Steelers Notebook: Team offers Leftwich 2-year deal

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The Steelers issued a contract offer this week to quarterback Byron Leftwich, who spent yesterday visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The two-year offer from the Steelers is close to minimum wage for Leftwich, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. The minimum for him would be $620,000 in 2009 and $755,000 in '10.

Leftwich, though, prefers a one-year contract if he returns to the Steelers. He signed a one-year contract with them in August after Charlie Batch's clavicle was broken in a preseason game.

Leftwich and Batch are unrestricted free agents, and coach Mike Tomlin said he'd like to have both return. Batch has continued to work out with the Steelers this spring; Leftwich has been working out in Florida.

Leftwich's visit to the Buccaneers was his second in less than a week. He visited the Washington Redskins Friday.

4 more guests

Three cornerbacks and one outside linebacker visited the Steelers yesterday as they continue to inspect draft prospects. The cornerbacks were Donald Washington of Ohio State, Don Carey of Norfolk State and Sherrod Martin of Troy. Lawrence Sidbury, an outside linebacker from Richmond, joined them at the Steelers' UPMC training facility.

Former Steeler acquitted

Former Steelers tight end Jonathan Dekker has been acquitted of an obstruction of justice charge in Virginia, but it still proved costly.

Dekker was arrested after an incident in Alexandria's Old Town Jan. 24, a week before the Super Bowl. He was on the Steelers' injured-reserve list at the time and, after his arrest, he was not permitted to join his teammates in Tampa. The Steelers dropped him after the season.

According to The Associated Press, the charge against him was lodged after he fled police and gave them a false name after they caught him. An officer had told Dekker he was going to arrest him for public drunkenness, and the player said he ran because he did not want to distract the Steelers by getting arrested.

Schedule comes out Tuesday

The NFL announced that it will release its entire 2009 schedule Tuesday.


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