The position of tight end can go either way for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It all hinges on the head of Ladarius Green. If Green rebounds from his latest concussion that occurred on December 18th in Cincy and doesn't suffer any more head trauma, the stable is quite stable. With Jesse James as a solid TE2, the blocking specialist that is David Johnson and added depth with Xavier Grimble...the state of affairs at that position would be deemed good.
However, to no fault of his own, Steeler Nation walks on egg shells when it comes to the health of Green. Three games was not enough last year and the Steelers need a full season from the huge TE, but one hit to the head and you could lose him for the season again. The other three are solid pieces of the puzzle, but the answer doesn't quite lie with them.
The Steelers are going to need to acquire a starting caliber TE. Personally, I feel that the draft holds more answers than in free agency, for the remaining available players just don't seem to have "it".
If they were to bring in a guy off of Free Agent Avenue, the following are the best available players. At this point, it seems that the best available are basically already on the Steeler roster.
Trey Burton - RFA - Philadelphia Eagles
At 25, Burton has a lot of upside. The Florida product, in his third year, made 37 catches for 327 yards and a TD in limited action. The restricted free agent, playing behind Zach Ertz, has proved to be a matchup nightmare and would shine in a starring role. Because of being an RFA, signing Burton would cost a second round pick. The Steelers might be a good fit for a player of this caliber, but they won't want to give up that second writer.
Larry Donnell - New York Giants
Donnell, 28, rose to prominence in 2014 with six touchdowns and 63 grabs, however the Grambling State product has regressed since. His fumble-it is issues have been well documented and the Giants basically moved on. The tall and lean Donnell is als a suspect blcker. Donnell will hook on somewhere, but he would not be an upgrade for the Steelers.
Gavin Escobar - Dallas Cowboys
A Cowboy for four years, Escobar was brought in as a second TE to play alongside the ageless Jason Witten. Since his rookie year in 2013, Escobar has 30 catches for 333 yards and eight touchdowns. Escobar is a decent blocker with good hands and could be an inexpensive addition. However, the San Diego Stater doesn't offer an upgrade over Jesse James either.
Tony Moeaki - Chicago Bears
Tim Wright - Detroit Lions
Andrew Quarless - Detroit Lions
Chris Gragg - Buffalo Bills
Kellen Davis - New York Jets
Sean McGrath - Los Angeles Chargers
Jeff Cumberland - Los Angeles Chargers
Owen Daniels - Denver Broncos