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FoxSports.com: NFL Free Agency Report Card

28 of 34

Pittsburgh Steelers

Impact moves: Placing a first-round tender on restricted free agent Mike Wallace is proving genius for the Steelers. His inability to sign an offer sheet elsewhere means the Steelers will keep the standout wide receiver for 2012 at a $2.7 million salary.

Significant losses: Like with Indianapolis, the Steelers purged some of their long-time veterans. Linebacker James Farrior and wide receiver Hines Ward were both cut. Defensive linemen Aaron Smith and Chris Hoke are also headed toward retirement.

Top draft need: The Steelers need a big-bodied defensive lineman to groom as a potential replacement for 34-year-old nose tackle Casey Hampton. Inside linebacker might be targeted with Farrior now gone (Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw took a pre-draft visit). Running back could become an early priority with Rashard Mendenhall having suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in early January.

Analysis: Pittsburgh entered the offseason with enough salary-cap trouble that several player contracts were restructured to create room. The Steelers have most of their top talent back, but the offense could look much different under new coordinator Todd Haley than pass-heavy predecessor Bruce Arians.

Grade: C
- Alex Marvez (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Courtesy of FOXSports.com



The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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