By Eric Schmidt

The Pittsburgh Steelers have some questions surrounding their running back position in 2012. According to various reports, Pittsburgh does not expect RB Rashard Mendenhall to contribute in 2012 with sources stating that the club does not expect the running back to contribute on the field until 2013. The problem for the Steelers is that Mendenhall will be a free agent after this coming season.

The current Steelers roster is stocked with youthful but inexperienced running backs. Currently, the Steelers would likely head into 2012 with Isaac Redman as the penciled in starter provided the club makes no moves at running back. Redman had 110 carries for 479 yards and three scores in 2011 for the Steelers.

Pittsburgh has spent most of the free agency period, juggling their roster, releasing veteran players in order to free up salary cap monies while trying to determine what to do with WR Mike Wallace. Rumored to have interest in free agent RB Mike Tolbert, Pittsburgh has made no moves toward addressing the potential need. Perhaps the Steelers could fill the need by executing a trade with the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina is arguably the deepest team in the NFL at the running back position currently. With DeAngleo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and Mike Goodson, Stewart might be a candidate for a possible trade.Stewart, 25, has one year remaining on his rookie contract and has been a highly effective running back, despite splitting carries with RB DeAngelo Williams.

Stewart has rushed for 3,500 yards and scored 26 touchdowns in the last four seasons while recording a 4.8 yard per carry average. Stewart would likely come with a high draft pick associated with him however. The asking price for Stewart could be a low first-round to high second rounder.

Given the current financial situation the Steelers find themselves, coupled with the need to rebuild an aging team, it’s possible that the Steelers would steer clear of having to surrender a high draft choice on Stewart. But I’d expect them to inquire as to the asking price.

Carolina would be wise to get whatever they can for Stewart this season though. The Oregon product will be a free agent in 2013 and the team will likely be unwilling to offer him a long-term high dollar deal with DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert currently under contract.

 

 

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. avatar rob henderson

    FIrst, A first round pick for a used running back? I dont think so! Unless it was for AP before injury.
    However, a second rounder or a win win solution for both teams.
    Because Pittsburgh can accept alternate compensation for Wallace then they can Negotiate the following. Panthers send Their #1 & Stewart for Steelers #1 and Wallace. Both teams get what they want/need and keep a pick in the first round .

     
    • avatar Anthony

      Are you kidding Wallace is going to be one of the next best wide outs they will not give him up for jonathan..

       
  2. avatar Keith

    It’s a good thought but will never happen. He carries a huge price tag and would have to take a massive pay cut for any other team to afford him.

    RB’s are not worth 1st round picks you just seen Marshal a pro bowl WR go for 2 3rd rounders. I would expect a 3rd rounder to be his worth. Even RB’s like Ray Rice were 2nd round picks they just dont get taken high.

    Redmen is a good RB i thought Tolbert was the answer they could of said look we give you a 1 year deal you put up a monster season as the starter then go somewhere and get a big pay day. Hillis os one more you could of got cheap 1 year deal so he can prove himself.

    Benson is a FA and would be a good 1 year gap guy IMO.

     

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