The Steelers didn't give Fair a signing bonus, so if he doesn't make the team in 2004, he costs them nothing. If he does make the squad, he costs them a measly $450,000, which is next to nothing when you consider Fair was once a first-round draft choice.
The Steelers weren't high on Fair when he came to the NFL out of Tennessee. They considered him a first-round talent as a return man, but not as a coverage corner.
But before injuries sidetracked him, he proved to be a great return man and at least an average NFL starter.
Does he have anything left? We'll find out over the course of the next four or five months.
Remember, Tyrone Poole, another former first-round pick who bounced around from team to team because he was considered too small to play the game, is making significant contributions for the New England Patriots this season.
They claimed him off the scrap heap for the same next-to-nothing price
the Steelers paid for Fair.
Before Colbert joined the Steelers, the team never gave out one-year deals. Owner Dan Rooney didn't believe in them.
But Colbert surprised him one day in his first season by signing Courtney Hawkins to a one-year deal.
Rooney wasn't happy about it, but has seen the light to these kind of cap-friendly situations. There's nothing wrong with signing a player who is at the end of his career or has something to prove to a one-year contract and seeing how things work out.
It certainly beats signing them to a multi-year deal and not having
things work out. Those are salary cap killers.
That means if the Steelers want Rivers, they'll have to take him with the
Given the way they've handled free agency, picking through other people's scraps, the Pats will probably stay where they're at and still get a quality running back.
There's no panic in that front office.
Why? What Carolina did is easier.
It's much easier to find a running back to pound the ball than it is to
find a quarterback like Tom Brady.
Dillon is every bit the runner Davis is, maybe better. But he comes with a lot of baggage.
Staley, meanwhile, has never been the runner Davis is, but is a tough between-the-tackles runner.
But both are approaching 30 fast, so whatever team brings them in will have to look at them as one or two-year fixes.
Will the Steelers be interested? Certainly. But the cost may drive both runners out of their price range.