A Couple of Snarky Questions on the Pittsburgh Steelers: Free Agency Edition

Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As noted in the premier post in this series (“premier” in the sense of first, not the sense of good…) this feature is a placeholder for the 5 Smoldering Questions. So let’s get to it, since it’s already late.

1. Most everyone seems to think Lawrence Timmons will be a cap casualty with the Dolphins. His stat line last year was nothing to write home about. Part of this is because he bizarrely missed the first walk-through of the season for the Week 2 game, the first for the Phins because of the hurricane, thus being suspended for the first two games. It was the first time since 2009 he missed a game.

But some might say that, in terms of inside linebackers, beggars can’t be choosers, and the Steelers, due to Ryan Shazier’s health and their cap constraints, are definitely beggars. If you were the Steelers brain trust, would you try to bring the 32-year-old Timmons back for another year in the Black and Gold?

2. James Harrison recently showed up, rather to most people’s surprise, to Brett Keisel’s “Shear Da Beard” event. Arthur Moats said they had “talked out their differences.” Whether Steeler Nation will ever again take him back to their collective bosoms is another matter. But my question concerns Harrison’s stated desire to play next season. What’s your guess? Did you see enough from him in a different scheme to think another team will take him on?

That’s all for now. This is plenty to deal with in the offseason, right in the middle of the Olympics. And speaking of the Olympics, here’s a bonus for you. One of my son-in-laws is a police officer, and this was recently published in the department newsletter. Names are changed to protect the guilty:

  • PO Jim Smith at 7 PM: “Oh…Figure skating?”
  • PO Jim Smith at 10 PM: “If they nail this triple twist they’ve got at least 40 in the technical category.”

Stay warm, y’all.


  • Timmons wasn’t capable of playing Mack when he was still a Steeler. He can’t cover anymore and doesn’t have sideline to sideline speed. Being a year older won’t make him better. If they needed depth at Buck (Williams’ position) then it would work. They don’t. As of now there is no one on the roster who can play Mack. Timmons would be an upgrade to Spence as a tackler. In all other areas, it’s a zero sum gain.

    IMO, even going to the hated Patriots at the end of his career will not diminish Harrison’s overall contribution to the Steelers over his career. There were people who were certain that he had orchestrated his release so that he could join the Bengals. They forgave him for that immediately upon his return.


  • 1) LawDog is better than what we had out there at the end of the year. He knows the schemes. He will work his butt off for the team and coach he loves. He doesn’t have the speed he once had, but he’d be an upgrade on the status quo, and you can plug him right in. You definitely sign him at vet min with incentives.

    2) He’s certainly not coming back to the Steelers after last year. Someone else might sign him, but there’s a dilemma here. Deebo is a finite resource, and now that he’s on Social Security and Medicare, he doesn’t have enough gas in the tank to go a full season. If he has to fight for roster spot in the summer, will he have anything left when the skies of November turn gloomy? The guess here is that he might have some tryouts, and might want to stay in shape once the season starts to sign as an injury replacement somewhere, but the odds are less than 50-50 that he signs with anybody before September.


  • 1. Timmons is an easy answer IMO. He certainly does not address our glaring hole in the middle. But sign him for depth at or near vet minimum. There might be a benefit to signing him after training camp or preseason, even after the season is under way for example like Spence. Actually here is a good question. Whom is better? Spence or Timmons

    2. I only see James on a roster anywhere if someone or some two get IR’ed part way thru the season. He will be considered a Steeler Heck if TO can get in the HoF. Harrison will be thought of as a Steeler by fans, media, and management and by himself shortly if not already.


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