The Pittsburgh Steelers are starting to make some serious moves in free agency. From re-signing JuJu Smith-Shuster, to allowing Steven Nelson to seek out a trade or an eventual release, this team clearly has a plan for the future. When you look at all of the Steelers big-money moves this offseason, you will notice all of the contracts are coming with voidable years. Ben Roethlisberger, Cameron Sutton, and JuJu Smith-Shuster all received contracts with voidable years to spread out money into the future.
These deals are commonplace across the NFL but are a new venture for the Steelers. Because of a tight cap crunch these moves were necessary in keeping players on the roster. Once Steven Nelson’s situation resolves itself, and the team makes some further contract restructures or extensions, they will be in a place where they can begin to add outside free agents.
The biggest take away from these voided contracts like the one Smith-Shuster received is this team is still very much in win now mode. Had the Steelers committed to any sort of tear-down, rebuild players like JuJu would not have been retained and money wouldn’t have been pushed into the future. The Steelers want to take at least one more crack at a Super Bowl run with Ben Roethlisberger and it shows.
Over the coming months, I think we will see this team bring in outside free agents to fill key holes along the starting lineup. I would imagine they target like-minded players that are interested in competing for a championship over a big-time payday. The team will need to convince these free agents of the same message that both Smith-Schuster and Roethlisberger signed off on. When the Steelers do in fact dip their toe in the outside free agent market, I would expect the deals to not extend anywhere past one season.
The team’s willingness to sign players to voidable contracts for the first time ever also suggests they’re willing to conduct business differently this year. This would open the door up to bringing in more players on the wrong side of 30. While the Steelers have brought in seasoned veterans in the past, this is the target market to convince players to sign on for a hopeful championship run.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are far from rolling over and punting on any given season. The moves over the past week point that this team is once again retooling in hopes of the seventh Lombardi this year.
But what do you think? Are the Steelers gunning for another Super Bowl title? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.