Sports Outside the Beltway

Steelers Sign Batch, Keisel, Free Agent Clark

The big free agent news out of Pittsburgh is the Steelers loss of Antwaan Randel-El in the last few days. However, the team is doing what it always does during free agency: quietly re-sign contracts, letting those who want more money than the Rooneys are willing to pay strike out for greener pastures. They will also pick up lower profile free agents who fit into their team.

First, to the departures. Randel-El was going to be gone, no question. The Steelers front office was not going to pay him anything near what Washington offered. I have a feeling that no other team in their right mind would have paid what the Redskins paid for him. He made one cool play during the Super Bowl, and wasn’t a terrible reciever, and while those things are worth some moeny, there is no way they are worth $31 million. Chris Hope, the free safety, is also looking elsewhere. Kimo von Oelhoffen has signed with the Jets as a defensive end. Both of those players will leave bigger holes for the team to fill than Randel-El’s departure.

The Steelers have signed Charlie Batch as the backup quarterback, which seems to be a good move, considering his performance last year when he had the role. They also have signed Brett Keisel to replace von Oelhoffen at defensive end, and signed Ryan Clark of the Washington Redskins to fill the free safety position. I have a feeling that the Redskins are going to regret their decision to pay Randel-El $34 million over seven years while letting a safety go for what is certain to be a fraction of that cost. (As of this time, little info exists on the amount of money these deals are worth.)

Pittsburgh-Post Gazette story on recent Steelers moves.

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