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With Maurkice Pouncey retiring last month, the Steelers have to fill the void at center. David Andrews, Austin Reiter and Ted Karras are centers that Pittsburgh could look at in free agency, but with the Steelers up against the salary cap, they could possibly be out of their price range.
Longtime NFL writer and analyst John Clayton was on 93.7 The Fan yesterday and said the Steelers need to seriously look into former Notre Dame center and free agent Nick Martin as a replacement for Pouncey. Clayton thinks the Steelers can sign Martin for $5 million.
Martin, 27, is the younger brother of Cowboys guard Zack Martin and was a second-round pick by the Texans in 2016. On Sept.10, 2019, Martin signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension with the Texans, $18.5 million of it was guaranteed. He didn't complete his deal with Houston, however, as he was released by the team last week. The Texans saved $6.2 million in cap space by parting ways with Martin. The former second-round pick started 62 out of 62 games at center with Houston.
With Martin's experience and only being 27, he would be a great signing for the Steelers to replace Pouncey, or at the very least be a serviceable stopgap until they find their center for the future. It just has to come at the right price for the Steelers. It would be a steal to get Martin for $5 million as Clayton suggests.
After drafting centers Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson, who both went on to have Hall of Fame careers, the Steelers signed three centers through free agency -- Jeff Hartings (2001), Sean Mahan (2007) and Justin Hartwig (2008). The Steelers selected Pouncey at 18th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, and now the Steelers are trying to find his replacement. Martin could be the answer.