More news out of the media day at the 2012 NFL combine as Steelers GM Kevin Colbert talked extensively about the personnel moves the team is faced with. In addition to talking about how they intend to do everything they can to keep Mike Wallace, and that the status of Hines Ward hasn’t changed, he also talked about some other veterans.
Ed Bouchette reported that Colbert mentioned that he expects NT Casey Hampton to return in 2012 as well as possibly Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich. Here are a couple highlights of Ed’s reporting on the subject.
According to Bouchette, Colbert was “emphatic” that Hampton would be able to return next season. When asked about the timetable of Hampton’s return: : “It’s a different position obviously. You don’t have to worry about speed, you don’t have to worry about quick change of direction when you’re talking about offensive or defensive linemen. And the one edge Casey will have on anybody is that he’s been through this twice. He knows what to expect. He knows how to do this. He knows how much work he has to do and he knows how he feels.”
In regards to the return of Batch & Leftwich: “I hope so,” Colbert said about the possibility of re-signing Batch and Leftwich. “I think they’re comfortable being part of it and I think they’re open to that. I think they want to wait and see what’s out there for them.
He said Dennis Dixon, who is also an unrestricted free agent, will probably sign with another team.
While nothing is certain yet, you never rule out the Steelers in keeping the players they want to keep. Hampton may not be able to contribute right away but if they are confident in Steve McLendon (and Colbert mentioned that they are) then you can use him and possibly a draft pick this year to play on the line and let Casey finish out this coming season. I would be surprised if the team doesn’t restructure Casey’s deal to free up money but it appears for the time being that he is safe from being cut.