Call it playing with fire, but the Pittsburgh Steelers risk paid off in regards to Ross Cockrell. The Restricted Free Agent (RFA) was tendered by the Steelers this offseason, which meant a team could give him an offer, and the Steelers would have the rights to match the offer, or let him sign elsewhere.
Nonetheless, the offseason has played out and the Steelers will have Cockrell in their secondary for the upcoming season.
Cockrell, who will become an unrestricted free agent after 2017, will have a lot to play for this season. In a contract season, if Cockrell can continue to improve, he could make himself a lot of money in free agency from an NFL franchise.
With Cockrell back in the fold, the Steelers now have their entire 2016 secondary intact, not that it was a tremendous unit, and they should all improve in 2017. Artie Burns, Cockrell, William Gay, Senquez Golson and Al-Hajj Shabazz will round out the depth chart heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, but the team will likely add to this depth chart with young talent in just over a week.