The NFL and the Players Association are still fighting over which side gets the largest chunk of a pie filled with billions of dollars, and it’s just about ready to bring the NFL offseason to a complete stop. That said, there’s still some news trickling out of the madness, and a bit more on the Steelers right tackle situation.
Willie Colon’s future with the team has been a topic of discussion over the past week, with mixed messages about whether or not he’ll return. Basically, it comes down to he won’t be back. Unless he is. And that’s where we stand.
On Tuesday, NFL Network’s Jason La Confora tweeted that the Steelers placed a first-round restricted free agent tender on Colon. That, of course, is pretty important news, but could also be completely worthless in the long run depending on what sort of free agency rules come with a new CBA. As La Confora points out it’s possible that under the new rules (whatever they may be and whenever they’re finally put into place) Colon could be an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with the highest bidder.
In semi-related news, ESPN’s Adam Schefter mentioned this morning in a Tweet that Colon’s injury replacement in 2010, Flozell Adams, could be on the cut list this week. When the Steelers signed Adams prior to this season my expectations were somewhere between this is going to be a disaster, and at least a false start won’t result in the quarterback getting blown up.
When all was said and done Adams not only exceeded my expectations (and the expectations of just about everybody), he became somewhat of a rallying cry leading up to Super Bowl XLV, getting the jersey treatment on the trip to Dallas that had previously been reserved for Steelers legends like Jerome Bettis and Dick LeBeau. Nobody saw that coming.
Still, Schefter’s Tweet is interesting given that a week ago Tuesday Mike Tomlin said that he would like Adams to be back with the Steelers for another season.
I’ve mentioned on more than one Steelers Lounge Podcast that it wouldn’t shock me to see the Steelers cut Adams loose, even after his impressive season, simply because he carries a $5 million salary next season. Plus, given the choice of Colon or Adams at right tackle, I still think I’d prefer to see Colon manning the position in 2011. He’s not only eight years younger, I simply like him more as a player at this point. He’s come a long way in a short amount of time and was perhaps the best player on the line in 2009, which is why his season-ending injury was thought to be such a damaging blow.
I may be in the minority, but I really don’t hate the possibility of Colon and Max Starks serving as bookends on the offensive line with Maurkice Pouncey anchoring it in the middle. Starks and Colon aren’t great by any stretch, but they’re not exactly turnstiles, either. Plus, it’s safe to assume that no matter who the Steelers suit up on the line, they’re going to give up a lot of sacks simply due to the style of play coming from the quarterback position (as J.J. pointed out over at our former stomping grounds, the majority of the sacks on Roethlisberger this season were on passing plays where he held on to the ball for more than three seconds. The median “sack time” across the league was 2.7 seconds).