STEELERS SHOPPING LINEMEN?
Posted by Mike Florio on August 30, 2008, 12:14 p.m.
As they ponder their final roster cuts, the Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly are pondering the possibility of shipping one of their backup offensive linemen out of town via a trade.
Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers are considering trading tackle Max Starks, center Sean Mahan, or tackle Trai Essex.
The mere fact that Starks would even be close to the trading block highlights the poor decision to use the transition tag on Starks, which gave him a guaranteed salary of nearly $7 million this year. For roughly $500,000 more, they could have forced Alan Faneca to stay for another year ó or at least have gotten something for him in trade from a team like the Jets.
Mahan was the starting center in 2007, but lost his job to newcomer Justin Hartwig.
Meanwhile, the Steelers already have decided to release receiver Willie Reid and return specialist Eddie Drummond.
BATCH TO IR
Posted by Mike Florio on August 30, 2008, 12:09 p.m.
The Steelers have solved their backup quarterback conundrum by moving Charlie Batch to injured reserve.
Batch suffered a broken collarbone in the teamís preseason opener, opening the door for previously unemployed veteran Byron Leftwich.
The Steelers have since decided that they like Leftwich enough to keep him. Because they didnít want to expose rookie Dennis Dixon to waivers and they donít want to carry four quarterbacks on the roster, the Steelers opted to park Batch on the sidelines for the season, even though he was recovering from his injury and could have played soon.
Despite being on IR, Batch will earn his full base salary of $1.355 million in 2008, the final year of his current contract.
The only alternative was to cut Batch, but that might not have gone over too well in Pittsburgh, given that Charlie is a Pittsburgh native who happily has ridden the pine for several years, played capably when needed, and has been involved in various community activities.