Patrick Peterson is a deal all Steelers fans want to happen. It makes complete sense. You go out and acquire a top 10 corner and make this secondary one of the best in the NFL. Peterson would shift this defense to a whole new level and give Keith Butler more scheming options than he even he could have imagined.
Yet, it all seems far too unlikely. That is not the Steelers way and it never will be, even if it needs to be right now. I don’t count on that happening. But don’t let that distract you from the fact that there could be answers that all we would have to pay is money. Not just at Cornerback, but other positions of need as well. It’s no secret that the Steelers need that elusive CB2 badly, and the answer is not to wait out Artie Burns, but instead to go outside the organization for the solution.
Thus, here are four free agents that the Steelers should target who could make this team better right now:
CB David Amerson
Here is a guy that would immediately step onto the team and be the 3rd best cornerback on roster. It was only two years ago in his age 24 season where Amerson was arguably the best cornerback in the entire NFL. He had an incredibly rocky 2017 in Oakland, but seemed to at least be competent in Kansas City, but they went for youth instead.
He is still only 26 and excels in both man and zone coverage. He is a playmaker and a ballhawk with ball skills. That is something that none of the 3-man council at CB2 currently has, and if the Steelers really want to fix the CB position outside of Peterson, Amerson seems to be a great option.
Amerson only had a “down” 2017 due to a foot injury which noticeably slowed him down and ended his season. Amerson is no doubt someone who can come in and give the Steelers someone that can be competent opposite of Haden. It is low risk, high reward move, especially if Amerson returns to his 2016 form.
EDGE Junior Galette
I have no clue why Galette is not signed. Not one clue. Go watch a little bit of his tape and you will impressed right away with how easily and how fast he can turn the bend.
Galette is an OLB with legit pass rush moves and bend. He knows how to bull rush and use the leverage he naturally has to his advantage. His club-rip combo is one of the deadliest in the NFL right now and that would be a key natural source of pass rush for the Steelers.
Galette had the third most pressures among NFC OLBs and ranked second in pass rushing efficiency per PFF. That is all I need to cite. In addition, a 70.3 run defense grade adds a cherry on top to this argument. Galette would be a huge boost off the edge and should be a target for the Steelers right away.
DB Quinten Rollins
I don’t love Rollins’ game, but what I do love is his versatility. Right now, Rollins would be a better version of Cam Sutton. Rollins is much more hands on and physical, and when he was in Green Bay, he was asked to play off-man about 75% of the time, but where he really excels is when he has to be right up against the line and aggressive. His press skills are really good.
His zone skills are not bad, and he can process. He is prone to outside releases and being lackadaisical at times, which causes him to get burnt, but he is a willing run defender at the least.
My favorite part is that he can play outside, in the slot, single-high, or even in the box. Rollins is an ultimate jack of all trades and master of none, but that does not mean he cannot be valuable to this team. While he would give an immediate solution to the CB2 issue, if an injury were to occur elsewhere, Rollins would be a great depth piece to have there.
RB Charcandrick West
A running back? Yes, that may come as a bit of a surprise, but I really just do not trust Stevan Ridley to fill in if James Conner somehow gets injured. Until Le’Veon Bell gets back, there has to be a bit of fear that if Conner does get injured, what happens? Ridley and Samuels are simply not capable backs to fill in currently. Samuels is a great receiving threat, but his vision still needs to improve, and I am not sure if he is ready to be a lead back for a game.
So, yes, in comes Charcandrick West, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, who can offer some explosive plays, but is really just a grinder out of the backfield. His best attributes are that he is absolutely fantastic in pass protection and he has solid hands. West is more of a complete running back than anyone on the roster not named Conner.
If Conner ever did get injured, this signing would pay off, and West would be much more rotatable than Ridley is currently. Simply put, a good depth signing.