The Pittsburgh Steelers still have some areas of depth they would like to address on their roster before the start of training camp. Two positions come to mind when looking at these team needs: Cornerback and OLB/Pass Rusher.
Could the team go into the 2021 regular season with what they have? Absolutely they could, but when looking at the OLB position, would anyone feel confident in the depth of Quincy Roche, 6th round draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and journeyman Cassius Marsh as the only real depth at the position?
I know I wouldn’t.
Since the draft ended Steelers fans have been wondering if the team would still add some players to their roster, especially at the aforementioned positions. Believe it or not, there was, and still is, a lot of talented players looking for a home in 2021.
I know on my “Let’s Ride” podcasts I have been talking a lot about the Steelers trying to bring in Ryan Kerrigan, formerly of the Washington Football Team, to be a great third pass rusher on the team. I believe it would have been a great fit, but that is a thing of the past after Kerrigan signed with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday.
Ryan Kerrigan announced he is signing with the Eagles.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 17, 2021
What made this even tougher to swallow was when Adam Schefter of ESPN wrote how the Steelers, along with the Cincinnati Bengals, were among the teams who were most interested in Kerrigan’s services.
Teams that showed the most interest in Ryan Kerrigan were the Eagles, Steelers and Bengals. But he opted to stay in NFC East. https://t.co/hIopweFdDA— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 17, 2021
At the time of this article being written, we don’t know anything about Kerrigan’s contract other than it is a one-year deal. Did Kerrigan take more money to go to Philadelphia, or was it the thought of harassing his former team twice in 2021 which lured him to eastern Pennsylvania?
Regardless of the reason, the Steelers still have a very big need at the OLB position. So much of a need it is worth the time to compile a list of EDGE pass rushers who are still available.
Here are the EDGE pass rushers who are still available, according to NFL Trade Rumors, and below are those who are in their Top 100 remaining free agents:
Olivier Vernon, EDGE, Cleveland Browns
Melvin Ingram, EDGE, Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Houston, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts
Everson Griffen, EDGE, Detroit Lions
Trent Murphy, EDGE, Buffalo Bills
Adrian Clayborn, EDGE, Cleveland Browns
Vic Beasley, EDGE, Las Vegas Raiders
John Simon, EDGE, New England Patriots
Jabaal Sheard, EDGE, New York Giants
Dion Jordan, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers
Bruce Irvin, EDGE, Seattle Seahawks
Alex Okafor, EDGE, Kansas City Chiefs
Ezekiel Ansah, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers
Here are a couple free agent players who spent time with the Steelers who are still on the market:
Anthony Chickillo, OLB, Denver Broncos
Jayrone Elliott, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Do any of the above names excite you? Make you hope the team can pull off a signing no one saw coming? I know a player like Melvin Ingram is enticing, but his injury history and likely price tag might be too much for the Steelers. In my opinion, the best of what’s left would be Justin Houston. Houston playing in all 16 games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2020, and registered 8 sacks. This after he was able to account for 11 sacks in 16 games in 2019. In other words, despite being 32 years old, Houston can still play, especially if he doesn’t have to be your every down pass rusher.
There are still options available, but I think I speak for the rest of the Steelers’ global fan base when I say we would all feel a lot better if they make a move sooner, rather than later.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the upcoming 2021 regular season.