PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette joined “The Cook and Poni Show” after the first day of NFL free agency.

Bouchette admits he is not used to having anything to report on early in the mix because it’s just not like the Steelers to go out and make moves early and spend the type of money to do so.

However, they did make a move yesterday.

The Steelers agreed to a five-year, $25 million dollar deal with safety Mike Mitchell, who played last season with the Carolina Panthers. Mitchell signed a one-year deal with Carolina after spending the previous four seasons at Oakland, where he started only nine games after being selected in the second round of the 2009 Draft out of Ohio.

Last year with the Panthers, he had a career year in starts (14), tackles (74), interceptions (4), sacks (3.5) and forced fumbles (2).

“He flourished last year at the right time,” Bouchette said. “He fits right in. He has speed, he can catch interceptions and he can tackle.”

Bouchette said there was no doubt they needed to find as safety because Troy Polamalu and Will Allen will not be here forever and that would leave them with only Shamarko Thomas. They needed help this year and for the future.

That would indicate the end of Ryan Clark’s time with the Steelers.

Bouchette said he would not rule out Clark being picked up by another team, but would call it 50/50 at best.

“Teams looking at him will say what does he give us other than leadership?” Bouchette said.

The Steelers still have many other spots to fill, but Bouchette says he doubts they will not be looking for any additional help from the outside as they have no other visits scheduled.

He says the focus is now on their own guys and one they would like to bring back is wide receiver Jerricho Cothchery.

Bouchette also says they may have to reconsider bringing back Brett Keisel if they are unable to sign Al Woods.

“It would leave them with Heyward and nothing else,” Bouchette said about the Steelers’ D-line. “I would not be surprised if they don’t take another look at Keisel if they can’t sign Al Woods.”

Woods is scheduled to visit Tennessee today.

Lamar Woodley, who was released by the Steelers yesterday, has a visit scheduled with the Oakland Raiders.

Listen to the full interview here:

Listen to the Cook and Poni Show weekdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan.

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