On Monday, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert met with Pittsburgh media and spoke about a number of topics. When discussing upcoming NFL free agency, Colbert stated the Steelers would be having their meetings last week in regards to free agency, and would not be making any moves until those meetings concluded, including signing their own players.
Well, if the Steelers meetings concluded by the end of the week, we could be in line for a number of players now signing deals with the Steelers for the 2022 season.
On Friday night, I posed the question in the Friday Night Six Pack about which player would possibly sign first. The question generated some good ideas and I thought the discussion might need the attention just itself. Therefore, I wanted to post the question again, in an article.
Before getting into who some of the likely candidates could be, here is a reminder of the different type of free agents. Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) have no tie to the Steelers, while Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) could be offered a tender by the team before free agency begins. Lastly, Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFA) must sign with a Steelers for a league minimum deal if the Steelers choose to retain their services.
Now that those terms are cleared up, here are a list of the Steelers players set to become free agents on March 16. It should be noted long snapper Christian Kuntz was also on this list as an EFRA, but has already been re-signed by the team.
Now, for a list of the Steelers’ free agents:
Ben Roethlisberger (officially retired)
Restricted Free Agents
Exclusive Rights Free Agents
There are a number of ways to go with who the Steelers would make their first move in early in March. The most obvious choice would likely be ERFA J.C. Hassenauer, as all the Steelers have to do is choose to bring him back. Additionally, since it has been reported the Steelers are going to offer Dwayne Haskins an original-round tender, this could be coming as the first move as well. The Steelers could also look to sign their restricted free agents without the tender before free agency hits.
While some of the more high profile free agents were popular choices on Friday night, it doesn’t exactly seem the Steelers’ style for one of their first moves to bring back players like Joe Haden, Ahkello Witherspoon, Terrell Edmunds, or JuJu Smith-Schuster. When it comes to their first move, it’s much more likely for the Steelers sign the likes of a Montravius Adams, Miles Killebrew, or Taco Charlton. Plus, players such as Witherspoon or Smith-Schuster may want to test the market before settling on a contract with the Steelers.
So which direction do you think the Steelers will go? Do you think they’ll lock in one of their higher profile free agents before the new league year starts? Do you think they will fill in a number of positions with role players from last season? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.