Randle El To Move into Burress' Spot

WR Antwaan Randle El will move into Plaxico Burress' spot at split end next season.

Unless the team drafts a speed receiver they believe can play the position. They will not pursue a top-line receiver in free agency.

WR Plaxico Burress' days in Pittsburgh seemingly are over.

Although the Steelers and Burress' agent have said they want to keep the doors open for the big wide receiver to return, it's extremely unlikely. Burress wants two things the Steelers cannot give enough to him -- money and pass receptions.

Pittsburgh passed on making him their franchise player and having him count $7,768,000 against their salary cap. The Steelers also are not willing to pay Burress the kind of money he'll be seeking as an unrestricted free agent.

"It's not because they don't want Plax, it's more financial," said Michael Harrison, Burress' agent. "That's a lot of money to tie them under now. It's near impossible."

Burress expects a signing bonus of more than $10 million. The Steelers have never paid one that high and they are not about to start with Burress, who has been inconsistent through the years. He's never made a Pro Bowl and has never led his own team in receiving. He drops too many passes, does not run well after the catch and falls down too often.

Steeler Notes: 
  • S Ainsley Battles, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, made the team in training camp but was placed on injured reserve and may not return.
  • S Tyrone Carter, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, joined the team during the season because of injuries. He likely won't be back.
  • TE Walter Rasby, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, was a late addition to replace the injured Jay Riemersma. He won't be back.
  • SS Chris Hope, scheduled to become a restricted free agent, added speed and energy to their secondary in his first season as their starter.
  • WR Sean Morey, scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent, is strictly a special teams player.
  • S Russell Stuvaints, scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent, played a lot in their dime defense last year.


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