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Predicting the destination for the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers free agents

Where will the Steelers free agents go this offseason? Time to predict their destinations...

NFL: AFC Wild Card Playoffs-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s legal tampering period begins today, Monday, March 14th at 12 p.m. ET, and fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are wondering what will happen with the black and gold’s own free agents this offseason.

It is time to take a look at the list of free agents, and play a little game of “Stays or Goes”. I am going to analyze each free agent and give the verdict of whether they are going to stay, or leave, in free agency.

Let’s get to it...

2022 Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents

Offense

QB
Joshua Dobbs

Dobbs is a valuable asset to have on the roster, but he also has to go somewhere he feels he has a legitimate shot to be a backup. I can see him returning if no other team calls, but I don’t foresee Dobbs returning anytime soon.

Verdict: Goes

WR
JuJu Smith-Schuster

This is one of the most difficult decisions of the Steelers’ free agents, but for some reason I’m not seeing Smith-Schuster returning to the team. This isn’t me saying I hope he doesn’t, just my gut feeling on whether JuJu will be back or not. Sorry for all those No. 19 fans out there, I just don’t see it happening.

Verdict: Goes

James Washington

Nothing about Washington’s time in Pittsburgh has gone as expected. He will be looking to start fresh somewhere else.

Verdict: Goes

Ray-Ray McCloud

In a big-time troll move, the Steelers decide to retain McCloud as both a return man and a slot receiver. Fans will be upset, but he provides value to the team in multiple areas. I wouldn’t be shocked if some NFL team values McCloud more, but I see him returning to Pittsburgh.

Verdict: Stays

TE
Eric Ebron

I could see a situation where the Steelers call Ebron if he hasn’t been signed soon and ask him to come in and be more of a slot receiving option than an in-line tight end. I don’t foresee Ebron wanting to come back and play on a team with an uncertain quarterback position. I think he finds work elsewhere.

Verdict: Goes

RB
Kalen Ballage

Many, including myself, questioned the Ballage signing last offseason, and I feel as if his type of running back are a dime a dozen in the NFL. The Steelers will find help at the position with another player.

Verdict: Goes

Offensive Line
Trai Turner

Turner was brought in to an extremely young line after David DeCastro’s retirement. It wasn’t an easy situation for Turner, but he made the most of it. However, I feel the Steelers want to get younger alone the line, and Turner is on the wrong side of 30.

Verdict: Goes

Chuks Okorafor

The Steelers could bring Chuks back in 2022 if he were the swing tackle, but with his experience and versatility someone will probably take a flier on him as a starter. I don’t see anyway he returns unless it is in a reserve role.

Verdict: Goes

B.J. Finney

Finney has been a disappointment since he left for the Seattle Seahawks in free agency. An injury riddled season like means the end of the road for Finney.

Verdict: Goes


Defense

Defensive Line
Montravious Adams

The player who was signed off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad was a nice addition to the defense when they needed it the most. He isn’t a Casey Hampton in the middle, but signing Adams to a 2-3 year contract would ease the loss of Tyson Alualu after his contract expires after 2022.

Verdict: Stays

OLB
Taco Charlton

Charlton might value himself more than the market values him, but I see him coming back to the Steelers on a team-friendly, veteran minimum deal in hopes of proving himself.

Verdict: Stays

CB
Joe Haden

Another difficult decision here, but Haden certainly seems to be at peace with leaving Pittsburgh. Unless he takes a discount, I don’t believe Haden will be back in 2022.

Verdict: Goes

Ahkello Witherspoon

Losing Haden means the Steelers put their eggs in the Ahkello Witherspoon basket. Witherspoon will turn a big final quarter of the 2021 season into a big contract with the Steelers to stay in Pittsburgh.

Verdict: Stays

Arthur Maulet — Signed two-year deal with the Steelers

Safety
Terrell Edmunds

The Steelers value Edmunds, probably more than anyone else, and that is a large reason why the team will do whatever it takes to keep him.

Verdict: Stays

Miles Killebrew — Signed two-year deal with the Steelers


This might be disappointing to some Steelers fans, but the signings of Edmunds and Witherspoon might be two of the banner signings for the Steelers in free agency. I do believe they go out and sign outside players, but these two will be critical to the success of the Steelers’ secondary.

I elaborated about this more on the latest episode of my Let’s Ride podcast. Check it out in the player below, along with my interview with former ILB Levon Kirkland below!