Steelers make no splash in NFL free-agent market

Landry Jones

Landry Jones has made four starts in four seasons, completing 24 of 37 passes for 277 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against the Browns in the 2016 season finale

David Johnson

David Johnson, an eight-year veteran, had seven receptions for 80 yards in 2016

On the opening day of free agency, the Steelers didn’t quite make a splash play.

It was more like skipping across a puddle.

They simply signed two backups: quarterback Landry Jones and blocking tight end David Johnson, reports Joe Rutter.

This is the Steelers way.

They sign their own first. They already made a major splash by signing All-Pro Antonio Brown to a five-year contract worth $72 million, making him the NFL’s highest-paid receiver. They placed the franchise tag on team MVP Le’Veon Bell, making him the NFL’s highest-paid running back. They re-signed 38-year-old outside linebacker James Harrison, their sacks leader both all-time and last season. They also made minor moves, like re-signing long snapper Greg Warren and backup linebacker Steven Johnson.

They also allowed one player to leave via free agency:

And another could be on his way out:

Lawrence Timmons was the first player drafted by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, a 10-year veteran who led the team in tackles at inside linebacker. The Steelers signed Vince Williams last year, signaling that Timmons’ time with the team could be nearing an end. That would be the biggest blow to a defense that ranked 21st in the NFL in yards allowed (342.6) and 23rd in points per game (20.4).

So, did the Steelers get better?

Unless they make a surprise move, it appears that’s a question they will have to answer with the draft.

IN BRADENTON

Jose Osuna

At 24, Jose Osuna isn’t a marquee prospect but his stock is rising because of his power

Pirates prospect Jose Osuna, who has four homers in 20 spring training at-bats, is on the rise, writes Chris Adamski.

Starling Marte ankle

Starling Marte hit second base awkwardly, injuring his ankle

In the Pirates notebook, Starling Marte was scratched from the Dominican Republic lineup because of an ankle injury, writes Adamski.

In his From the Cheap Seats blog, Adamski writes that time when Jeromy Burnitz starred for Clint Hurdle in Williamsport.

Adamski’s breakdown: Pirates 10, Ray 8

ON THE ICE

Jake Guentzel v Islanders

Jake Guentzel ranks first among the Penguins’ prospects under the age of 23

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford ‘feels good’ about the team’s young prospects, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

In the Penguins notebook, enforcer Tom Sestito drew a four-game suspension for boarding.

A REMINDER