When BTSC asked it's readers to grade the Pittsburgh Steelers through the first week of free agency, thousands voted, but the average grade for the organization was a solid, middle of the road 'C'. When ESPN.com's Insider graded all 32 teams through free agency, they agreed with the extremely knowledgeable and dedicated fans here at BTSC giving the team a 'C' grade. See what they had to say:
Key re-signings/additions: RB DeAngelo Williams, OLB James Harrison, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
Key subtractions: CB Antwon Blake, RB Ben Tate, DE Brett Keisel, CB Brice Mccain, DE Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, OLB Jason Worilds, WR Justin Brown, WR Lance Moore, TE Michael Palmer, S Robert Golden, S Will Allen, FB Will Johnson
The Steelers resemble the Ravens in that both teams remain competitive without much offseason activity. Having stability in the front office, on the coaching staff and at quarterback helps.
"Nice job as usual," Bill Polian said. "DeAngelo Williams provides a terrific backup, which was badly needed. That is the perfect role for him at this stage of his career."
Williamson felt better about the Steelers' offseason once the team signed Harrison.
"They have watched a ton of outside linebackers and corners sign everywhere else," Williamson said. "They did get Harrison and I like that now. He played very well last year. So if you go into next season with Jarvis Jones, who might be a bust, plus Moats and then Harrison as a rotational guy, that is OK. But their secondary is still junk. The need at corner is so huge now that you wonder if they finally have to take one in the first round."
Outside of this report listing the three restricted free agents (Antwon Blake, Robert Golden and Will Johnson) the team gave one-year tenders to as subtractions, it is a pretty spot-on depiction of the team's free agency thus far. The Steelers seem to have secured their OLB position enough where they can turn to cornerback in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, something which hasn't been done in a long time in the steel city.
Nonetheless, fans should remember grades as this one don't depict championships. After all, championships aren't won in March.