The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t have the salary cap space to do much as the NFL free agent period is set to begin later on Tuesday afternoon, but they have taken steps to locking up some of their own free agents.
After coming to a three-year deal with free agent offensive lineman Ramon Foster on Monday, the Steelers turned their attention to running back Jonathan Dwyer, who according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, has signed the sixth round tender the Steelers placed on him over the weekend.
An upset of today: Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer signed his sixth-round tender for $1.323 million. Didn’t want to wait. Wanted to prove point.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2013
It’s interesting that Dwyer didn’t test the market, instead choosing to sign the $1.323 million tender that the Steelers placed on him.
It’s also a good sign that Dwyer looks ready to get to work, possibly becoming the Steelers featured back in 2013.
Normally restricted free agents wait a few weeks before signing their tenders as they want to establish a market for themselves, but apparently Dwyer wanted to prove a point by signing with the Steelers quickly.
He will have the opportunity to compete for top back honors as now the Steelers only have him and Baron Batch currently under contract in the backfield.
Dwyer led the Steelers in rushing in 2012, gaining 623 yards on 156 carries with two touchdowns.
The Steelers now have three restricted free agents remaining who they tendered contracts to.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders got an original-round tender, the third round in his case, and stands to make $1.323 million if he winds up playing the 2013 season under the tender. Running back Isaac Redman and defensive tackle Steve McLendon were also tendered for $1.323 million, but the Steelers only get the right of first refusal if they choose to sign somewhere else because both players entered the league as undrafted free agents.
Linebacker Stevenson Sylvester and punter Jeremy Kapinos were also restricted free agents, but the team did not tender them contracts, making them free to sign with any team.