While the Steelers had no interest in free agent running back Mike Tolbert, they do have one very big concern at the position. They do not believe Rashard Mendenhall will be of much use to them in 2012, which is the final year of his contract.
It’s possible Mendenhall may have had his last carry with the Steelers.
Sources told me that the Steelers will not count on Mendenhall returning to form until at least the 2013 season, and his contract with the Steelers will have expired by then. GM Kevin Colbert basically said he’s not counting on him until 2013 when he said this on Feb. 13: “I never feel good about an ACL until a year. I’m not a doctor, but that's my mindset. If he gets back before that, to me it's a bonus.”
Even if he does get back before that, however, he’s not expected to be at the level he was as a running back before the injury in the playoff game at Denver and subsequent surgery. The Steelers not only have lost Mendenhall, they likely won’t re-sign UFA Mewelde Moore.
So, where does that leave them? It leaves them with Isaac Redman as their starter with Jonathan Dwyer, John Clay and Barron Batch in the stable behind him.