Mike Tomlin spoke to the media down at the NFL Owner Meetings in Boca Raton, Florida, talking for the first time since his season-ending press conference. Information from his media session is just now trickling in.
Tomlin indicated the Pittsburgh Steelers are unlikely to sign a cornerback in free agency, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Tomlin said it's unlikely Steelers will sign a CB in free agency. “I don’t know that there’s one available at this juncture.”
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 21, 2016
The most notable names out there include: Patrick Robinson, Brandon Boykin, Sterling Moore, and Jerraud Powers. Robinson, however, seems close to signing with the Dallas Cowboys and Boykin was obviously not retained by Pittsburgh. Moore was a player the team brought in last year while Powers was a shot-in-the-dark I threw out earlier.
Given the depth of this cornerback class in the draft, this isn’t a complete shock. The cornerback market was not great this offseason and the talented ones carried a heavy price tag. It’s much cheaper to draft one under a rookie contract.
Yesterday, we wrote about Kevin Colbert stating they were taking a long look at some of the best corners in this year’s class. Mackensie Alexander, William Jackson III, and Eli Apple could all be argued for at pick 25.
Should Tomlin’s words ring true, this will be the team’s roster of corners heading into the draft. We’re not including anyone on a futures’ contract.
Only the top two really have any sort of trust and Gay is the only trusted veteran. It’s fair to assume Cockrell will be better next season, given the fact he’ll be able to sit and learn throughout the offseason, something he wasn’t afforded as a late addition in 2015.
Tomlin remarked to Dulac he was excited about Golson, and the expectation to play him has been made evident in the past, but no one has any idea how he’ll perform when the bullets start flying.
Beyond those three, the team doesn’t have much. Allen’s health issues with his right knee is an even bigger concern than his on-field play while we know nothing about Grant’s steps at corner or if he’ll even remain there.
Who knows if the team will wind up taking a corner at 25. No one knows, not even Pittsburgh. But given the team’s words and the makeup of the roster, it’d be a Texas-Northern Iowa type upset if the team didn’t have at least one cornerback by the end of the draft’s Day 2.