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Will the Steelers’ widely praised offseason set the team up for success in 2023?

The 2023 NFL season is right around the corner. Here’s what you may have missed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 training camp officially kicked off on Thursday, July 26, when both rookies and veterans were due to report once again to St. Vincent College. With QB Kenny Pickett looking to make a big leap in his second season, a revitalized offensive line, and a now-healthy T.J. Watt, there’s a lot to like about this roster and their potential to make a post-season run under HC Mike Tomlin, who — stop me if you’ve heard this before — has never had a losing season.

Steelers offseason grade: A

Omar Khan crushed it in his first full offseason as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ GM, from some low-key great signings in free agency on through some big-time values selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Though no single event has drastically impacted the Steelers Super Bowl odds, they have slowly improved from +6000 when they opened, now down to +5000 on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Ahead of Steelers training camp, here’s a recap of the team’s key free agent signings, a list of the Steelers 2023 draft picks, and offseason departures.

Steelers key offseason additions

Free agent signings, trade acquisitions

All players listed were signed in 2023 free agency, unless otherwise indicated.

  • CB Chandon Sullivan (Previously with Vikings) — Signed to 1-year, $1.23 million contract
  • CB Patrick Peterson (Vikings) — Signed to 2-year, $14 million contract
  • OG Isaac Seumulo (Eagles) — Signed to 3-year, $24 million contract
  • OG Nate Herbig (Jets) — Signed to 2-year, $8 million contract
  • LB Cole Holcomb (Commanders) — Signed to 3-year, $18 million contract
  • EDGE Markus Golden (Cardinals) — Signed to 1-year, $1.09 million contract
  • LB Elandon Roberts (Dolphins) — Signed to 2-year, $7 million contract
  • S Keanu Neal (Bucs) — Signed to 2-year, $4.25 million contract
  • WR Allen Robinson (Rams) — Acquired from LA Rams in exchange for a seventh-round pick swap

Biggest hit: Signing free agent CB Patrick Peterson. Though Peterson is entering his age-33 season, he’s coming off a really solid year with the Vikings that should prove very useful to the Steelers considering the turnover at cornerback. Peterson allowed a 77.3 passer rating when targeted in coverage (third-lowest in his career) to earn his highest PFF coverage grade dating back to his 2018 season with the Cardinals. Consider his five interceptions (tied for fifth-most among defenders) and 66 tackles (a career-high) in 2022 all the proof we need that there’s something left in the tank on the field, in addition to what his veteran presence adds in the locker room.

Biggest miss: Missing out on WR DeAndre Hopkins, who signed with the Titans after being released by the Cardinals earlier this offseason. As quarterback Kenny Pickett looks to take the next step in his development as a passer, there’s one thing he’s missing: an elite wide receiver. Hopkins might be aging (just like Peterson), but in games with Kyler Murray, he averaged over 90 yards and 0.6 receiving TDs per game — a far cry from “washed.”

2023 NFL Draft picks

  • Round 1, No. 14 overall: OT Broderick Jones (Georgia)
  • Round 2, No. 32: CB Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
  • Round 2, No. 49: DT Keanu Benton (Wisconsin)
  • Round 3, No. 93: TE Darnell Washington (Georgia)
  • Round 4, No. 132: LB Nick Herbig (Wisconsin)
  • Round 7, No. 241: CB Cory Trice Jr. (Purdue)
  • Round 7, No. 251: OT Spencer Anderson (Maryland)

Biggest hit: Drafting Joey Porter Jr. Trading up for OT Broderick Jones could eventually be the right answer, but from a value standpoint, nabbing Porter Jr. No. 32 overall is a steal. Porter’s IQ for the cornerback position, physicality, and feistiness against opposing wide receivers could transform the secondary. It also doesn’t hurt to remember this was the pick received from the Chicago Bears in exchange for WR Chase Claypool. Way to win the trade, Pittsburgh.

Biggest miss: There shouldn’t be many complaints from Steelers fans in this draft. GM Omar Khan nailed it.

Steelers offseason departures

  • CB Cameron Sutton — Free agency departure (Signed with Detroit Lions)
  • CB William Jackson — Released (Current free agent)
  • DT Tyson Alualu — Free agency departure (Free agent)
  • LB Devin Bush — Free agency departure (Seattle Seahawks)
  • LB Myles Jack — Released (Free agent)
  • S Terell Edmonds — Free agency departure (Philadelphia Eagles)

Biggest hit: Letting Devin Bush walk. The Steelers declined the fifth-year option for their former first-round pick and let him walk in free agency to sign a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks. By the end, it felt like both sides needed a fresh start, and Khan saw the value in moving on now rather than digging his heels in.

Biggest miss: Letting Cam Sutton walk. The team signed veteran Patrick Peterson and added Joey Porter Jr. in the draft, but keeping Sutton in the mix could have provided some stability at a position of weakness. Among cornerbacks to play 500 or more snaps in 2022, Sutton allowed the sixth-lowest passer rating in coverage (69.6), finishing the year with three interceptions and eight pass breakups.

Pittsburgh Steelers odds

Unfortunately, despite upgrades to the overall roster via free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft, oddsmakers aren’t buying into the Steelers as a viable postseason threat. Here’s a look at where the Steelers currently stand, with all odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

To win Super Bowl LVIII: +5000
To win the AFC: +2500
To win the AFC North: +450
To make the playoffs: +135

The odds won’t matter when the team hits the field, though.