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NFL Free Agency: Steelers adding depth, but starter market quickly drying up

The Steelers have added a pair of talented depth players in Matt Spaeth and Arthur Moats, but it appears as if some of the newly created cap money won't be used to "pay big".

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a pair of moves Monday on the eve of free agency which suggest they are sticking to Colbert's priorities; re-signing their in-house free agents.  Arthur Moats and Matt Spaeth each received a multi-year deal to stay in Pittsburgh, as the team seems set on retaining quality depth players with team-friendly deals.

The moves could be a precursor to the reality that seems to be setting in on the free agent market; there's not much quality left.  The Steelers, who could've potentially been in the market for either a starting cornerback or outside linebacker will now likely to overpay for a positional need.  Jerry Hughes and Pernell McPhee each signed lucrative deals, leaving Brandon Graham, Greg Hardy, Jabaal Sheard and Jason Worilds as the best available pass rushers.  Worilds is probably the most attractive option of the four given his production (more sacks than all of them), his experience and his lack of off-the-field baggage.  If the Steelers hope to stay in-house and retain Worilds, the prospects of doing so appear to have complicated exponentially, especially with cash-friendly teams like Tennessee and Philadelphia allegedly interested in his services.

The cornerback market is even worse, with Kareem Jackson, Brandon Flowers and Byron Maxwell all agreeing to deals already.  While none of these players might have been realistic options for the Steelers, they will certainly drive up the price for other cornerbacks, partially for teams that both have disposable capital and a need for a cornerback.  Brice McCain could potentially be the beneficiary of such a situation.

The Steelers aren't likely candidates to get into a bidding war with another team, meaning the team's level of activity in the open market could remain low, but for now Pittsburgh seems set on doing what they always do; looking within the organization to retain quality contributors.