Steelers' Tomlin to meet with former wide receiver Burress
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The Steelers will report today to training camp at Saint Vincent College, where some familiar faces may be missing and one more may soon pop back in.
One more veteran free agent, kicker Shaun Suisham, came to terms with the team Wednesday, one day after Ike Taylor agreed to stay. Both signed four-year contracts. Twelve other unrestricted free agents, however, remained unsigned by them or other teams as of late last night.
Adding spice to the first weekend of their 46th camp at Saint Vincent College is a report that wide receiver Plaxico Burress will have dinner with coach Mike Tomlin Saturday night. Burress, the team's first-round draft choice in 2000, left as a free agent in 2005
He is trying to hook on with a team after his release in June from prison, where he spent two years on a gun charge.
ESPN reported that he will have dinner with Tomlin after visiting Friday with Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants, his previous employer.
The Giants reportedly are willing to pay him $10 million over two years, a figure the Steelers likely could not touch since they already are nearly $10 million over the salary cap this year and have plenty of their own free agents to re-sign and even those they might want to extend who are entering their final contract years, such as Troy Polamalu and Lawrence Timmons.
The coaching staff, personnel department and some people from the front office checked into Saint Vincent College last night. Players must report by 3 p.m. today, and many will not be there because they will not have contracts.
Offensive tackles Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott, for example, are both free agents, and the Steelers have made them priorities to try to sign. Colon finally received a multi-year contract offer from the team, which was negotiating with Scott as well.
Other teams also were negotiating with agent Joe Linta for Colon.
The Steelers added two more undrafted rookies Wednesday, a punter and a fifth quarterback.
Aaron Bates, who punted for Michigan State, joins Jeremy Kapinos, who punted for the Steelers last season after an injury to Daniel Sepulveda, on their roster.
The signing could signal the end of the line for free agent Sepulveda. A fourth-round draft choice in 2007, Sepulveda missed the final four games of the regular season and the entire postseason last year after his second torn ACL as a Steeler and third since 2006. He missed the entire 2008 season with the same injury. He also had a torn ACL in the spring of his final season at Baylor.
Quarterback Chris Dieker, an undrafted quarterback from Southern Illinois, will join the four veterans at the position on the roster -- Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon, the latter a restricted free agent.
Rarely do the Steelers bring more than four quarterbacks to training camp, so it is possible that the late addition of Dieker could signal the possibility they do not expect one of the other four to be able to throw for whatever reason.
The team also announced the hirings of Nathan LoCascio as the public relations/media manager and Sonia Gysland as an assistant athletic trainer.
Gysland is only the second fulltime female athletic trainer in the NFL after replacing Ariko Iso, who is now the head athletic trainer at Oregon State University.
First Published July 28, 2011 12:00 am