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5 Free Agents the Steelers should consider following roster cutdowns

The Steelers should consider signing these 5 free agents.

NFL: Hall of Fame Game-Jacksonville Jaguars at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Roster Cutdown Day is officially behind us, and new names have entered the free agency pool. The Steelers made several surprising decisions themselves, including a couple trades. However, there are still weak positions on the roster that could be solved with a free agent signing. Which players would make the most sense for the Steelers, you ask? It is time to find out!

The following list of players does not include players the Steelers just released themselves, but rather players who have recently been cut by other teams and are currently available (as of the time of this writing). I chose my top five options for the Steelers based upon current needs on the roster, ending with a short list of additional options for both the roster and the practice squad.

If you have any thoughts on the players listed below, be sure to share them in the comment section down below.

Let’s dive in!

Alex Leatherwood — OT/G

NFL: Hall of Fame Game-Jacksonville Jaguars at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After just one season, Alex Leatherwood is looking for a new job. Was Leatherwood a reach where he was selected? Absolutely. Was it yet another poor personnel decision by the Jon Gruden regime? 100%. Nonetheless, Leatherwood is a talented lineman with positional versatility. Accounting for 14 penalties and allowing 8 sacks in one season is not something any lineman should be happy with, but within a mid-season coaching change lies drama, and it can have a major effect on the philosophy enforced on the offensive and defensive lines. Perhaps a fresh start is all the former Alabama standout needs to get his career back on track, and in Pittsburgh, he would have a chance to compete at offensive tackle, the position he probably should have been playing at rather than being rotated inside at different times during the season.

Marquise Blair — S

NFL: Preseason-Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Blair has dealt with his share of injuries since entering the NFL, but when fully healthy, he has shown flashes of potential. A second-round selection in 2019, Blair possesses great athleticism and versatility, providing the quickness, physicality, and closing speed to play either safety or nickel cornerback at a high level. If Damontae Kazee’s injury is not as serious as many seem to think, this may be an unnecessary signing, but considering the Steelers’ lack of depth at both safety and nickel without Kazee, Blair should be a guy on Omar Khan’s radar.

Solomon Kindley — G

NFL: SEP 12 Dolphins at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you want to talk about a guy who could come in immediately and improve the Steelers’ run blocking, look no further than Solomon Kindley. At 6’4”, 335 pounds, Kindley has been profiled as a true mauler since his days at Georgia. The biggest concern with him is his lengthy history of nagging lower-body injuries, which caused him to miss quite a bit of time in Miami. However, he is a quality, starting-level guard when fully healthy. Nobody is taking James Daniels’ job away, but if the Steelers are not sold on either Kevin Dotson or Kendrick Green, who both had their share of struggles in the preseason, they may want to look into Kindley.

Mac McCain III — CB

NFL: JAN 09 Cowboys at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Once reported as a Steelers undrafted free agent signee, McCain was cut this week after sticking with the Eagles for a stint in 2021. After false reports of McCain signing with the Steelers surfaced following the 2021 draft, McCain signed with the Denver Broncos, making a solid impression in camp but failing to do enough to make the roster. He was later picked up by the Eagles and looked strong in the two games he participated in, but a flurry of moves in the secondary for the Eagles this offseason put McCain out of a job. It may not be a flashy signing, but McCain would be an immediate upgrade over James Pierre and could compete with veteran Arthur Maulet for work in a reserve role.

Gregory Junior — CB

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

It was an up-and-down preseason for Junior, to say the least. However, his athletic talent was on display in every appearance he made, and we saw him make key plays for the Jaguars defense. Junior is a 2022 6th-round pick from Ouachita Baptist who made a strong impression during the pre-draft process, causing teams to go back to the tape and discover his extraordinary play in college. For someone who did not play against much competition, Junior came into the league with enough maturity to make an immediate difference, but unfortunately, his efforts were not enough to remain with Jacksonville. He will likely get another chance elsewhere, but based on the Steelers’ need for a corner with Junior’s skill set, Pittsburgh would be one of the most ideal landing spots.

Other Considerations

Justin Jackson — RB
Sheldrick Redwine — S
Ben Mason — FB
Roderick Johnson — OT

Practice Squad Candidates

Carson Strong — QB
Javelin Guidry — CB
Shaun Jolly — CB
Josh Babicz — TE
Lucas Krull — TE
Jerreth Sterns — WR
Sadarius Hutcherson — G
Jesse Luketa — EDGE
Bo Melton — WR

Which free agents would you like to see the Steelers sign? Be sure to light up the comment section below with your thoughts, and stay tuned to BTSC as we get you ready for the Steelers’ Week 1 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals!