Towards the end of the 2017 season, the glaring weakness was in the defensive backfield, particularly at safety. With Mike Mitchell a candidate to be cut, the Steelers will need to address the position in the draft and maybe in free agency. Below are some of the top options, should Kevin Colbert decide to go in that direction.
Morgan Burnett - Green Bay Packers
The Packer defense no longer resembles the squad that helped defeat the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV and it could get even worse, as their finest player is a free-agent. A rookie on that championship team was Morgan Burnett. The safety has nine career interceptions and eight forced fumbles. Burnett would be an upgrade to the Steelers’ defense, if the price is right.
LaMarcus Joyner - Los Angeles Rams
The price will be high for the 27-year old safety, who is one of the best in the game. Joyner had three interceptions last year, and the Rams are making it a high priority to retain his services. So, Pittsburgh may not be a likely landing spot.
Kenny Vaccaro - New Orleans Saints
The writing was on the wall last season that Vaccaro was merely biding his time in "The Big Easy". The Steelers had their eyes on Vaccaro back in the 2013 first round, but the hard hitter from Texas went two picks ahead of Jarvis Jones. With eight career picks (five in the previous two seasons), Vaccaro is healthy (he had struggled with groin woes before ending in 2017 on the IR), packs a punch and would be a good addition to the Steelers.
Ricardo Allen (RFA) - Atlanta Falcons
Allen is talented against the run and the pass. As a restricted free-agent, a team would need to surrender draft picks and big money for the Falcons’ defensive back. Allen had two of his career pick sixes last season.
Tre Boston - Los Angeles Chargers
Boston had a great year last season in Los Angeles after struggling in Carolina. The four-year vet intercepted five passes after signing a "prove-it" deal. Boston was solid in coverage in 2017, but he did miss a considerable number of tackles. The Steelers could consider bringing in Tre.
Other Notable Free Agent Safeties
Eric Reid - San Francisco 49ers
Marcus Gilchrist - Houston Texans
Tavon Wilson - Detroit Lions
Tyvon Branch - Arizona Cardinals
Reggie Nelson - Oakland Raiders
Bradley McDougald - Seattle Seahawks