The Pittsburgh Steelers need help at cornerback. After releasing Justin Gilbert, they are ridiculously thin at the position. Returning starters Artie Burns and Ross Cockrell are joined with William Gay, Al-Hajj Shabazz and oft-injured Senquez Golson to round out the depth chart.
While most fans point directly to the NFL Draft to help fill the void in the defensive secondary, the Steelers might be wise to look at a free agent to help give the team a proven commodity.
After all, I believe most would agree the Steelers are just a few players away from being serious contenders to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 52 next season.
I took a look at the free agent market, and who the Steelers could possibly target this offseason. One factor which was a constant throughout the process was how much these free agent players would cost. The Steelers do have a larger amount of salary cap space than usual, but with Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Lawrence Timmons and others looking for a new contract that money will dry up quickly.
I break down each of these players in-depth in the podcast above, but here is the list (in order) they addressed:
A.J. Bouye - Houston Texans - Age: 26
Logan Ryan - New England Patriots - Age: 26
Trumaine Johnson - Los Angeles Rams - Age: 27
Stephon Gilmore - Buffalo Bills - Age: 26
Prince Amukamara - Jacksonville Jaguars - Age: 28
Morris Claiborne - Dallas Cowboys - Age: 27
Dre Kirkpatrick - Cincinnati Bengals - Age: 27
Captain Munnerlyn - Minnesota Vikings - Age: 29
It might be a long shot for the Steelers to bring in one of these players, but like Mike Mitchell, who turned down more money for a chance to win a title, the recent success of the Steelers could lure in a free agent defensive back for a lower price tag.
There is also a strong chance the Steelers don’t even test the free agent waters, solely relying on the draft to re-stock the waters at the cornerback position.