It’s been awfully quiet over the course of the past two days considering that the Pittsburgh Steelers have been hosting a pair of free agent cornerbacks, no? Especially so given that the position is arguably their biggest area of need on the roster.
On Monday, the Steelers reportedly hosted former New Orleans Saints first-round draft pick Patrick Robinson, who flew in Sunday night and stayed in through Monday before leaving without having signed a contract.
Yesterday, former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Sterling Moore was to have been in town, but there have been no updates on his visit, and silence tends to mean that there is nothing going on. He was scheduled to be heading to the Bay Area to meet with the San Francisco 49ers today, and I have no reason to believe that that plan has changed.
It is clear that the nature of their two meetings with these cornerbacks was different from that of the visit with running back DeAngelo Williams, who seems to be a player that the front office targeted specifically as a priority signing. There was clearly mutual interest by both sides to get a deal done promptly, and he is happy to be here.
There was no sense of imminence with these cornerback visits, both of whom had already established a full itinerary of visits taking place after meeting with the Steelers brain trust. Pittsburgh is merely exploring its options in the second- and third-tier market, adding to the rolodex, and Robinson and Moore have done the same.
While it is true that the Steelers could benefit by adding talent to the cornerback position during the free agency period as we barrel ahead toward the draft in about a month and a half, there is no practical value in making knee-jerk signings to add players based on position of need.
Remember that the next time you bring up Cam Thomas and how badly he needs to be cut yesterday. If the numbers don’t work out, you don’t make the signing just to throw a warm body at a need position.
There is a reason that both Robinson and Moore are still free agents. They were not viewed as primary talents at their position, which has been rewarded handsomely thus far this offseason in terms of salary. Of course, there are always exceptions to this timeline, such as the Dolphins picking up Brice McCain.
But the reality is that the Steelers still have time to find a player later on down the line in the coming weeks to add to the cornerback roster, and to do so at financial terms that make sense. Perhaps it could even be one of the two players that have already visited after they have exhausted their options and determined their market value.
There’s little use, in other words, in getting discouraged about the comings and goings of mid-tier free agents through the facility without signing contracts, as though there is only one opportunity to do so. Free agency is only just a little more than a week old; there is time enough to let the landscape play out further.