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RB Bradshaw to visit Steelers on Thursday

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 2:21 p.m.
Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw runs during the first half of a game last season against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ahmad Bradshaw, a 1,000-yard running back for the Giants this past season who is coming off foot surgery, will visit the Steelers on Thursday.

Coach Mike Tomlin said last week at the NFL meetings in Arizona that the Steelers needed another back, regardless of whether he was obtained via free agency or the NFL Draft.

Bradshaw, a former star at Marshall, has had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons in the past three years but also has been bothered by injuries to both feet since 2011. He had a screw inserted in his right foot in January, a procedure that was expected to need several months to heal.

The Steelers are expected to give Bradshaw a physical, but he might not be able to work out for them if he is still recovering from the foot operation. Bradshaw apparently waited to begin visiting teams until he was close to being recovered.

Bradshaw signed an $18 million, four-year contract that guaranteed him $9 million after he run for 1,235 yards in 2010. But he became expendable to the Giants after they drafted David Wilson of Virginia Tech in the first round last year. Still, Bradshaw outrushed Wilson, 1,015-358.

Because of his injuries, Bradshaw is unlikely to land a deal close to his previous contract. The Steelers have little salary cap space to sign a veteran player, but they could create adequate space by making a roster move or reworking another contract.

The Steelers are coming off their second worst rushing season (1,537 yards in 16 games) in the past 42 years, with only the 2003 season (1,488 yards) ranking worse for a full season since 1970.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Bradshaw doesn't have exceptional speed but is a strong runner and a reliable receiver out of the backfield. Despite his ongoing foot problem, he missed only two games last season. Bradshaw ran for 48 yards on 15 carries when the Steelers beat the Giants, 24-20, on Nov. 4.

Bradshaw also is expected to visit Green Bay.

The Steelers lost another backup safety to free agency as Will Allen signed with Dallas. Allen did not make an interception in three seasons for the Steelers after leaving Tampa Bay. He made seven starts last season for the injured Troy Polamalu and also played on special teams. Last week, backup Ryan Mundy signed with the Giants.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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