Steelers would like to get Foote back

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Antwaan Randle El isn't the only former player the Steelers would like to bring back to their roster.

They are interested in re-signing inside linebacker Larry Foote, the Post-Gazette has learned. Foote left after the 2008 season because he didn't want to be a backup to Lawrence Timmons.

The Steelers would like to bring back Foote, 29, to improve their depth and create some flexibility at the linebacker position. But the Steelers are waiting to see whether Foote, who is an unrestricted free agent after playing one season with the Detroit Lions, will still be available by the end of the week.

Foote met Monday with the Washington Redskins, where former Steelers defensive assistant Lou Spanos is the new linebackers coach. He is scheduled to meet today or Wednesday with the Arizona Cardinals, where he would be reunited with former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and several former players.

Unlike Randle El, who was close to agreeing to a three-year contract Monday night, the prospects of re-signing Foote are not as good.

Foote could not be reached for comment. His agent, Brian Levy, declined comment.

Foote asked to be released by the Steelers after the 2008 Super Bowl season because he didn't want to be a backup to Timmons. Foote was scheduled to make $2.885 million in '09 -- a steep price for a backup -- and, according to sources, did not leave on good terms with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

But the Steelers apparently are willing to take him back because he would give them some veteran depth on the roster in the event of injury, even at outside linebacker. If LaMarr Woodley or James Harrison were injured, Timmons would move to the outside and Foote could take his old spot alongside James Farrior in the middle.

After starting all 16 games for five consecutive seasons and winning two Super Bowl titles with the Steelers, Foote is longing for a return to his former team after just one season with the Lions, according to some of his friends.

Gerry Dulac: . First Published March 9, 2010 5:00 AM


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