The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Where do the Steelers look to next in free agency after ‘losing’ out on Dont’a Hightower and signing Justin Hunter?
We finally got some action on the free agency front yesterday with a decision to be made from Dont’a Hightower that didn’t go in their favor, and then having Justin Hunter, who previously came in for a visit, circle back and sign.
This was the first really tangible bit of activity for the Steelers in outside free agency so far since the new league year began a week from today, so it was relatively significant. Seven days into free agency is the latest that he took the team to sign their first outside free agent in several years since they have had some room to work with.
While Hunter provides Pittsburgh with some depth and insurance at the wide receiver position, Hightower would have represented a replacement for a lost starter at that spot, so in pursuit of the question of where the Steelers go from here, a logical first guess would be to continue the search for an inside linebacker.
Another area of concern on the roster is now the running back position, where they have no real depth behind Le’Veon Bell. DeAngelo Williams is still on the market, but it seems as though they are hoping to find another option. There are some available if they care to look.
Cornerback is surely still on the radar after they have made some serious inquiries into several candidates at the top and middle levels of that particular market. At the very least, one would imagine that they would like to add depth, if not potential competition for either an outside or slot position.
The Steelers have had several swings and misses with cornerbacks pricing themselves out of their range, although Davon House was a more affordable option who chose to sign elsewhere. At this point it would almost be surprising if they don’t sign a cornerback—or at least if they fail to, it will not be for a lack of trying.