Arthur Moats and Matt Spaeth are great signing for the Steelers; team-first players who add depth to the roster with a role playing mentality, but can be called on to contribute. Nice players indeed, but they certainly aren't Jeremy Maclin, Byron Maxwell or the richest defender in history, Ndamukong Suh.
Steelers sign depth, but starting talent going dry
•Behind the Steel CurtainLots of the top free agents have already committed to contracts before the start of free agency. Who's left for the Steelers?
The Steelers were never in the running for any big name free agents, and they might not even be in the running to retain Jason Worilds, their highest priority free agent. Pittsburgh isn't going to make a "splash signing", they won't offer anything above market price and they won't get into a bidding war with rival franchises. But they will do something, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
For now, the Steelers have avoided the headlines sans the Brett Keisel release, but have otherwise been quiet. But, given the utterly glaring lack of positional depth at both cornerback and outside linebacker, the latter of which is considered the most important defensive position in Keith Butler's scheme, Pittsburgh can be expected to make some sort of move. Of course, Moats is a nice player and even Brice McCain still lurks in the open market and is a likely candidate to return to Pittsburgh, while the draft possesses some great options to fill some positional needs, but these factors can't fix short-term problems. Long term, maybe, but the immediate future of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense could be in trouble if the team can't locate a plug-and-play player in free agency.
Kaboly mentions Brian Orakpo, Akeem Ayers, Derrick Morgan and Jabaal Sheard as options to fill the hole at outside linebacker. All could be immediate starters, but all will fetch at least $6 million annually, if not more. Pittsburgh might not even make a move on the first day. But, if one of these names is available later in the week, the Steelers could be one of the teams in the running.
The overall level of activity by the Steelers in free agency will be low. Lower than most teams, and certainly lower than their minor spending spree last offseason. But grabbing either a cornerback or outside linebacker to fill an immediate need as a plug-and-play starter is a realistic, if not imminent move.