The Pittsburgh Steelers have big-time questions surrounding their roster heading into the 2021 league year. Questions about their current free agents, questions about their team needs and of course questions about positional need heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.
With so many questions, it can be difficult, and complex, to decipher how the team should address those questions. Should they try and get their needs met via free agency, or should they wait and go with the trusted method of adding talent through the draft?
Recently, Pro Football Focus (PFF) answered this very question for each NFL organization. See what they had to say about the Steelers below:
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: QUARTERBACK, INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE, RUNNING BACK
Pittsburgh addressed its quarterback need already … kind of. With Ben Roethlisberger coming off his lowest-graded season since 2006, I could see the Steelers still taking a quarterback in the draft if the value presents itself.
Due to limited cap space and a mostly veteran roster, though, they are all-in on 2021, for all intents and purposes. That means you shouldn’t be surprised if they “find” more cap space with contract restructures to try and make upgrades or even retain someone like Alejandro Villanueva along the offensive line.
Come draft time, that offensive line will almost assuredly be the focus once again. Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins and North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz are crushing run blockers who could even start their career at guard for the Steelers.
There is no denying the amount of needs the Steelers have, but trying to piece together their puzzle isn’t very complicated. With the salary cap dipping for the first time in NFL history, it limits what teams like the Steelers, who spend to the cap every year, can do in free agency.
The moves the team has made to date, like giving Ben Roethlisberger a new contract, are certainly nice, but didn’t create the space necessary for the team to be considered “buyers” with players on the open market. Unless players are willing to take less to play in Pittsburgh, it seems obvious the Steelers will be looking at the NFL Draft to re-stock their proverbial shelves heading into the new league year.
With that said, you have to question whether the team can be contenders with this philosophy, and with the financial climate of the league, or if they are simply doing the best they can to stay competitive in the last year, or two, of Roethlisberger’s career.
What do you think? Will the Steelers be able to address team needs via free agency, or just the draft? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the black and gold as the new league year kicks off this week.