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Steelers Free Agency

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With LaMarr Woodley having received the franchise tag, cornerback Ike Taylor is the most prominent of 17 remaining Steelers free agents. Here's a look at the most critical.

CB Ike Taylor
When the Steelers didn't offer an extension last off-season, it appeared as though they were ready to like Taylor walk. But with only three corners under contract and no cldar replacement on the roster, Taylor may be in for a nice payday without having to change uniforms.

CB William Gay
Forty-eight tackles, two sacks, and 11 passes defended proved Gay's worth as a nickleback in his fourth NFL season. The 26-year-old cornerback also forced a fumble against Buffalo this season.  He's not an NFL starter buth with only three corners under contract, don't rule out his return.

RB Mewelde Moore
Moore still a good receiver out of the backfield, provides depth in the return-game and is better in blitz pick-up than any other Steelers back. His return will be a financial decision based on the other available options - for both the team and Moore.

QB Dennis Dixon
With Ben Roethlisberger suspended and Byron Leftwich hurt, Dixon's two starts (prior to his ankle injury) this season may have amounted to an audition for other NFL teams. However, with an aging Charlie Batch as the only other quarterback on the roster, Dixon could challenge Leftwich for the back-up job if he returns.

OT Willie Colon
The offensive tackle never set foot on the field with the Steelers this season as he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in June while working out. However, Colon blossomed into the team's best lineman (before Maurkice Pouncey was drafted) since he filled in for Max Starks in Weeks 16 and 17 of the 2006 season. He actually traveled with the team throughout the 2011 season and with an offensive line that has been decimated by injury, expect the team to try to keep Colon.

OG/OT Trai Essex
The fact that Essex was unable to emerge as a starter this season despite injuries at every position aside from center should be considered the writing on the wall. He is unlikely to return.

OT Jonathan Scott
In his first year with Pittsburgh, Scott played all 16 regular season games and started in nine after Max Starks was lost to injury. He's best utilized in a back-up role and if willie Colon is healthy he could be back for another one-year deal.  

OT Tony Hills
Hills didn't dress very often in his third season despite the fact that the Steelers were ravaged by injury at tackle.

P Daniel Sepulveda
After signing a one-year deal last April, Sepulveda posted an average of 45.5 yards on 56 punts. Sepulveda was placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL against the Baltimore Ravens, and he was missed dearly after the injury. But the soundness of the knee is a major question after three tears in six years.

TE Matt Spaeth
With 14 games and 13 starts, the tight end notched 9 receptions for 80 yards and 1 touchdown. Spaeth missed Weeks 12 and 13 against the Bills and the Ravens with a concussion.

DE Nick Eason
While Eason might not have started every game, he has played in every one this season. The fourth-year Steelers’ defensive end has contributed 16 tackles and 1.5 sacks.  

DT Chris Hoke
He'll be 35 next season but still provided solid depth behind Casey Hampton. If he doesn't retire, it's not hard to imagine Hoke signing a one-year deal in Pittsburgh.

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