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Trio of Steelers veterans could re-shape the 2017 team

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a young team, but there are some veterans who have to decide on their future which could change the complexion of the 2017 team.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team with a good mix of experience and youth across their roster, but there are also some key veterans who, if they choose to go elsewhere or retire, could really alter the team’s roster in 2017.

How could they impact the roster? Easy. Their experience, and in some instances their depth, help provide the team with an insurance policy which would leave the team vulnerable at several positions should they decide to leave.

Those three veterans would be:

DeAngelo Williams

The aging running back was the epitome of an insurance policy when signed in 2015, and he has filled in nicely for Le’Veon Bell during his injuries and suspensions. However, Williams isn’t getting younger, and has had injuries hamper his seasons the past two seasons.

If Williams calls it a career, then the decision is easy, but if he wants to play another do the Steelers entertain the thought of him returning? Without Williams the team’s running back depth chart is pretty bare.

James Harrison

Harrison is coming off a tremendous season, and said openly he wants to return in 2017. Mike Tomlin said he would be open to the man they call ‘Deebo’ returning as well, but how much will it cost the team? Harrison played for near league minimum in 2016, but will he give another hometown discount?

The Steelers are in need of a pass rusher, and they will likely look to address this in the offseason through free agency or the NFL Draft, but having Harrison in the fold would help provide depth, and leadership, on a defense thin in both categories.

Lawrence Timmons

This might be the trickiest veteran to pinpoint. Timmons is the youngest of the trio, is coming off a tremendous season, but will he be given the green light to test free agency for the first time since being Tomlin’s first draft pick in 2007?

Timmons said he would like to come back to Pittsburgh, but money and expectations can change those in a heart beat. Timmons was given a huge pay day in 2016, and the team might look to give him a team-friendly 2 or 3-year deal to end his career in the Steel City.


I go in-depth on all three of these players, their situations on the depth chart and predictions of how each scenario will play out in the latest episode of the “Steelers Connection” podcast. You can hear the podcast in the player above, so give the short (10 minute) show a listen!

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