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Steelers News Lists Steelers’ Biggest Needs in Free Agency



Steelers Omar Khan

With NFL free agency set to kick off this week, the Next Gen Stats analytics team at examined the top needs for every AFC team. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, Next Gen Stats thinks quarterback, offensive tackle and cornerback should be a top priority for the Steelers in free agency.

“Mitchell Trubisky has been released, and Mason Rudolph could be headed elsewhere in free agency, making Kenny Pickett the last quarterback standing on a team that is ready to compete right now. Based on what Pickett has shown, Pittsburgh shouldn’t enter 2024 without ample competition at the position,” Next Gen Stats wrote. “Pickett finished last season with the third-lowest success rate among quarterbacks (38.8 percent). There’s one QB set to hit the market with whom new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has worked well in the past: Ryan Tannehill, who led the NFL in success rate (55.1 percent) in 2019, when Tannehill and Smith helped push the Titans to the AFC Championship Game. Elsewhere, an upgrade at whichever offensive tackle spot Broderick Jones doesn’t end up starting at is likely warranted, as is a consistent cornerback presence opposite Joey Porter Jr. Porter allowed -16.0 target EPA last season, the fourth-fewest by a rookie cornerback since 2016.”

Cornerback is definitely a need, especially with Patrick Peterson being released and Levi Wallace set to leave. The Steelers need to pair Joey Porter Jr. with a top-flight cornerback, but they also need a slot corner. Cornerback is a position that the Steelers will probably address in free agency and the draft. They’re really thin at cornerback right now.

Next Gen Stats mentioned offensive tackle, but the Steelers also have a big hole at center that needs to be filled. They already brought former Buffalo Bills center Mitch Morse in for a visit. Morse did not make a deal with the Steelers during his time in Pittsburgh. He also visited with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Steelers general manager Omar Khan said during the 2024 NFL Combine that the team has faith in the ability of guards James Daniels and Nate Herbig to play center if necessary, but it seems clear that center is one of the team’s top needs of the offseason.

Like cornerback, the Steelers might double-dip by acquiring a center in free agency and selecting one in the draft. The Steelers have been repeatedly linked to the top center options in the 2024 NFL Draft class, including potential first-round pick Jackson Powers-Johnson of Oregon and potential second-round pick Zach Frazier of West Virginia.

It’s no secret that the Steelers need to address the quarterback position, as Kenny Pickett is the only QB currently on the roster. The Steelers already kicked off the process by meeting with former Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson on Friday.

Wilson represents some of the strongest available competition on the open market. He could also come at a minuscule price, at least for 2024. The Broncos gave Wilson a guaranteed $39 million in salary for the 2024 season, and any amount the Steelers or any other team would pay him would simply be removed from Denver’s commitments.

Whether it’s re-signing Mason Rudoph or adding a big name like Wilson, quarterback surely will be addressed by the Steelers in free agency. If they sign Wilson that will definitely make things interesting in regards to Pickett and is future.