The Steelers hit a home run with their 2023 NFL Draft class according to most analysts, and that happened after enough things changed within the Steelers process. However, one thing that did not change was the team’s lack of spending on undrafted free agents.
Nick Korte of Over the Cap examined the teams that shelled out the most and least amount of signing bonuses to their undrafted free agents, and to no surprise, the Steelers were near the bottom of the list. They came 31st in the NFL only ahead of divisional rival Cincinnati.
Most guaranteed money given to 2023 UDFAs:
— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) May 16, 2023
Overall, they just spent $41, 500 on their undrafted free-agent bonuses. In fact, according to Korte, the Steelers have never spent more than $25,000 on a signing bonus for an undrafted free agent. This is not something new that Khan implemented, but it appears to be a carryover in philosophy from Kevin Colbert. The question that has to be raised is just why?
The team does have bottom-of-the-roster needs that could be filled out by signing quality undrafted free agents. The team has struggled to find a lot of sticky undrafted free agents in recent memory as a result of the philosophy. Now, this year they only signed 7 undrafted free agents, so naturally, the number will be brought down.
Still, the fact remains that the team simply does not hand out much in this department. It could be an order all the way from the top from team president Art Rooney II. Still, the team looks to cheaper veterans often to fill those end-of-the-roster depth roles rather than dipping their toes into the undrafted free agent waters.
They could still add to this pool a bit, but the team only has one roster spot open on the 90-man roster, so there would have to be a roster move to accompany that at this point. Regardless, it will not change the bonus total drastically to where the philosophy does not hold true.