Resetting Steelers Free Agent Big Board
The Steelers have done a good amount of work in free agency already, signing four external free agents and brining back two of their own in the first few days of player contact. So what is left for Omar Khan and company? Here’s our Steelers free agency big board, sorted according to PFF ranks and attuned to the Steelers needs, with the day one contracts crossed out.
SLOT WIDE RECEIVER
Players on the roster: Calvin Austin III, Anthony Miller, Gunner Olszewski
Free agents: Steven Sims
This is one position the Steelers haven’t touched since last offseason, and in fact, the team let incumbent starter Steven Sims hit the open market instead of tendering him as a restricted free agent. The good news is that there are some tantalizing free agent options like Mecole Hartman and Jarvis Landry remaining on the market.
The draft also has several quality slot receivers like Jordan Addison, Say Flowers and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
NE Jacobi Meyers Signed with LV; three years, $33 million
KC JuJu Smith-Schuster Signed with NE; three years, $25.5 million
MIN Adam Thielen
IND Parris Campbell Signed with NYG, one year, $4.7 million
KC Mecole Hardman
NO Jarvis Landry
TEN Robert Woods Signed with HOU; two years, $15.25 million
GB Randall Cobb
NE Nelson Agholor
Players on the roster: Alex Highsmith, Jamir Jones, Quincy Roche, T.J. Watt
Free agents: Malik Reed
The Steelers’ search for a No. 3 edge rusher enters year three, and the free agent market at the position has been awfully quiet after the top guys. Some reported interest in Bud Dupree suggests that the Steelers might like to take care of this need before they reach the draft.
Former Penn State edge rusher Carl Nassib could be a good option as a guy that’s been a rotational player before and had some success in that role.
NO Marcus Davenport Signed with MIN; one year, $13 million
CLE Jadaveon Clowney
HOU Charles Omenihu Signed with KC; two years, $20 million
SF Arden Key Signed with TEN; three years, $21 million
SF Samson Ebukam Signed with IND; three years, $24 million
HOU Ogbonnia Okoronkwo Signed with CLE; three years, $19 million
IND Yannick Ngakoue
LAR Leonard Floyd
PHI Brandon Graham
MIA Melvin Ingram III
BAL Justin Houston
KC Frank Clark
LAC Kyle Van Noy
HOU Rasheem Green
ATL Lorenzo Carter
JAX Dawuane Smoot
TEN DeMarcus Walker Signed with CHI; three years, $21 million
SEA Carlos Dunlap
TEN Bud Dupree
BUF Shaq Lawson
TB Anthony Nelson
DAL Dante Fowler Jr.
MIA Andrew Van Ginkel
PHI Robert Quinn
TB Carl Nassib
Players on the roster: Damontae Kazee, Miles Killebrew
Free agents: Terrell Edmunds, Karl Joseph
The Steelers could use one more body at strong safety, and the thought here is, it should probably be a bigger one. Kazee is good as a half-field safety, and with the Steelers playing more Cover 2, that fits. But they will also want the ability to put an eighth man in the box against the likes of the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, which represent five of their 17 games in 2023.
Terrell Edmunds is of course, still out there and he remains an option. Another could be ex-Browns safety John Johnson III.
CIN Jessie Bates III Signed with ATL; four years, $64.02 million
BUF Jordan Poyer Re-signed with BUF; two years
PHI Chauncy Gardner-Johnson
CIN Vonn Bell Signed with CAR; three years, $22.5 million
SF Jimmy Ward Signed with HOU; two years, $13 million
NYG Julian Love
LAR Taylor Rapp
KC Juan Thornhill Signed with CLE; three years, $21 million
DAL Donovan Wilson Re-signed with DAL; three years, #21 million
GB Adrian Amos
IND Rodney McLeod
PHI Marcus Epps Signed with LV; two years, $12 million
LAR Nick Scott
LV Duron Harmon
DET DeShon Elliott Signed with MIA
CLE John Johnson III
SF Tashaun Gipson Re-signed with SF; one year
DEN Kareem Jackson
TB Mike Edwards
PIT Terrell Edmunds
Players on the roster: Montravius Adams, Cam Heyward, Isaiahh Loudermilk, Jonathan Marshall, Larry Ogunjobi, Renell Wren
Free agents: Tyson Alualu, Chris Wormley
The Steelers could certainly use someone with the size to play the nose to fill role the likely being vacated by Tyson Alualu and also likely need one more rotational tackle.
A’Shawn Robison did not play much nose tackle with the even front of the L.A. Rams, but at 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds, certainly has the size to do it. He had a pre-draft visit to Pittsburgh when he came out of Alabama.
PHI Javon Hargrave Signed with SF; four years, $84 million
NYD Dalvin Tomlinson Signed with CLE; four years, $57 million
BAL Calais Campbell
DEN Dre’Mont Jones Signed with SEA: three years, $51.53 million
ARI Zach Allen Signed with DEN; three years, $47.75 million
NO David Onyemata
NYJ Sheldon Rankins Signed with HOU; one year, $10.5 million
PIT Larry Ogunjobi Re-signed with PIT; three years, $28.75 million
CAR Matt Ioannidis
LAC Morgan Fox Re-signed with LAC; two years
LAR A’Shawn Robinson
SEA Poona Ford
GB Jarran Reed Signed with SEA; two years, $10.8 million
LAR Greg Gaines
CLE Taven Bryan Signed with IND; one year, $3.51 million
GB Dean Lowry
PHI Fletcher Cox Re-signed with PHI; one year, $10 million
KC Khalen Sanders Signed with NO
TB Akiem Hicks
NO Shy Tuttle Signed with CAR; three years, $19.5 million
LV Andrew Billings Signed with CHI; one year, $2.4 million
LV Jerry Tillery Re-signed with LV
KC Derrick Nnadi
SF Kerry Hyder
Players on the roster: Pat Freiermuth, Connor Heyward
Free agents: Zach Gentry, Derek Watt
The free agency market has been extremely slow at tight end, and if the Steelers don’t find what they’re looking for at slot receiver, maybe they would sign a bigger-name tight end and fill that role with Pat Freiermuth.
Freiermuth was much better while flexed out rather than inline in 2022, and a more-traditional counterpart could free him up to be used in that way more often. Foster Moreau has done just that, playing alongside Darrin Waller with the Raiders the last few years.
DAL Dalton Schultz
MIA Mike Gesicki Signed with NE; one year, $9 million
CIN Hayden Hurst Signed with CAR; three years, $21.75 million
TEN Austin Hooper
LV Foster Moreau
MIN Irv Smith Jr.
GB Robert Tonyan Signed with CHI; one year
GB Marcedes Lewis
BAL Josh Oliver Signed with MIN; three years, $21 million
Players on the roster: Dan Moore Jr., Chuks Okorafor
Free agents:Jesse Davis, Trent Scott
Tackle wasn’t even in our initial free agency list for the Steelers, as the big players in this group were expected to cost far more than the Steelers have to spend. The presence of incumbents at both tackle slots mean it would take a pretty good player to be an upgrade, as well.
But with the Steelers reportedly interested in Orlando Brown Jr. as he made his return to the AFC North by signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, maybe that was an oversight.
Taylor Lewan probably remains the most likely name on this list, in part due to his professed desire to play for the Steelers. But given what others have signed for, it’s hard to imagine him getting the $10 million a year he said he would need to return to the league.
KC Orlando Brown Jr. Signed in CIN; four years, $64.092 million
SF Mike McGlinchey Signed in DEN; five years, $87.5 million
JAX Jawaan Taylor Signed in KC; four years, $80 million
ATL Kaleb McGary Re-signed in ATL; three years, $34.5 million
NE Isaiah Wynn
TEN Taylor Lewan
ARI Kelvin Beachum Re-signed in ARI; two years, $5.15 million
LV Jermaine Eluemunor
DEN Cameron Fleming
TB Donovan Smith
NYJ George Fant
LAC Trey Pipkins III Re-signed in LAC; three years, $21.75 million
KC Andrew Wylie Signed in WAS; there years, $24 million
DEN Billy Turner
SEA Brandon Shell
Players on the roster: Art Maulet, Patrick Peterson, Levi Wallace, Ahkello Witherspoon
Free agents: James Pierre
The Steelers have already double-dipped at a position once in this free agency class, and the same paradigm that existed at linebacker that allowed the Steelers to sign both Cole Holcomb and Elandon Robert exists at cornerback.
After letting Cam Sutton walk and signing Patrick Peterson instead, the Steelers could sign another corner, and release Ahkello Witherspoon to realize some salary cap savings.
Someone like Sean Murphy-Bunting, who has played more slot corner than any of the Steelers three current outside options, could be a good fit.
TB Jamel Dean Re-signed with TB; four years, $52 million
PHI James Bradberry Re-signed with PHI; three years, $38 million
PIT Camerson Sutton Signed with DET; three years, $33 million
NE Jonathan Jones Re-signed with NE; two years, $19 million
MIN Patrick Peterson Signed with PIT; two years, $14 million
LV Rock Ya-Sin
ARI Byron Murphy Jr. Signed with MIN; two years, $17.5 million
BAL Marcus Peters
JAX Shaquill Griffin
SF Emmanuel Mosley Signed with DET; one year, $6 million
LAC Bryce Callahan
TB Sean Murphy-Bunting
LAR Troy Hill
DAL Anthony Brown
CIN Eli Apple
WAS Danny Johnson Re-signed with WAS; two years, $5 million
DET Mike Hughes