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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers’ retention of their own free agents

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BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after the franchise tagging of Bud Dupree.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

The brain trust of the Pittsburgh Steelers felt that retaining LS Kameron Canaday, OT Zach Banner and S Jordan Dangerfield were good personnel decisions for the franchise. It was also deemed prudent to place second round tenders on CB Mike Hilton and OT/OG Matt Feiler. Those two can still be signed by other teams with the Steelers having right of refusal. If they depart, the Steelers get a second rounder. All of these moves will be scrutinized. That’s our job and yours.

For some reason, I’ve been given the responsibility to rate the performance of Kevin Colbert, Omar Khan and company on nothing but speculation. It’s not easy, but I’ll give it a whirl. Despite my less than prestigious BTSC teaching certificate, I have to issue the necessary disclaimer. You know the story; of course, I’m not a football coach, or a teacher, but I play one in blogs and podcasts. All offseason, I had certain expectations that the Steelers would have to be quarantined because of no cap space...but they found some magic beans.

Grading personnel decisions is even tougher than grading games. We have to wait nearly six months to actually know if our grades our on the money. This time I decided to enlist my friends to help. Since I don’t have any...I recruited a few of my colleagues at BTSC. They resisted, but relented.

With that being electronically said, let’s take a look at BTSC’s early perceptions:


Tony Defeo

Zach Banner: B

Could be a starter sooner rather than later.

Kameron Canaday: B

$2.4 mil sounds steep for a long snapper, but it could be a steeper price to not have a good one.

Jordan Dangerfield: B

Solid backup. Solid special teams player.

Mike Hilton: A

One of the best slot corners in the business. May not have played his best football yet.

Matt Feiler: A

Whether he plays guard or tackle, the Steelers have retained a solid starter on the line.


Jeff Hartman

Zach Banner: C

Banner has yet to prove himself as anything other than a run blocker. I’m not sold.

Kameron Canaday: C

I feel like long snappers are a dime a dozen...nothing to see here.

Jordan Dangerfield: C

Dangerfield signing was more impressive as a special teams play than depth at safety. Still need help at safety.

Mike Hilton and Matt Feiler: C

Hilton/Feiler are both starters and needed to be retained. The second round tender is absolutely worth it considering how important they are at their respective positions.


Lance Williams

Zach Banner: C

Banner is just a body that provides depth. Given the cost to retain him, it was a solid move

Kameron Canaday: C

No analysis submitted.

Jordan Dangerfield: B-

The addition of Watt along with retaining Dangerfield stabilizes the Steelers secondary after the loss of Tyler Matakevich.

Mike Hilton: A-

Slot corners are essentially starters and keep a very good one at a second round tender cost was excellent. In addition, it keeps one of the NFLs best secondaries intact.

Matt Feiler: A

Arguably, Feiler was the Steelers best lineman in 2020. Retaining his at the 2nd tender cost is a steal.


Dave Schofield

Zach Banner: B+

Getting Banner for cheaper contract in 2020 and it would’ve been to offer him the RFA tender was a good move to see how much she progresses this season.

Kameron Canaday: C-

Long snapper is not a position where you want to spend more than the league minimum. I’m not sure why the Steelers did it.

Jordan Dangerfield: B

Dangerfield is the only remaining of the 4 core special teamers from 2018–2019. Keeping him around for super cheap was wise.

Mike Hilton: A

Retaining a quality slot corner for another season at the cost of a second round tender makes a lot of sense.

Matt Feiler: A+

Feiler was the Steelers best offensive lineman in 2019 so keeping him was well worth the money.


K.T. Smith (Cliff Harris is Still a Punk):

Zach Banner: B+

Similar to Dangerfield, he’s a guy who knows the system, can provide depth and can contribute in heavy packages. Hopefully he won’t have to start.

Kameron Canaday: C-

We need a long snapper. But a long-snapper with a $2.4 million contract? That seems, um, generous. One bad snap and this guy is gonna get killed on BTSC.

Jordan Dangerfield: B

Good depth signing since he knows the system. He can contribute on special teams. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to start.

Mike Hilton: B+

He’s a great slot blitzer and a terrific tackler. He’s only average in coverage but I think we can off-set those deficiencies with good coverage disguise and by inserting Cam Sutton into more packages.

Matt Feiler: A

With Ramon Foster retiring, B.J Finney signing with Seattle and no proven depth at tackle, this was a must-have signing.


Bryan Anthony Davis

Zach Banner: A

Banner is more than a great personality. I think he might earn a starting nod if Feiler moves over.

Kameron Canaday: D

Long Snapper is a dime-a-dozen position. Any more than the minimum salary is wasting money. Canaday is no Greg Warren.

Jordan Dangerfield: C

Dangerfield is cheap and good on special teams, but as a safety...he’s just okay.

Mike Hilton: B+

Really can’t lose here. The Steelers have depth if Hilton departs and another team gives up a second rounder to sign him. But he’s an all-around defender and he fits in the “all in” window.

Matt Feiler: A+

Returning starter. With Finney and Foster gone, the versatile Feiler needed to stay. He’s tough and worth the second-round tender.


Now it is your turn to play teacher. Use the polls and the comments section below. We can compare notes in the teachers lounge.

Poll

How would you grade the Steelers resigning of Zach Banner?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    A
    (143 votes)
  • 67%
    B
    (799 votes)
  • 20%
    C
    (238 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (5 votes)
1189 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How would you grade the Steelers retaining LS Kam Canaday?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    A
    (38 votes)
  • 21%
    B
    (247 votes)
  • 50%
    C
    (582 votes)
  • 19%
    D
    (228 votes)
  • 4%
    F
    (48 votes)
1143 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How would you grade the Steelers keeping S Jordan Dangerfield for another season?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A
    (46 votes)
  • 42%
    B
    (491 votes)
  • 47%
    C
    (539 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (61 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (7 votes)
1144 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Matt Feiler was offered a second-round tender by the Steelers. How would you grade the move?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    A
    (933 votes)
  • 16%
    B
    (188 votes)
  • 1%
    C
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (2 votes)
1143 votes total Vote Now

Poll

The Steelers are attempting to retain CB Mike Hilton by placing a second-round tender on him. Grade the move

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    A
    (906 votes)
  • 19%
    B
    (222 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (26 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (3 votes)
1162 votes total Vote Now