Saftey Louis Delmas will start off his free agent tour by meeting with the Steelers, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Delmas, 26, was released by the Lions on February 13. After missing time due to injuries in 2011-12, Delmas played all 16 games in 2013, finishing with 64 tackles and three interceptions, while grading out better against the pass than the run, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Steelers‘ interest derives from two factors: the impending free agency of Ryan Clark, and the contract of Troy Polamalu. Clark is 34 years old and struggled last season, and while Polamalu is still playing at a high level, he has a cap number of approximately $10.9MM, and was listed among Joel Corry’s list of pay cut candidates. Florio suggests that signing Delmas could give the Steelers leverage when asking Polamalu to reduce his salary.
A few more notes regarding defensive backs:
- Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan struggled mightily last season, ranking as the second-worst corner in the league according to Pro Football Focus, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport speculates he could be a candidate for release (via Twitter). Cutting Finnegan would save the Rams $4MM against the cap.
- Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com responded to Rapoport’s tweet, and noted that Finnegan is guaranteed $3MM in base salary, so asking him to take a pay cut, at least initially, would make the most fiscal sense.
- Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com has an extensive breakdown of safety T.J. Ward using All-22 footage, and speculates he could be a fit for the Eagles. Ward played under Eagles coach Chip Kelly while at Oregon.
- Continuing the Eagles-safety theme, Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com takes a look at several options to improve the defensive backfield woes in Philadelphia.
- While there will be much interest in Ward, the Browns don’t intend to let him get away, according to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com.