Disclaimer: The author realizes that the 2021 Steelers are probably going to be burning in Salary Cap Hell and can’t pony up much money for free agents. However, you never know what they have planned and it’s the author’s responsibility to highlight the free agent options.
The Steelers have many an issue on the offensive line, especially at offensive tackle and center. The guard position has part of the future in place without standout Kevin Dotson going into his second season. David DeCastro seems to be moving towards the twilight of his career or he may have suffered more due to injury last season than any of us know, Nonetheless, it seems like the Steelers will be looking to add on in some shape or form at guard. If they do find salary cap room to add, here is the list of available free agents should a Steel City Money Miracle occur.
ONCE AGAIN. THE AUTHOR REALIZES THAT THE STEELERS DO NOT HAVE THE FUNDS FOR MANY OF THESE PLAYERS. HOWEVER, THIS IS THE LIST OF WHO IS AVAILABLE TO THE ENTIRE LEAGUE AND THE STEELERS. YOU CAN CRITICIZE THE IDIOT AUTHOR ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER OR BLEACHER REPORT COMMENTS SECTION FOR WASTING YOUR TIME AND NOT KNOWING ANYTHING AT ALL, AGAIN AND AGAIN. HOWEVER, THESE WILL CONTINUE TO APPEAR.
Here is the list of free agents at the position should the Steelers or the competition be shopping. One more time, the author is aware that Steelers have little room under the cap. But if you read the entire article, you’ll be able to amaze your friends, family, coworkers and people in line at the bank, supermarket or strip club buffet with your vast knowledge of NFL Free Agents.
Most Notable Free Agent Guards
Brandon Scherff - The Washington Football Team
Age 29, 6’5”/315 lbs.
Stats: Games Played - 13, Offensive Snaps Played - 857, Sacks Allowed - 3, Penalties - 2
No. 4 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 84.1 (High Quality), Pass Blocking 81.1 (High Quality), Run Blocking 80.1 (High Quality)
Brandon Scherff is one of the top guards in the NFL when it comes to protecting quarterbacks an run blocking. PFF projects a $15 million deal being on the horizon for the Washington Football Teamer. Versatile enough to play at the tackle position as well, there is only one knock against Brandon and that’s an extensive injury history. Scherff has missed 16 games over the past three seasons. The Steelers could get a great one here, but health and high salary expectations make it unlikely that the former Iowa Hawkeye would be in Kevin Colbert’s shopping cart.
Joe Thuney - New England Patriots
Age 28, 6’5”/308 lbs.
Stats: Games Played - 16, Offensive Snaps Played - 980, Sacks Allowed - 2, Penalties - 3
No. 10 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 74.2 (Above Average), Pass Blocking 73.1 (Above Average), Run Blocking 70.2 (Above Average)
An offensive tackle at NC State, Thuney transitioned well in the professional ranks as a guard. Thuney has started every single game of his five-year career and has improved each and every season. Joe is solid as both a run and pass blocker and has become one of the best guards in the game, fitting well in any system. PFF projects a 4-year/$14.5 million per year deal, a bargain for a player of this caliber.
Lane Taylor - Green Bay Packers
Age 31, 6’6”/330 lbs.
Stats: Games - 1, Offensive Snaps Played - 63, Sacks Allowed - 0, Penalties - 0
No. 21 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 81.6 (High Quality), Pass Blocking 76.1 (High Quality), Run Blocking, 78.8 (Above Average)
Taylor is top-shelf talent, but being knee and biceps injuries have defined the Packer guard the past two seasons in which he played in a mere three contests. Factor in his age and Taylor becomes a gamble. A better pass protector than a run blocker, the Oklahoma State Cowboy might be a bargain signing for a team, but they need to keep their fingers crossed regarding that injury thing.
Jon Feliciano - Buffalo Bills
Age 29, 6’4”/325 lbs.
Stats: Games - 9, Offensive Snaps Played - 571, Sacks Allowed - 0, Penalties - 2
No. 38 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 64.6 (Average), Pass Blocking 49.4 (Below Average), Run Blocking 72.4 (Above Average)
Feliciano is a powerful run blocking guard, but needs vast improvement in pass protection. Joe missed the first seven weeks of the 2020 season and that could correlate to the Bills’ run game taking a step back. Feliciano would be a find for a team looking to improve the running game, like the Steelers.
Jermaine Eluemunor - New England Patriots
Age 26, 6’4”/335 lbs.
Stats: Games - 12, Offensive Snaps Played - 414, Sacks Allowed - 3, Penalties - 1
No. 47 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 68.0 (Above Average), Pass Blocking 70.3 (Above Average), Run Blocking 63.4 (Average)
Jermaine Eluemunor has mostly been a career backup, but he was pressed into service quite a bit in 2020 and performed well. The Patriot is an above average pass protector, but could stand to get stronger in the run game. But still, Eluemunor could be ready for a starting gig at a bargain of a deal.
Most Notable Steelers Free Agent Guards
Age 28, 6’6”/330 lbs.
Stats: Games - 13, Offensive Snaps Played - 848, Sacks Allowed - 2, Penalties - 2
No. 29 PFF Position Ranking
Overall Grade: 65.0 (Average), Pass Blocking 69.6 (Above Average), Run Blocking 59.6 (Average)
Feiler had a very solid season starting at right tackle for the Steelers in 2019, but he was average at best as at left guard last season. He’s a free agent and PFF projects a new deal at about $6 million per year. a significant raise from the $3.259 million the Bloomsburg product earned in 2020. It will be interesting to see if other teams covet Feiler as a solid depth piece at the tackle position or if the Steelers value No. 71 enough to resign him. I picture “Anchor” dropping in another NFL city next season, but you never know.
Age 26, 6’3”/305 lbs.
Stats: Games - 1, Offensive Snaps Played - 2, Sacks Allowed - 0, Penalties - 0
PFF Position Ranking - Not Ranked
Overall Grade: 60.0 (Average), Pass Blocking 67.2 (Above Average), Run Blocking 60.0 (Average)Isadora joined the Steelers on December 15th after Pittsburgh poached the guard off of the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad, but never saw any playing time in the Steel City. At $825K, the Steelers could bring the former Miami Hurricane back for another year to compete in camp for a roster spot.
Other Notable Free Agent Guards
Mike Iupati - Seattle Seahawks
Kelechi Osemele - Kansas City Chiefs
John Miller - Carolina Panthers
Chris Reed - Carolina Panthers
Michael Schofield - Carolina Panthers
Tom Compton - San Francisco 49ers
Rashaad Coward - Chicago Bears
Brian Winters - Buffalo Bills
Pat Elflein - New York Jets
J.R. Sweezy - Arizona Cardinals
Forrest Lamp - Los Angeles Chargers
Dan Feeney - Los Angeles Chargers
Ryan Gray - Los Angeles Chargers
Cole Toner (RFA) - Los Angeles Chargers
Oday Oboushi - Detroit Lions
Rashad Hill - Minnesota Vikings
Alex Redmond - Cincinnati Bengals
Matt Gono (RFA) - Atlanta Falcons
Justin McCray - Atlanta Falcons