by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (3/11/14) Free agent safety Mike Mitchell signed a five-year deal worth $25 million with the Steelers Tuesday, at the start of the free agency period. ESPN.com confirmed the financial terms of the deal Tuesday night.
Mitchell will receive a big time increase over the $1 million he made during his breakout season for the Panthers last year, during which he record 67 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Ike Taylor stays put with Steelers
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (3/10/14) Veteran defensive back Ike Taylorannounced on Twitter he's re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday. Taylor will likely be taking a paycut with the Steelers his time around. He registered 63 tackles last season.
Troy Polamalu gets two-year extension
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (3/5/14) The Steelers gave safety Troy Polamalu a two-year contract extension, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Terms were not immediately available.
Jason Worilds signs transition tender
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (3/4/14) Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds signed his transition tag and is scheduled to make $9.75 million for the 2014 season, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. The team and Worilds have made progress in negotiating a long-term deal and "that will be the goal of both parties now," La Canfora wrote.
Nose tackle a problem for Steelers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/11/14) The Steelers are looking to upgrade the middle of their defensive line after nose tackle Steve McLendon's performance in 2013, reports ESPN.com. McLendon made his average tackle after a gain of 3.0 yards, worst of any starting nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, according to Football Outsiders.
Pittsburgh gave up 125 rushing yards per game after yielding 95 yards per game in 2012. McLendon is signed through 2015, but most expect the Steelers to take a defensive tackle early in the draft.
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You might think the Steelers DST is old and weak and not what they used to be. Technically you'd be right as they finished with worse-than-expected stats in 2012. As the 12th-ranked DST, the unit had 37 sacks but just 10 interceptions with one total touchdown. So despite holding opponents to 19.6 points per game and ranking first against the pass and second against the run, they didn't deliver. Weird, right? The unit remains mostly unchanged save for rookie Jarvis Jones replacing James Harrison and Casey Hampton no longer on the roster. The Jones addition is promising but with five starters playing in their 10th year or more and depth an issue, this unit could make Fantasy owners feel some pain. The AFC North's offenses are getting better and the Steelers defense isn't turning over fast enough, so this might be the year to not overvalue the DST. If you don't get them with a final-round pick, don't shed tears -- it only means someone else reached for them. (Updated 5/15/13)