November 18, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (36) runs after a catch in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agency: LaRod Stephens-Howling, 2 others to visit


As the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to look for pieces for the 2013 season, three more players have paid the team a visit on Wednesday, including a local product.

Former Pitt running back LaRod Stephens-Howling was one of the three that visited, along with linebacker Tavares Gooden and offensive guard Antoine Caldwell are also in town to visit, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Nov 4, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (36) during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Stephens-Howling is an excellent special teams player who will help out on returns, but he’s more of a third-down back even though he did fill in admirably for the Arizona Cardinals last season when he got his opportunity to start a few games. However he is more of a depth piece and not the answer.

The Steelers need a starter with only Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman in the backfield, but with only $2.5 million of salary cap space, that guy is likely to come from the draft.

They are still interested in free agent Ahmad Bradshaw, but Bradshaw is still recovering from foot surgery and the team will re-visit the idea in a couple of weeks. But even if they want to pursue signing Bradshaw, there are still the salary cap problems that could prevent them from doing so.

As for the others, Gooden is a five year veteran who spent his first three NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and the past two years with the San Francisco 49ers. He has started 12 of a career 57 games played and has 90 career tackles in five seasons. If signed, Gooden would be a depth piece at best.

The same goes for Caldwell who has started 19-of-39 career games with the Houston Texans.

If the Steelers were to sign Caldwell, it would likely be strictly to add depth as they seem content going forward with some young talent across the offensive line.

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals LaRod Stephens-Howling NFL Free Agency 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers Tavares Gooden

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