POSTED: 03:41 p.m. HST, Mar 12, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 03:44 p.m. HST, Mar 12, 2013
PITTSBURGH >> The Pittsburgh Steelers are sticking with what they know.
The Steelers re-signed linebacker Larry Foote, wide receiver Plaxico Burress and tight end David Johnson today while also tendering offers to four restricted free agents.
Foote, 32, agreed to a three-year deal while the 35-year-old Burress will stick around for 2013. Foote and Burress join offensive lineman Ramon Foster as potential free agents who opted to remain in Pittsburgh rather than test the open market. Foster agreed to a three-year contract on Monday.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The signings give the Steelers some stability in key spots. Foote started all 16 games at inside linebacker last season and his return allows the Steelers to bring former third-round pick Sean Spence back slowly from a devastating knee injury suffered at the end of the 2012 preseason. The 11-year veteran was his typically steady self for the NFL’s top-ranked defense, finishing with four sacks and 113 tackles.
Foote made $3 million in 2012 and expressed a desire to return to Pittsburgh at the end of a disappointing 8-8 season. If he had chosen to play elsewhere, the Steelers would have to find two new starting linebackers after they cut 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison on Saturday.
Burress should provide depth after the Steelers lost Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Wallace to Miami. Burress struggled to get onto the field after returning to the Steelers last November. The hope he would quickly regain his rapport with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger never materialized. He caught just three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown in three games and was made inactive three times.