The free-agent frenzy in the NFL typically happens in March, but with (give or take a week) six weeks left before the start of training camp, there's a full slate of very able players that currently do not have NFL jobs. These men can be viable additions to any one of the 32 NFL teams, depending on their specific needs. Just like everybody else, The Pittsburgh Steelers are not a complete team. They need to meet their own very specific requirements if they hope to go all the way in 2018. Perhaps one of these men can help Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and company.
BTSC examines the available players at each position that could be possibilities for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In some cases, they don’t have needs at that position. However in this first installment, we will examine the offensive side of the ball and whether or not they would be a realistic and helpful option for the Black-and-gold. With the salary cap space always being an issue, we realize that not every player would be a possibility. But the following are the best at each position that free agency has to offer at this late juncture.
Best Remaining: Colin Kaepernick - San Francisco
Other Options: Jay Cutler - Miami
The Steelers are not going to add a signal caller through free agency, especially after trading up for Mason Rudolph and adding him to a stable that includes Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs. If for some remote, bizarro reason they would, it surely wouldn’t be the veteran Cutler, who starts tire fires everywhere he goes — or Kaepernick and the PR issues that would follow.
Best Remaining: DeMarco Murray - Tennessee
Other Options: Orleans Darkwa - New York Giants, Adrian Peterson - Arizona, Alfred Morris - Dallas, Terrance West - Baltimore
It appears the Steelers are still banking on a late-arriving Le’Veon Bell to be in uniform on Week 1. While one wouldn’t expect No. 26 to stubbornly pass on $14.5 Million, nothing would surprise me. If the Steelers were to stumble on cash and gamble on a backup plan for Bell, Murray would be a decent addition. The former Cowboy, Eagle and Titan had a down year with only a 3.6 ypc in 2017, but the 30-year old would benefit from a stellar offensive line and a potent receiving stable. For now, it seems the Steelers are content to stand pat with the promise of Bell, James Conner, Fitz Toussaint, Stevan Ridley and Jaylen Samuels.
Best Remaining: Dez Bryant - Dallas
Other Options: Eric Decker - Tennessee, Dontrelle Inman - Chicago, Jeremy Maclin - Baltimore
Here’s another situation where, if the Steelers would add, it would strictly be veteran-minimum depth. That’s not anywhere near Bryant’s zip code, even though the pipe dream of adding him along with AB, JuJu and James Washington would be mind-blowing. Eric Decker (54 rec/563 yards) would be a nice veteran add here, but I see the Steelers giving Justin Hunter much more of an opportunity in this high-powered attack.
Best Remaining: Antonio Gates - Los Angeles Chargers
Other Options: Coby Fleener - New Orleans, Brent Celek - Philadelphia, Julius Thomas - Miami
If Vance McDonald stays healthy and available for 16 games, the former second-rounder could be a major weapon for the Steelers. The prospect of that is up in the air after last season though. The guys on this list aren’t any better than McDonald, Jesse James and Xavier Grimble. But adding a presence such as a ring-driven Gates (30 rec/316 yards)for one year, would be fun.
Best Remaining: G Alex Boone - Arizona
Other Options: G Luke Joeckel - Seattle, G Jahri Evans - Green Bay, OT Will Beatty - Philadelphia, G Richie Incognito - Buffalo
With three of the five starters (David DeCastro, Alejandro Villanueva and Maurkice Pouncey) selected to the Pro Bowl in 2017, you wouldn’t think that this stable needs much help. But with “the Munch Bunch” getting long-in-the-tooth, depth could be an issue. Jerald Hawkins went down in OTAs and with Chris Hubbard in Cleveland, the Steelers drafted Chuks Okotafor and just brought in the journeyman Bryce Harris this week. I don’t see the Steelers bringing a higher-priced/high-problem guy like Incognito or a broken-down Evans in. Boone is solid, but the money is probably best spent elsewhere.
Will the Steelers make any more moves or stay put? Stick with BTSC for not just all of the offseason news, but for our breakdown of the defensive players on this list, as well.