The start of free agency is usually a quiet time for the Steelers In most years – like this one – they are trying to clear cap space instead of spending big money on free agents. If you missed the news yesterday, Mike Wallace cashed in on a deal with the Miami Dolphins that officially makes Antonio Brown the teams No. 1 receiver.
The Steelers were able to re-sign Larry Foote to a three-year deal – the team’s biggest move so far – as well as Plaxico Burress, David Johnson, Isaac Redman, Jon Dwyer, Steve McClendon and Emmanuel Sanders.
This morning, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the Steelers have also signed Pittsburgh native Bruce Gradkowski to a three-year deal to backup Ben Roethlisberger. The Seton-La Salle alumnus most recently played with the Cincinnati Bengals backing up Andy Dalton.
The 30-year-old journeyman had one of his signature games in Week 13 of the 2009 season against the Steelers. Gradkowski led the Raiders to a 27-24 upset over Pittsburgh as he hit Louis Murphy for a 11-yard touchdown as the time ticked down. Gradkowski went 20-33 for 308 yards and three touchdowns on the day.
For his career, Gradkowski has 4,057 yards passing with 21 touchdowns and 24 interceptions for a 65.8 lifetime QB rating.
With the signing, it means the end of either the Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich era. For my money, y0u can say goodbye to Leftwich.
Free agent linebacker and Penn State alumnus Dan Connor is also scheduled to visit the Steelers today.
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