Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Steelers Sign Center Justin Hartwig

The Steelers announced today that they have agreed to a contract with free agent center Justin Hartwig. The deal is for 2 years, $4 million, with a $975,000 signing bonus.

In this day and age $2 million a year for a potential starter is a paltry sum to pay. Furthermore, if they don't like what they see, the Steelers can release Hartwig at minimal cost since the signing bonus is so low and the length of the contract is so short. In that respect, it's hard to dislike this deal. Hartwig provides a nice hedge in case 2nd year man Darnell Stapleton can't win the starting job. The Steelers like Stapleton a lot, but it might be asking a bit much of an undrafted rookie free agent to anchor the Steelers offensive line in his 2nd year. Having a proven commidity who has started 63 games in his career is nice to have. For sure, he'll be an upgrade over Sean Mahan, and thus the "Mahan at center" experiment can come to an end after only one season. For that, we can all be thankful.

In terms of the draft, the signing shouldn't alter the Steelers approach in the first round. No center was worth drafting that high anyways, and there are still holes at the guard position, making Brendan Albert out of Virginia and logical and sound choice. However, the Steelers had been rumored to be very interested in Arizona State's Mike Pollak, who is projected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round. Chances are that Pollak no longer fits in the Steelers plan.

End of Post

1 comment:

Dirkman said...

sorry sambo and the rest of happy valley...looks like pryor is abandoning his home state, rebelling against his father's good wishes and will be at OSU. Nothing against pryor, he is incredible to watch, however, i just dont see the logic behind committing to a school that makes to the BCS championship seemingly every year and losses.