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Steelers Pre-Free Agency Defensive Depth Chart

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The Pittsburgh Steelers offense depth chart was laid out yesterday, and as was clear, the depth chart on that side of the ball is significantly lacking in some areas. 

The defensive side of the ball is in good shape on the outside, but that may not last. The main cause of the issues is the current state of the team’s salary cap, which is approximately $30 million in the red entering free agency. Expensive aging veterans are penciled in as starters, but because of the cost/benefit ratio of their salaries, they may become expendable. If that occurs, then the defensive depth chart has major holes like the offensive depth chart does.

The special teams depth chart is also different with Jordan Berry once again becoming a free agent while Ray-Ray McCloud is an expensive restricted free agent.

General manager Kevin Colbert and salary cap guru, Omar Khan will have many sleepless nights between now and when free agency starts. They will have to pull a David Copperfield and get cap compliant by the first day of the league year, March 18, but they will also have to pull an elephant-sized rabbit out of their hat so the team does not depend on inexpensive players who should be fine-tuning their skills instead of seeing significant playing time in the NFL on Sundays.

DEFENSIVE END

Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Henry Mondeaux, Calvin Taylor

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Carlos Davis, Isaiah Buggs, Demarcus Christmas

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith

INSIDE LINEBACKER

Devin Bush, Vince Williams, Ulysees Gilbert III, Tegray Scales

CORNERBACK

Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Justin Layne, James Pierre, Trevor Williams, Stephen Denmark

SAFETY

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds, Antoine Brooks Jr., John Battle

SPECIALIST

LS: Kameron Canaday, Christian Kuntz

K: Chris Boswell

P: Corliss Waitman

KR: Anthony McFarland, Jr., James Pierre

PR: Diontae Johnson, James Pierre

Poll

Should Steelers Sign Zach Banner to be Starter in 2021?

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Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault.

He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.

Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.

Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. With Banner expected to be ready for a return next season, should the Steelers sign the 27-year-old with the anticipation that he could be a key piece to bolster the offensive line that was missing during the 2020 season?

Do you believe in Zach Banner? Comment below with why or why not.

Do you still believe in Zach Banner?

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Zach Banner Announces Self-imposed Social Media Ban Until he Signs New Deal

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Zach Banner is sending a clear message about his priorities ahead of the 2021 NFL season. Banner, who is a free agent and looking for a new deal with the Steelers, tweeted that he is going to stay off social media until he officially signs on the dotted line.

Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault. He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.

Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.

Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. Banner now hopes to return to Pittsburgh and be the missing piece the Steelers offensive line desperately needs.

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Rooney: Steelers Plan to Return to St. Vincent for 2021 Training Camp

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There is plenty that remains up in the air about the 2021 NFL offseason, but the Pittsburgh Steelers still have plans to resume one of their enduring traditions that was broken by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Steelers were forced to forgo their trip to the campus of St. Vincent College near Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 2020 due to the NFL’s rules regarding keeping players isolated during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s unclear how much those restrictions will change for the NFL teams this summer, but as things stand as of today, the Steelers are still making plans to return to the Laurel Highlands for the team’s annual training camp this summer.

“As we sit here today, our plan is to have training camp in Latrobe,” team president Art Rooney II said to Steelers.com on Friday. “We still have a ways to go to get there, but I think there’s a pretty good chance that’s going to be able to happen. We’re still hopeful we’re going to have some form of offseason program, and it’s probably not going to start on time but I think it’s important particularly for the young players that we get back to having an offseason program and then a full training camp and preseason games. I think we need to have that to help the young players continue to develop.”

Displaced from their usual bucolic summer home and from UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side due to capacity limitations, the Steelers spent the 2020 training camp and preseason at Heinz Field.

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