With training camp not getting underway until late July, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to get as much business as possible out of the way so that nothing will cause the organization any distractions this summer. Earlier today, the Steelers signed their top two picks from this year’s NFL draft. Both linebacker Jarvis Jones and running back Le’Veon Bell signed four-year contracts, the terms of which were not disclosed.
These two signings came off the heels of Pittsburgh gaining $5.5 million in salary cap room as a result of the March 13th release of offensive lineman Willie Colon.
Jones and Bell are two rookies that could have an immediate impact on the Steelers’ season. Jones, who led the nation in sacks last season at the University of Georgia, could potentially uproot fellow linebacker Jason Worilds as the pass rusher on the right side of the defense. On the other side of the ball, Bell poses a threat for veteran running backs Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer for the starting spot in the backfield.
Signing these players at such an early point in the offseason shows how determined the Steelers organization is regarding getting back on track from a dismal 8-8 season. Quarterback Landry Jones and defensive end Nick Williams are the only rookies from Pittsburgh’s 2013 draft class that aren’t yet signed.
I expect that the Steelers will have deals made for their remaining two unsigned rookies very soon. Once that business is taken care of, Pittsburgh should be more than ready to accept the challenge of reclaiming their place atop the AFC North.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+