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Colts, Arians interested in Leftwich


Bruce Arians will have a franchise quarterback to work with in Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III within a few weeks, but that hasn’t prevented him for taking a run at veteran free agent quarterback Byron Leftwich.

Per a league source, the Indianapolis Colts, headed by Arians, are pursuing Leftwich to help teach Luck or Griffin the offensive scheme Arians brings with him after five years as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator.

Leftwich, 32, spent three years with the Steelers from 2008 and again in 2010-11 under Arians. Leftwich is considered a student of the game and an excellent teacher, which is what is attractive to Arians.

Leftwich is an unrestricted free agent and would like to return to the Steelers. The Steelers also want Leftwich to return to backup Ben Roethlisberger, however, the Steelers are only about $6 million under the salary cap and still need to address the wide receiver and running back positions in free agency, lock up receiver Mike Wallace long term and sign their draft picks.

Still, Leftwich might not cost the Steelers a lot. The veteran minimum for Leftwich would be $825,000, but would only cost $540,000 against the Steelers’ cap. The Colts could offer Leftwich significantly more money as they are reportedly $10.6 million under the cap as of March 30.

Also, Leftwich could have a better chance of seeing playing time if he signs with the Colts even though the organization would’ve drafted a quarterback with the top overall pick and also traded for Drew Stanton within a month.

Leftwich has played in only six games for the Steelers in three years. He missed all of last year with a broken arm he suffered during the preseason. He was supposed to start for the suspended Roethlisberger in 2010, but hurt his knee in the final preseason game.

Leftwich, the seventh overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003, has 58 career touchdowns in 49 career starts.

Leftwich will likely make his decision before the NFL draft at the end of the month.
If Leftwich does sign with the Colts, it would ensure the Steelers re-signing veteran Charlie Batch.

The Steelers only have two quarterbacks currently under contract behind Roethlisberger – former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and Jerrod Johnson, both of whom were signed to future contracts this offseason.

Unrestricted free agent Dennis Dixon will not be back with the Steelers.

By Mark Kaboly

Twitter: @MarkKaboly_Trib

Posted: 4/3/2012 – 12:36 p.m.


Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug


  1. Carl says:

    Bruce Wisenhunt anyone? or do you prefer Ken Arians?

  2. Rob says:

    I predict that Drew Stanton will go Ryan Leaf on the Colts if they sign Leftwich.

  3. David says:

    let me get this straight, Bruce wants our team, and Ken wants our team, WTF, ca’t they go draft and use what they have on thier own roster who already knows the system, already creating animosity by not looking within your own club walls to finda good fit!. OMG! every year they raid out kitchen!……

  4. Roy says:

    Gee Batch can ask for the moon, he won’t but he could. How can they not have any QBs?

  5. David says:

    you can’t take Mercede Benz parts and co-mix it with a Pinto……. lol, Arizona Steelers, and now the Indianapolis Steelers…… will the real head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, please stand up!…. tha’d be me. Mike Tomlin, and I am the real head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers….

  6. Bsteel says:

    We will not let NIKE change the Steelers unis. Period.

    Start the letter-writing–e-mailing–tweeting campaign right now.

    NIKE will not change the Steelers unis.

    NIKE, hear me now or listen to me later: If you touch the Steelers unis then you can expect all heck to break loose.

    We’re talking fire and brimstone–real Biblical stuff.

    Are you listening Rooneys, Steelers, ‘Burghers, Fans?

    DO NOT TOUCH THE STEELERS UNIS, you perverted fruitcakes.

    If you think that the “occupiers” are pesky, foul-smelling, ignoramous, products of the American education system, then just you touch the Steelers unis!

    Occupiers will be reprogrammed to destroy NIKE, and its descendents, and to spread salt upon the grounds of NIKE that nothing may grow there.

    It is written.

  7. Carl says:

    Don’t worry Bro, the Uni’s aren’t changing in any real dicernable way, at least for us. A good thing…

  8. 6 TONS OF STEEL says:

    Why can’t we get American made uniforms and equipment for the Nfl? Nike and Reebok make their products in sweat shops in China, Korea,Mexico and Vietnamn.

  9. 6 TONS OF STEEL says:

    All this woo woo about uniforms for arguably the USA’s most popular sport and the crap is made over seas.

  10. 6 TONS OF STEEL says:

    Don’t buy NIKE!!

  11. Rick says:

    Occupiers are a bunch of freeloaders!

  12. Can anyone explain what a futures contract is? i know we pick up two highly thought of players in Derrick williams and Myron Rolle to the but do they count against the cap.

  13. Bob Roberts says:

    Rick if you are so against free speach you may want to check out china. they don’t allow people to demonstrate.
    AFC North and Nike, two words for you… bungles and ratbirds. have at their uniforms. they look like UFL castoffs anyway.

  14. David says:

    Nike are slave drivers…..

  15. jason says:

    football talk anyone?

  16. David says:

    I looked at the new uniforms online and I’m not liking it, I really don’t Luke the material they use, and when its hot those players are gonna suffer, and same for when it gets cold, don’t know why they were picked to do this but Nike ships all their work over seas for 25 cents per hour this making them slave drivers…. I won’t buy them knowing the kind of material being used.

  17. David says:

    If you ask me, Nike makes some of the ugliest clothing in the world….

  18. David says:

    What’s this! The NFL have a Carolina/Steelers fetish for preseason, this is like 5th consecutive year … We want competition not a scrimage.

  19. Imp'n'Arn says:

    No Mike Wallace news for days now. I’d say that means his people and the Steelers people are talking contract. If he were visiting teams or even talking with them, That would be all over the Steelers blogs. I bet they sign Cotchery, too. Add Coby Fleener (pleeez!) and the Steelers have the Greatest Show on Dirt.

    Does anyone know if a Steelers offense has ever had a nickname?

  20. Carl says:

    I’n’A – No nicknames for us offensively in the past. I like your TE choice in Fleener there tho. He will totally be available when we pick too. Miller is an all-around type TE, but this dude can flat out get open. Plus, with him, we’ve addressed the need for jump ball type reciever (He’s 6’6

  21. Pants-n-at says:

    Arians is just trying to jack up the price to sign Leftwich.

  22. David says:

    As for the name offensively, we used to be known as 3n’out back in the bubby brister days….

  23. David says:

    Them brister days were a nightmare, so if you were to ask me. Brister or O’Donnel, it mist def would be odonnel ….

  24. Scott P says:

    You should post a formal apology to Ken Whisenhunt. Using his and Arians’ names interchangeably is a rude and uncalled for insult to coach Whiz!!

    The Colts offense is going to fail miserably. I can’t wait to witness the carnage.

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