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Pittsburgh Steelers Reportedly Lose Emmanuel Sanders; Schedule Visit with Free Agent Running Back James Starks

March 15th, 2014 at 11:00 PM
By Mark Mihalko
On Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted that unrestricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is expected to sign with the Denver Broncos. While the Pittsburgh Steelers were Longshot's to retain him, his signing could continue to drive up the cost of veteran Jerricho Cotchery.
'Steelers vs. Bills' photo (c) 2007, Cynthia Closkey - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Even though the NFLPA gives the Steelers credit for more salary cap room than expected after the signing of Cam Thomas ($3.4 million), they clearly cannot afford to get into a bidding war for Cotchery. Unfortunately, they may have to, as he may be the most important unrestricted free agent that must return from 2013. 
 
With that limited space until June 2, one has to wonder if it played a role in the discussions with free agent Alex Carrington, who visited on Friday. According to reports, it was a positive visit, but no contact was signed. 
 
The same may happen this week when the Steelers meet with Green Bay Packers free agent running back James Starks. With the loss of Jonathan Dwyer depth is definitely needed in the backfield, but money could be an issue.  Although the team cannot afford to break the bank for a back-up running back, they must find at least one capable veteran to help Le'Veon Bell and Status could be just that player.
 
While he has never been an elite back, Starks has flashed potential and would be a solid compliment to Bell. More importantly, he has been at his best in the playoffs (and Super Bowl); a fact that could pay dividends in crucial contests moving forward.
 
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Tags: Alex Carrington, Denver Broncos, Emmanuel Sanders, Football, Green Bay Packers, James Starks, Jerricho Cotchery, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, salary cap

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