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Insider: Steelers Could Sign Ex-Dolphins Center Connor Williams

The Pittsburgh Steelers could be the team that goes out and tries to land Dolphins center Connor Williams.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Connor Williams
Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Connor Williams (58) runs onto the field as he is introduced to the fans before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a huge need at center, and so naturally, the team has been connected to the top center left on the market, Connor Williams. Due to a torn ACL, Williams is not going to sign for a while as he rehabs. This could be done after the draft, and given his injury occurred in December, there is no guarantee that Williams is ready for the season. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, detailed his process so far.

“Connor Williams had a pretty significant knee injury. So, he’s taking his time with his rehab. I don’t think his plan is to sign with the Dolphins or any team right now. I think he’s focused on his medical situation — getting healthy — and seeing where he stands. Not any time soon,” Rosenhaus said.

But if things do check out to be fine, the Steelers are likely to be in the thick of suitors. So, what would that cost? Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus believes that Williams could land a 3-year, $22.5 million deal, or $7.5 million per year with $12.5 million guaranteed. And he believes that the Steelers are the best fit for Williams.

“Williams started his career with the Dallas Cowboys at left guard and blossomed in Miami at center, thriving as a run blocker in Mike McDaniel’s zone blocking scheme, where he was able to quickly get to the second level and lead the way. While he doesn’t have the world’s strongest anchor in a phone booth, his fast first step off the line enables him to seal off defenders on the backside of runs by getting in position. Williams suffered a torn ACL in Week 14, which has impacted his market,” he wrote.

Williams was quickly the top center left on the market, and he has to be considered the favorite for the Steelers if they want to land a player who will slot right in and start. Of course, there are significant questions about Williams’ availability to start training camp and potentially even the season given the nature of his injury. He tore his ACL in Week 14, significantly impacting his market. It’s certainly possible he just waits this out well into training camp, which likely means the Steelers would have drafted someone at that point. But Mark Kaboly of the Athletic told 93.7 the Fan that he thinks the team could wait Williams out and try to sign him.

Williams might be the solution if a mid-round pick is in the cards this year, and if that happens, the Steelers should be all over it. He would be a plug-and-play center and a guy they could trust to man the position, especially in the wide zone scheme that Arthur Smith runs. I am unsure if they will make this big of a splash, but if they do, Williams will easily be the best player remaining.

But it will all come down to how healthy Williams is and the timeline for it. Given how deep the center class is, the team will almost certainly add a center at some point, and that makes plenty of sense because of the massive void still left on the roster at that spot.