After six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, nose tackle Steve McLendon wants to see what he might be worth on the open market, and the New York Jets are hoping they come up with a number he’s happy with.
McLendon, 30, is visiting with the Jets who have lost Damon Harrison to the New York Giants, so there’s definitely a need there. However, the Steelers would like to hold onto McLendon, only he is interesting in seeing how much teams are willing to offer him.
Coming out of Troy in 2009, he went undrafted and didn’t play at all during his first year in the league, but in the last three seasons has become a starter for the Steelers after usually not appearing on the first set of players during the first half of his career. Overall he has 79 appearances and 32 starts in Pittsburgh, coming up with five sacks during that time. He played in all 16 games last season, finishing with one sack and 14 tackles.
Both teams are limited as far as spending. The Jets only have $2.5 million under the cap and McLendon, who is looking for more (had a $2.8 million cap hit last season with a base salary of $2.2 million), might make it difficult for them to find the right price. The Steelers aren’t too flexible as well right now at $3.1 million with other needs that need tending to as well (offensive tackle, Antonio Brown wanting a bigger contract), but teams know how to crunch and change the numbers when there isn’t too much of a difference.
McLendon was constantly cut and re-signed, either to the team or the practice squad during his first couple of years in Pittsburgh. When he hit free agency last time, he visited with the Green Bay Packers (another team that doesn’t like signing free agents) before resigning with the Steelers for a three year deal worth $7.25 million, including $1.675 million guaranteed.