The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Are the Steelers done signing any outside free agents to anything more than minimum-salary contracts? Or even that.
Over the course of the past few days, the Steelers have found themselves more active than many fans expected them to be (though less active than many fans hoped), inking two players penciled in to start on defense.
Inside linebacker Jon Bostic should be regarded as the favorite to start at the mack position after agreeing to a two-year contract worth up to $4 million. Veteran Morgan Burnett signed a three-year contract worth $14.5 million to become the favorite to start at either strong or free safety.
While the final details of their contracts have not yet been announced, it can probably be assumed that they combined would account for at least $2-3 million in salary cap space for 2018, which would not leave them with much room to maneuver.
Given that they don’t have any other holes to fill in their starting lineup, I would guess that it’s fairly unlikely we will see any other outside free agents signed to multi-year contracts this offseason, nor are there any pressing depth issues, as Tyson Alualu’s signing a year ago addressed.
Still, there is room for further additions. They have obviously been looking at players who can contribute on special teams, for example, after they released Robert Golden, a safety who had been one of their core special teams players (and even special teams captain) for six years.
There is an opening along the defensive line with Daniel McCullers now gone as well, a body that can compete for the backup nose tackle job with L.T. Walton. It wouldn’t hurt to add another safety as well, or another inside linebacker (or outside linebacker).
A veteran running back or wide receiver would well be attempted again in order to bring in depth, since neither Knile Davis nor Justin Hunter particularly worked out well a year ago, and it’s unclear if Eli Rogers will return.