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Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman Battling for More than Playing Time, Could Be Battling for a Contract Extension

June 10th, 2013 at 10:57 PM
By Mark Mihalko

Last offseason, running backs Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer battled for playing time for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as Rashard Mendenhall was recovering from his ACL injury. This offseason, those same two backs could be locked in a battle for a contract extension.

'Steeler Training Camp 2010' photo (c) 2010, RJ Schmidt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
When the Steelers spent a second round pick on Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell, the team said that 2013 would be the final season for one of their two restricted free agent backs. Sure, in a perfect world they would keep both backs, but with their salary cap issues this season and into the future, the math just does not add up.

During the draft, it was rumored that the Steelers potentially put Dwyer on the trading block and they could potentially deal him or Redman during camp. More than likely, if they do decide to deal one of the two, the other could be inline for a contract extension. Dwyer may be an enticing pick-up for a team looking for a power back. The Steelers leading rusher in 2012, he does run with an attitude and has enough short area quickness to make people miss. The 5-11, 229 pound was banged-and-bruised, and could not seem to maintain his stamina throughout an entire drive, but he finally appears to have turned the corner in his career.  

Redman has been a fan favorite since the Steelers signed him as an undrafted rookie. In 2012, he looked poised to seize the starting role until injuries in training camp derailed him. the 6-0, 230 pound bruiser may not be the typical change of pace or third down back, but he is a better receiver than Dwyer and could take on that role if Bell wins the starting job. In 2012, he rushed for 410 yards on 110 carries and 2 touchdowns while adding 19 receptions for 244 yards. His versatility in the passing game could also make him an enticing pick-up for a franchise if the Steelers made him available.

With OTAs in the books and mini-camp on the horizon, this is an interesting battle that could have long-term implications for the Steelers roster. At this point, both players will make the roster in 2013 and both should see a lot of action. Which one is on the roster in 2014, that answer may not be seen for some time.

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Tags: Football, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

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