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A Letter From the Editor: Buckle up Steelers fans, it’s going to get wild

The Pittsburgh Steelers offseason is just getting underway...buckle up fans!

NFL: Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

March 12th 2023 might just be another Sunday to some. It might be the day people to forget to move their clocks forward an hour. But for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, and all NFL fans, it is the calm before the proverbial storm.

Monday, March 13th, at 12 p.m. ET is the unofficial start of the free agency period with the two-day legal tampering period beginning. While the deals which are constructed aren’t official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday, March 15th at 4 p.m. ET, deals are put into place as early as Monday.

For the Steelers, this is uncharted territory. No, this isn’t the organization’s first time dealing with free agency, but it is Omar Khan’s first time as the team’s General Manager (GM). It’s the first time with Andy Weidl as his right-hand man. Add all of that together and there is an unknown aspect to this offseason which is exciting.

Some don’t like the unknown. They fear it. After all, not knowing what lies ahead can be daunting, but, to me, it is thrilling. I am a big fan of change not being negative, but potentially being a positive. In this case, I don’t forecast gloom and doom, but the opportunity for Khan to put his own fingerprint on the organization’s history.

What could possibly change? Outside of the obvious talent evaluation standpoint, Khan very well could be doing things differently from his predecessor, Kevin Colbert. This could be via the structure of contracts, duration and even how the money is moved throughout the deal. Khan could be willing to do things from a contract standpoint which Colbert never wanted to do.

It might seem like a small aspect of the job, but shouldn’t be underscored in regards to the team being able to acquire players and remain a team with a healthy level of salary cap space on a yearly basis.

When you add all this together, you realize this offseason, which starts with free agency, is going to be wild. I don’t predict the Steelers to be major players in free agency this season, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make moves. It will be important to see where Khan and his front office put their focus and how they handle all aspects of their business.

Looking closer at the Steelers’ roster, Khan and his team have their work cut out for them. While the offense is young, and brimming with potential, the defensive holes are glaring. What will the organization do if they can’t re-sign Larry Ogunjobi on the defensive line? Will Cameron Sutton be retained? What about the safety duo of Damontae Kazee and Terrell Edmunds? Oh, and then there’s the inside linebacker saga which continues to hang over the Steelers defense like a dark cloud since Ryan Shazier’s injury in 2017.

Filling these holes starts Monday with the start of free agency, and how the organization addresses those needs will blead into the 2023 NFL Draft. But it all starts Monday. In other words, whenever you are exploring uncharted territory it’s best to buckle up and prepare yourself for anything and everything. So, buckle up Steelers fans, it’s going to get wild.

(Note: The Letter From the Editor feature runs every Sunday during the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason.)