Pittsburgh Steelers Rumors & News

Updated 2018 NFL Draft Order

With the conference championship games in the books, we now know the draft order for 30 of the first round’s 32 picks. Here’s the rundown:

1. Cleveland Browns (0-16)

2. New York Giants (3-13)

3. Indianapolis Colts (4-12)

4. Cleveland Browns (via the 4-12 Houston Texans)

5. Denver Broncos (5-11)

6. New York Jets (5-11)

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)

8. Chicago Bears (5-11)

T-9. Oakland Raiders (6-10)

T-9. San Francisco 49ers (6-10) (Note: The Raiders and 49ers have identical records and the same strength of schedule. The tie will be broken by a coin flip with the winner getting pick No. 9 and the other club receiving the No. 10 pick.)

11. Miami Dolphins (6-10)

12. Cincinnati Bengals (7-9)

13. Washington Redskins (7-9)

14. Green Bay Packers (7-9)

15. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)

16. Baltimore Ravens (9-7)

17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)

18. Seattle Seahawks (9-7)

19. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)

20. Detroit Lions (9-7)

21. Buffalo Bills (9-7)

22. Buffalo Bills (via the 10-6 Kansas City Chiefs)

23. Los Angeles Rams (11-5)

24. Carolina Panthers (11-5)

25. Tennessee Titans (9-7)

26. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)

27. New Orleans Saints (11-5)

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)

30. Minnesota Vikings (13-3)

31. (New England Patriots (13-3) or Philadelphia Eagles (13-3))

32. (New England Patriots (13-3) or Philadelphia Eagles (13-3))

Latest On Le’Veon Bell, Steelers

It’s safe to say that the Steelers and Le’Veon Bell are not in a good place right now. Bell arrived late for the Steelers’ playoff game against the Jaguars last week and missed almost all of the walk-through on the day prior, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hears. Le'Veon Bell (vertical)

Bell made waves earlier this month when he said that he would retire if the Steelers use the franchise tag on him for the second consecutive season. It’s hard to imagine Bell walking away from the game in the midst of his prime, but the Steelers might not want to invest $14.57MM in him for an additional season knowing that he could pull similar stunts. He’s also not doing himself any favors in regards to getting a lucrative long-term deal out of the organization.

Last year, Bell reportedly turned down a deal with an average annual value of $12MM per year and upwards of $30MM over the first two years. Some reports indicated that Bell’s agent was pushing for him to take the deal when the running back declined the offer at the last minute.

It will eventually come down to me playing on the tag or not,” Bell said on Jan. 11. “They tag me again, it will be me [saying], ‘OK, do I want to play on the tag or do I not want to play on the tag?’ That’s what it comes down to. If I was a free agent and they let me go, be a free agent, then yeah, I’m going to go explore free agency, test the market.”

Bell finished out 2017 with 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 85 passes for 655 yards and two scores en route a First-Team All-Pro nod.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ward Named In Steelers' WRs Coach Search?

  • The Browns finishing the process of hiring an OC without meeting with ex-Steelers play-caller Todd Haley would make for a big surprise, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. Haley’s also been connected to the Jets’ OC job.
  • Speculation swirled about a Hines Ward hire to run the Steelers‘ wide receivers group, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. But the Steelers instead hired Darryl Drake, a 14-season NFL coaching veteran who coached Ward at Georgia. Ward worked with the Steelers as a coaching intern last summer.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/19/18

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Arizona Cardinals

  • LB Praise Martin-Oguike

Oakland Raiders

  • LS Andrew East

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • S Malik Golden
  • LB Darnell Leslie
  • P Matt Wile

Tennessee Titans

  • QB Tyler Ferguson

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 1/18/18

Here are today’s workout updates, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer.

Baltimore Ravens

Jacksonville Jaguars

Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers Promote Randy Fichtner To OC

The Steelers have promoted quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner to offensive coordinator. The news was first reported by Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Randy Fichtner (vertical)

[RELATED: Ben Roethlisberger To Play 3 More Years?]

This was the anticipated outcome after the team allowed Todd Haley‘s contract to expire. Fichtner has a good working relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and the same could not be said for Big Ben and Haley. Given the rumblings of serious discord between the QB and Haley, it wouldn’t be surprising if Roethlisberger played a hand in the coaching switch.

Fichtner, 54, spent his career in the college ranks from 1986-2006. In 2007, he joined the Steelers as their wide receivers coach. In 2010, he was re-assigned as the QBs coach and held down that job for eight seasons. With a total of eleven years working alongside Mike Tomlin, Fichtner is well-versed in the Steelers’ way of doing things.

Former Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson was also said to be in the mix for the job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Steelers, Haley, Dolphins

Here’s a look at the AFC:

  • Quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner is considered the favorite to take over for Todd Haley as the Steelers‘ new offensive coordinator, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Rapoport notes that Fichtner is close with offensive line coach Mike Munchak as well as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which could give him the leg up. However, no decision has been made yet.
  • Kirby Wilson, the Steelers‘ running backs coach under Mike Tomlin during his first seven seasons with Pittsburgh, is another candidate to replace Haley as OC, Ed Bouchette of the Post Gazette (on Twitter) hears. Interestingly, Munchak’s name has not come up as a OC candidate yet, even though he declined a second interview with the Cardinals on Wednesday.
  • Former Denver assistant head coach/running backs Eric Studesville is headed to the Dolphins as running backs coach/run game coordinator (Twitter link via Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com). Studesville has ties to Dolphins head coach Adam Gase since both men were on the Broncos’ staff together both under Josh McDaniels and John Fox.

Steelers To Hire New Offensive Coordinator

The Steelers are allowing offensive coordinator Todd Haley to walk now that his contract has expired, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The team will now look to hire a new OC. Todd Haley (vertical)

[RELATED: Ben Roethlisberger To Play 3 More Years?]

The Steelers may have a couple of in-house candidates to replace Haley. One is quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, who was previously assigned to act as a “buffer” between Ben Roethlisberger and Haley on the sidelines. The other is offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who appears to have withdrawn his name from consideration for the Cardinals’ head coaching vacancy.

On the whole, Haley’s offense has been a success in Pittsburgh, but his bickering with Big Ben and off-the-field incidents have tested the patience of his superiors. Haley’s latest unfortunate headline came when he suffered a shattered pelvis during a barroom brawl on New Year’s Eve.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mike Munchak Declines Second Interview With Cardinals

Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak has turned down the chance for a second head coaching interview with the Cardinals, a source tells Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link). With Munchak out of consideration for the job, Patriots linebacker coach Brian Flores is now a leading candidate for the job. Mike Munchak (vertical)

It’s not immediately clear why Munchak has removed himself from consideration for the Cardinals job. As PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker shows, Munchak is also a candidate for the Giants’ head coaching vacancy, but that job likely belongs to Pat Shurmur. With rumors swirling about Todd Haley‘s departure, one has to wonder if Munchak is in the mix to become the Steelers’ new offensive coordinator.

Munchak went just 22-26 in three seasons as the Titans’ head coach, but was said to have made a great impression on Cardinals brass. The Cardinals will now dig deeper into Flores – despite his lack of coordinator experience – as well as Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.