Less than a week after forking over an extra $1.2 million to match a New England Patriots offer to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, the Pittsburgh Steelers could find themselves back in a bind over another restricted free agent.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson has never been much of a buyer in free agency, but he may have found a way to shrewdly pilfer a scheme fit for his 3-4 defense. Even after locking up linebacker Clay Matthews with a five-year, $66 million contract extension, the Packers have plenty of room under the salary cap while the Steelers have just $700,000 available.
Although McLendon has been a rotational player to date, there has been sentiment within the Steelers that he would succeed Casey Hampton as the starting nose tackle this season.
If the Packers sign McLendon to an offer sheet, the Steelers likely will have to restructure another contract or two so they're able to match. Alternatively, they could re-sign Hampton to play out his age-36 season.
UPDATE: McLendon signed a three-year contract worth as much as $7.5 million, a team source told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport on Thursday.
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