Cornerbacks like Chris Culliver, Byron Maxwell and Tramon Williams may be poised to make big bucks this offseason.
The Steelers aren't likely to spend big bucks on a cornerback. But they may spend not-big bucks on one.
The candidates are led by pending free agent Brice McCain, but with so many different avenues teams can take when it comes to signing one of the most important positions on the field, the Steelers may find someone at a better price, or even bring someone in along with McCain.
2014 team: San Diego Chargers
Stats: 52 tackles, 10 passes defensed, three interceptions
A cornerback with three interceptions would be a windfall for the Steelers. Cornerbacks haven't taken the ball away frequently in Pittsburgh for eons now, and while Flowers would give them the threat of forcing turnovers as well as a dynamic playmaker who could be used inside or out. He's likely out of their range pricewise.
Walter Thurmond III
2014 team: New York Giants
Stats: four tackles, 0 passes defensed, 0 interceptions
Thurman suffered a season-ending pectoral tear early in the 2014 season, falling short of expectations of striking it big on the free agency market in 2015. He was suspended for four games during Seattle's Super Bowl championship season, but was active in the playoffs that year. He's a solid player and probably could be had for less than the $3.5 million he made in New York last season.
2014 team: New Orleans Saints
Stats: 39 tackles, 11 passes defensed, two interceptions
Robinson fell out of favor in New Orleans early in 2015, but played reasonably well overall in limited action. He's the exact kind of free agent the Steelers typically like to sign; young (27 years old) and experienced.
2014 team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Stats: 22 tackles, three passes defensed, one interception
Ball struggled with injuries through 2014 before a torn biceps ended his season after seven games. He was a rising player in 2013, and could be had on a short contract due to his past success. He adds "good size" to the "young-and-experienced" list.
2014 team: Indianapolis Colts
Stats: 41 tackles, nine passes defensed, 0 interceptions
He's getting on the older side, but Butler was reasonably solid for the Colts and could be had for an affordable price. The scheme experience he'd have playing for both the Colts and the Patriots (as well as the Panthers) may help him transition quickly.