Free-agent nose tackle Casey Hampton's Pittsburgh Steelers future appeared to be over when the team signed Steve McLendon to a three-year contract last week. General manager Kevin Colbert said at Monday's pre-draft press conference, though, that he hasn't "closed the door" on re-signing Hampton or offensive tackle Max Starks.
The Steelers' willingness to bring back the free agents depends on the outcome of their draft. Neither player is viewed as a starter at this stage in his respective career.
This weekend's draft proceedings also will go a long way toward determining if the team signs Ahmad Bradshaw to play running back.
Other nuggets from the pre-draft press conference:
» Colbert doesn't envision any draft pick coming in and being an impact player in his first season.
"I never do because I think there is always a growing process that has to occur," Colbert explained. The Steelers do believe they can find future starters in the first three rounds of this year's draft.
» Colbert believes there are six to eight special players in this year's draft, but he won't move up to grab one of them.
"There will be a good player at No. 17," Colbert said. "There's no question about that."