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Analyst Gives Steelers a C for Free Agent Haul

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Steelers GM Omar Khan Salary Cap

The Pittsburgh Steelers have widely been praised for their moves in free agency, receiving mostly A’s from analysts and media outlets. General manager Omar Khan bolstered the quarterback room by signing Russell Wilson to a veteran minimum contract and acquired Justin Fields in a trade with Chicago for a sixth-round pick in 2025 that could turn into a fourth if he plays 51% of the snaps in 2024. On top of that, they made a huge splash at the linebacker position by signing former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen.

One analyst is not impressed with the Steelers’ free agency haul, however. Dan Pizzuta of the 33rd Team gave the Steelers a C, as he’s lukewarm on the moves they made and thinks there’s still a lot of areas to be addressed.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback room will be turned over to Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. Those are two low-cost fliers to improve the quarterback play from the Kenny Pickett era. One of them could emerge to impress in Arthur Smith’s offense, but it’s also possible neither is a difference-maker,” Pizzuta wrote.

“The biggest financial commitment was to LB Patrick Queen for three years and $13.8 million guaranteed. Queen improved in his final season with the Ravens, but it remains to be seen if he’ll keep that up without Roquan Smith next to him. There were also defensive additions. DeShon Elliott was signed to play next to Minkah Fitzpatrick, which could allow Fitzpatrick to move around the field more, and CB Donte Jackson was acquired in the trade that sent Diontae Johnson to Carolina.”

Pizzuta makes some valid points, as the Wilson and Fields combination at quarterback has some uncertainties. Both are upgrades from what the Steelers had last year in the quarterback room, but by how much?

The concern about Queen without Roquan Smith next him is a popular one, especially in the Baltimore media. That’s certainly something to watch for, but on paper, the Queen deal makes a ton of sense. The Steelers needed an all-around linebacker.

In regards to the holes on the Steelers’ roster, Pizzuta is worried about the offensive line, wide receiver and cornerback. All three positions are thin, especially at center. It seems like the Steelers will address center and wide receiver in the draft. Slot cornerback is also likely to be improved through the draft.

“Pittsburgh still needs help along the offensive line to aid a unit that was about average in pass block win rate last season, especially with Wilson and/or Fields playing behind them.

Wide receiver is a need after Johnson was traded. Signing Van Jefferson is not enough to run out along with George Pickens and Calvin Austin. The Steelers could also use another cornerback with Levi Wallace unsigned and Darius Rush penciled in to play the slot.”