games in his four years with the Steelers, including three last year.
Lewis and Mundy were the third and fourth free agents to leave the Steelers since Tuesday.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace signed a five-year, $60 million deal with Miami moments after free agency opened Tuesday. Rashard Mendenhall inked a one-year, $2.5 million incentive-laden contract with Arizona a day later.
Lewis became expendable to the cash-strapped Steelers because of the improved play of second-year cornerback Cortez Allen at the end of last year. Allen will take over Lewis' starting left cornerback position, and recently re-signed William Gay will replace Allen in the slot as a nickel back in the Steelers' sub packages.
Lewis is a native of New Orleans and played his high school ball at nearby O. Perry Walker High School alongside Wallace.
After starting four years at Oregon State, Lewis was the Steelers' third-round pick in 2009. Playing mostly special teams his first two years, Lewis broke into the lineup in 2011 playing left cornerback when the Steelers went into their nickel defense.
Lewis moved into the starting lineup last year and started all 16 games, finishing with a NFL-leading 28 passes defensed.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
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@Scott - Yes, the goal is to coach up the talent from the draft and keep the good ones. Coaching the talent and paying the players stupid money to stay are two different things. Wallace wanted to be paid like Fitzgerald or C Johnson, and the Steelers were never going to give him 13M a year. They offered him 6M last year. He got 13M from the Dolphins. He wasnt going to stick with the Steelers. Lewis is truly an average CB. The money he got from the Saints, the Steelers were never going to pay. Cortez Allen will step in and I doubt there will be a dropoff in talent. Mendenhall was a head case and I am glad to see him go. Harrison is old at 34/35 years old and again he wanted too much money for the amount of time he was playing vs being hurt. If somebody was to take a pay cut, it would have been Harrison. The Steelers need to draft Troys replacement this year.
Submitted by: Ramon on Friday, March 15, 2013
According to the article, Lewis led the league in passes defensed. I wonder how many passes/yards/TD's he allowed? What was his rank in these areas? Did he lead the league just because teams threw at him more often; in avoidance of throwing at the other cornerbacks? Lewis was good, and I wish him well. I don't think this is a crushing blow to the Steelers though.
Submitted by: SCOTT on Thursday, March 14, 2013
I thought the goal was to coach up the talent from the draft and keep the good ones. So long wallace, lewis, mendenhall, and half of the pass rush in harrison (undrafted) , would have liked Troy P. to have opened up some cap space and take a reduction for getting paid to sit on the bench most of he season..lewis or harrison would have been nice.