Saturday, March 03, 2007

Davenport Remains with Steelers --
And Other Free Agent News

With T.J. Duckett's release from Washington some (including us) thought that the Steelers would go after a BIG running back to complement All-Pro Willie Parker. However, the team instead chose to go with someone they already knew well and signed Najeh Davenport to a two year contract.

Signed after the first game off the 2006 season, Mr. Davenport rushed for 221 yards on 60 carries -- a per rush average higher than Jerome Bettis' in 2005 -- and energized the kickoff return team. In fact he lead all Steelers' kick returners with 448 yards.

Despite the positives the Steelers are putting a great deal of faith in a player who has a significant history of injuries -- both in college and the pros. As Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic pointed out last October Mr. Davenport missed significant amounts of time in 2003, 2005, and 2005. While it would be great if that extended run of bad luck was firmly in the past, the most important player on the Steelers' roster at the start of the 2007 season may be the third-string running back.

Meanwhile in other news, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that the Miami Dolphins are interested in signing former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter.

Of course the "source" for that is Mr. Porter's agent, so one has to wonder. Moreover, the Dolphins have Channing Crowder at the right outside linebacker position (103 tackles, 1 sack) so one has to wonder if Mr. Porter is prepared to move to the left side where, theoretically, he would replace incumbent Donnie Spragan (and would upgrade Dom Capers' defense).

Finally, the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Browns have thrown some more money at the horror that is their offensive line by signing former Cincinnati Bengal Eric Steinbach. With the injury to LeCharles Bentley -- last offseason's prize acquisition -- looking to be career-ending, it seems as though the Browns believed that they had little choice but to go back into the free agent pool one more time.

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