The Pittsburgh Steelers hit free agency hard last year, bringing in a handful of veteran players to earn starting roles and improve depth.
Here is a position-by-position look at the Steelers depth chart going into this year's March 10 start of free agency.
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers likely will have the same quarterback trio for the third straight season, but Ben Roethlisberger backups Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones have not attempted a pass the past two years.
That's a credit to Roethlisberger's good health and which is at least in part thanks to the protection by the club's offensive line. It also allowed Roethlisberger to have a spectacular offensive season. He completed better than 67 percent of his passes for 4,952 yards and 32 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He was sacked 33 times and played nearly every snap after not missing any in 2013.
Roethlisberger will turn 33 on March 2, so the new contract that the Steelers will negotiate with his representatives this year could be his last big deal. The base salary is at $11.5 million in 2015, but the cap hit is $18.395 million. So, the Steelers could reach an agreement by his birthday -- and the subsequent free-agent start date -- to get a better idea of their available money for veteran signings.
Gradkowski's contract, which expires after this coming season, has him scheduled to make $1.55 million in 2015 (a $1.833 million cap hit). Jones is set to make $585,000 this year and $675,000 in 2016 with modest cap hits both seasons, but he appears to be unlikely to move into the primary backup role anytime soon or be groomed as Roethlisberger's successor.
While the Steelers' quarterback depth isn't likely to change this season, it could be drastically altered after that with a different primary backup and No. 3 man. So, don't expect the Steelers to select a quarterback in the April 30-May 2 NFL Draft, but one likely will be signed after it to provide competition.
And this time next year, the club could be looking for a quarterback in free agency and possibly one in the draft as well.