The Pittsburgh Steelers will have questions to answer on the offensive line this offseason, but they need two starters at tackle and center. And while Broderick Jones mainly played at right tackle in his first season, he is a natural left tackle and more comfortable on that side. So, could the solution come from a division rival?
Pro Football Focus was the first to throw out the idea of the Steelers adding Bengals right tackle Jonah Williams. It could vibe with Arthur Smith’s scheme and help solve a spot before the NFL Draft.
“The Steelers’ offseason approach on offense will be truly fascinating after the hiring of Arthur Smith as offensive coordinator, and we never really got a straight answer as to why former starting right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was banished from the starting lineup. Do the Steelers move 2023 first-round pick tackle Broderick Jones back to left tackle? If he stays at right tackle, do they look for an upgrade over Dan Moore Jr., who has allowed one of the highest pressure rates in the NFL two years in a row? Our projection may be a bit expensive for a Steelers free-agent signing, but we also might be too high with our initial number,” they wrote.
As it stands, the projection is that Williams would get $16 million per year to play there. But he has been just average during his time with the Bengals. That’s not to say he would not be an upgrade over what Pittsburgh has because he would certainly be that, but that’s a lot of money to play for just average, especially in a division with Trey Hendrickson and Myles Garrett. It’s hard to see Pittsburgh making this move in that mindset, but a free-agent tackle can not be out of the cards. It’s not a strong free agent class, though, which could push up the cost for some of these guys, especially with a talent-rich class in the NFL.
Tackles aren’t cheap in free agency either. Still, it would be surprising to see the Steelers not add a starting caliber tackle at some point and shift Dan Moore back to the swing OT role that he is plenty qualified for. It just might not be Williams in this specific scenario.