The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2023 season ended on Monday, and the team will break up and clean out its lockers at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Tuesday.
When the club gets back together for OTAs in April, it will look a lot different, and much of that will happen because of NFL free agency.
There are four types of NFL free agents. Unrestricted free agents are players that finished the 2023 season on an expiring contract and have completed four or more accrued seasons. Restricted free agents are played that finished the 2023 season on an expiring contract with three accrued seasons. Exclusive rights free agents finished 2023 on an expiring contract and have fewer that three accrued seasons. Street free agents have been released by their previous club, cleared waivers, and have no restrictions on their movements.
STEELERS 2024 UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Unrestricted free agents can only negotiate with the Steelers on a contract extension for 2024 and beyond until the beginning of the free agent contact period, which runs from March 11-13. On March 13, players that remain unrestricted free agents can sign with any team.
Quarterback Mason Rudolph headlines the team’s 13 unrestricted free agents.
QB Mason Rudolph
WR Miles Boykin
NT Montravius Adams
DT Armon Watts
OLB Markus Golden
ILB Kwon Alexander
ILB Blake Martinez
ILB Mykal Walker
CB Levi Wallace
CB James Pierre
CB Chandon Sullivan
DB Elijah Riley
SS Miles Killebrew
STEELERS 2024 RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Teams have the option to offer a contract to players that are restricted free agents. That contract offer is called a tender. RFAs that are tendered can negotiate with any team, but their original club retains the right of first refusal on the terms of any contract negotiated between the player and another club. Furthermore, if an RFA signs an offer with another team, the original club may receive draft pick compensation, based on the amount of the tender contract. As a result, RFAs signing with other teams is relatively rare, but it does happen.
If a tendered RFA wants to return to their previous club, they can either sign the tender and play out the one-year contract, or negotiate a long-term extension with the team. If the club does not tender an offer to an RFA, they become an unrestricted free agent.
RB Godwin Igewbuike
DT Renell Wren
ILB Chapelle Russell
LS Christian Kuntz
STEELERS 2024 EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
Exclusive rights free agents can only sign with their previous team, and the team can unilaterally dictate the amount of that contract. As long as the previous club offers a contract at or above the minimum, the player has no rights to sign elsewhere.
OT Dylan Cook
STEELERS 2024 STREET FREE AGENTS
In addition to players that are released, players that were on the practice squad are immediately released as street free agents at the end of the season, unless the club chooses to re-sign them.
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.
NT Breiden Fehoko
ILB Jaylon Smith
ILB Myles Jack
FS Eric Rowe
P Brad Wing