Free agencies will mean changes for the Steelers
It wasn't a typical Friday for the Steelers.
Teammates walked from locker to locker collecting autographs for friends and relatives. Several players sat in small groups, knowing this might be the final time they gathered in this room to close a work week.
One out of every three players on this Steelers team becomes a free agent after the season ends — perhaps as soon as late Sunday afternoon — and they realized this might be one of their final times together.
Brett Keisel, the 35-year-old defensive end who is one of those free agents-to-be, offered some advice for players such as Jason Worilds, Ziggy Hood and Emmanuel Sanders, who are going through this for the first time.
“Just go out and understand you still have an opportunity to go out and play with your guys, even if it is the last time,” Keisel said. “You've got to make it count. There will be changes — there always are. The locker room is different after every year.”
Sanders uses the locker occupied last season by fellow wide receiver Mike Wallace, who left for a $60 million deal with Miami. Sanders won't get that kind of money but is likely to receive an offer the salary cap-restrained Steelers can't match. The Patriots tried to sign him earlier this year as a restricted free agent.
“Right now, I live for the moment,” Sanders said. “What happens in the offseason, happens. But I always wish nothing but the best to everyone, no matter what happens. I hope everyone gets put in the best situation they can be in.”
Sanders said he prefers to stay in Pittsburgh, but he realizes the market will dictate his value.
Worilds, who should benefit greatly from his career-high eight sacks this season, has said much the same thing.
“You've got to look out for yourself, especially because it doesn't come around very often,” Sanders said. “You've got to take care of your family. I've got a son on the way, and that's all I'm thinking about.”
To keep their season going, the Steelers (7-8) not only must beat the Browns (4-11) at Heinz Field, they need the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers to lose. Sanders said he'll be watching the scoreboard Sunday to see how those games play out.
Jerricho Cotchery said one thing he won't be doing is watching the scoreboard and guessing where he might be playing next season, if it's not Pittsburgh.
“The reason I've been playing this long is my desire to win a championship, and that's what drives me every day,” said Cotchery, who is in his 10th NFL season. “That's how I got my contract the first time around. I wasn't thinking about it. I was just playing ball and having fun with it. I wasn't thinking about the money.
“When you spend too much time (on free agency), you can think circles around yourself. You spend too much time trying to figure out how the situation will play out, and it will drive you crazy. Any time my mind tries to go that way, it's ‘No, no, no.' ”
Show commenting policy
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.
- Agent: Polamalu undecided whether to play in 2015
- Starkey: In defense of Mel Kiper Jr.
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- Depth a concern for Steelers’ Colbert
- Steelers GM Colbert prepared to look at all options before draft
- Steelers restructure Gilbert, Mitchell contracts; Pouncey close
- Steelers’ decision for NFL Draft: Pass rusher or cornerback?
- Steelers promote Olsavsky, Porter to replace Butler