Longtime Steelers reporter Gerry Dulac of the <a href="http://www.authenticsteelersshop.com/shop-by-players-deangelo-williams-jersey-c-2_66.html">Deangelo Williams Jersey</a> Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did not flat-out say that DeAngelo Williams won't be back in Pittsburgh for the 2017 season. But, based on the team's desire to draft a young running back in this year's draft, he believes that the writing is on the wall with regard to Williams' future with the club.
Dulac addressed the team's plans for the running back position on Friday during his weekly Q&A.
"I expect them to take (a running back) in the first two days," he wrote. "They were going to draft one last year in the fifth round but the guys they liked were already gone. So I think the desire to get one is heightened this year. That will also tell <a href="http://www.authenticcowboysstore.com/shop-by-players-lp-ladouceur-jersey-c-2_45.html">http://www.authenticcowboysstore.com/shop-by-players-lp-ladouceur-jersey-c-2_45.html you know what you need to know about (DeAngelo) Williams."
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While everyone expects the Steelers to select a running back in the draft, that doesn't necessarily mean that Williams' time in Pittsburgh is over. Mike Tomlin, speaking to the media shortly after the AFC Championship Game, said that Williams' value on the open market will play a big role in whether or not he returns to the team next season. Tomlin added that the two sides had a favorable experience working together over the past two seasons.
"I have an indication (that Williams wants to return), but again, none of those decisions occur in a vacuum," Tomlin said. "Free agency is what it is. It's free for him, it's free for us. We'll assess it and see if the two sides can come <a href="http://www.authenticnflraidersshop.com/shop-by-players-stacy-mcgee-jersey-c-2_43.html">http://www.authenticnflraidersshop.com/shop-by-players-stacy-mcgee-jersey-c-2_43.html together and do business again. I know it was a pleasant experience, the two years that he's been a part of this."
After undergoing knee surgery late in the year, Williams returned to score two touchdowns in Pittsburgh's Week 17 victory over the Browns. In the playoffs, Williams relieved an injured Le'Veon Bell in the AFC Championship Game, gaining 85 all-purpose yards and scoring his first postseason touchdown.
The Steelers are 10-4 in games Williams has started since the 2015 season. He's amassed 1,750 all-purpose yards and 17 touchdowns while helping the Steelers go 21-11 over the past two regular seasons. He had a sensational season in 2015, amassing 1,274 all-purpose yards while tying for the NFL lead with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Williams embraced his role as Bell's "backup" throughout his time in Pittsburgh, saying on numerous occasions that his only goal is to retire as a Super Bowl champion.
"I honestly can't put it into words. It would be unbelievable to win a Super Bowl," Williams told 247Sports back in November. "To win No.7, and to <a href="http://www.authenticcowboyssale.com/shop-by-players-tony-dorsett-jersey-c-2_42.html">http://www.authenticcowboyssale.com/shop-by-players-tony-dorsett-jersey-c-2_42.html experience it with the kids, the wife, that would be unbelievable."