THURSDAY, MARCH 18
The Steelers have made official the new contract of tackle Zach Banner, which Banner announced on Tuesday.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17
With the 4 p.m. deadline passed, the new league year has officially started and the Steelers should be making some of their moves official any moment now. The team’s 14 free agents are officially unrestricted in their ability to contact and negotiate with other teams.
Outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi, punter Jordan Berry, running back James Conner, safeties Jordan Dangerfield and Sean Davis, quarterback Josh Dobbs, outside linebacker Jaryone Elliott, right tackleJerald Hawkins, guard Danny Isidora, outside linebacker Cassius Marsh, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, inside linebacker Avery Williamson, defensive lineman Chris Wormley and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva have all hit the open market. Linebacker Vince Williams was already an unrestricted free agent after being released on Tuesday.
TUESDAY, MARCH 16
The Steelers continued their trend of more net losses in free agency that starting on Monday with three players departing and one staying on Tuesday in a series of moves.
Nose tackle Tyson Alualu departed for Jacksonville on a two-year, $6 million contract that will leave a large hole in the middle of the Steelers’ defense. Alualu had been a valuable backup at defensive end before sliding into a starting role at nose tackle in 2020.
Slot cornerback Mike Hilton is also on his way out of town after agreeing to a four-year, $24 million contract with the Steelers’ AFC North rivals in Cincinnati. Hilton and Alualu essentially combined to make one full-time part of the Steelers’ defense, with Alualu coming off the field for Hilton when the team switched from base to Nickel defense.
Vince Williams became the fourth major member of the Steelers’ defense to exit when he was released from his contract on Tuesday afternoon. Williams’ release saved the team $4 million in salary cap space.
In those four players, the Steelers have lost 2,190 snaps of defensive play from the 2020 season, a number reduced because of Bud Dupree’s knee injury.
But that cap space created with Williams’ release helped the Steelers to their lone signing of the day on Tuesday, when tackle Zach Banner agreed to a new two-year deal worth $9.5 million.. Banner will help shore up on an offensive line that has already lost two starters from 2020 and is expected to lose at least one more.
MONDAY, MARCH 15
The Steelers saw two of their pending free agents get a big contracts on Monday in the first day of free agency, while locking up one of their own players.
Outside linebacker Bud Dupree signed a five-year contract with the Tennessee Titans that could pay him as much as $82.5 million and has $35 million guaranteed in the most impactful move of the day.
In terms of total money handed out, Dupree earned the most on Tuesday. He got the third-most guaranteed money, behind fellow edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, who re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and guard Joe Thuney, who went from the New England Patriots to the Kansas City Chiefs. Dupree’s was the second-largest contract handed out on an average annual value basis, as well, behind Barrett.
Guard/tackle Matt Feiler also cashed in, as he signed a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers worth $21 million. Feiler was the day’s fourth-highest paid offensive lineman, behind Thuney, center Corey Linsley, who also signed with the Chargers after leaving the Green Bay Packers, and guard Kevin Zeitler, who went from the New York Giants to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Steelers did keep one of their own, as slot corner Cam Sutton signed a two-year contract to stay with the team. Sutton’s two-year, $9 million deal was the third-largest agreed to on Monday in a slow day for defensive backs.
MOVES BEFORE MARCH 15:
REMAINING FREE AGENTS
OLB Ola Adeniyi
P Jordan Berry
RB James Conner
S Jordan Dangerfield
S Sean Davis
QB Josh Dobbs
OLB Jaryone Elliott
RT Jerald Hawkins
OG Danny Isidora
OLB Cassius Marsh
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
ILB Avery Williamson
ILB Vince Williams
DL Chris Wormley
LT Alejandro Villanueva