The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for an offseason for the ages. For the first time since 2004 replacing Ben Roethlisberger will become a necessity, and the list of free agents is long for the black and gold.
When it comes to free agents, it is important to know the difference between the types of free agents. Here are the official definitions for all three types of free agents:
Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA): Any player with four or more accrued seasons and an expired contract; free to negotiate and sign with any team.
Restricted free agent (RFA): A player with three accrued seasons and an expired contract. RFAs are free to negotiate and sign with any team, but their original team can offer them one of various qualifying offers (“tenders”) that come with the right of first refusal and/or draft-pick compensation. If the tender is withdrawn by a team, the RFA becomes an unrestricted free agent. In 2021, teams must submit these tenders before 4 p.m. ET on March 16. These amounts change annually.
Exclusive rights free agent (ERFA): Any player with fewer than three accrued seasons and an expired contract. If his original team offers him a one-year contract at the league minimum (based on his credited seasons), the player cannot negotiate with other teams.
With the definitions out of the way, it is time to take a complete look at the Steelers’ free agents heading into the offseason. With the season now officially over, look for the team to start giving out Reserve/Future contracts to players they want to keep in the organization for the upcoming offseason and 2022 preseason.
Let’s get to the list...
Unrestricted Free Agents
Restricted Free Agents
Exclusive Rights Free Agents
Looking at the above list, what do you think the future holds for some of these players? Will the team find a way to bring back JuJu Smith-Schuster, and will JuJu want to return with the quarterback position anything but solidified? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers heading into the offseason.