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: At which position would you most like to see the Steelers bargain-hunt for depth?
The Steelers are off to their usual roaring start to free agency, making a whopping one signing, which was simply the re-signing of running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, whom they may have perhaps chosen in preference to Stevan Ridley, to a one-year minimum contract. He was a restricted free agent, so they let him hit the market, otherwise they surely would have re-signed him beforehand.
I’d like to say there’s no reason to panic, but those inclined to panic won’t listen anyway. I will say that this is not out of the ordinary. Just look at the Steelers’ ‘big’ signings in March a year ago. They didn’t even sign anybody in the first week of free agency.
A couple of those signings were the sort that we are talking about here, however. I’m thinking about wide receiver Justin Hunter and running back Knile Davis. Neither of those signings really worked out as intended (Davis didn’t even make the roster), but they were brought in to provide depth.
Looking at the current configuration of the Steelers’ roster, if the team were to go bargain-hunting right now for a couple of free agents to bolster depth, at would position or positions would moves make the most sense?
In my mind, the defensive line might be the safest bet here. While inside linebacker and safety are bigger needs, their need at these positions is really about who is going to start, not so much who is going to provide depth.
But with Daniel McCullers not being brought back, there is an opening for a defensive lineman with nobody on the roster clearly ready to slide into that spot. With L.T. Walton’s presumed ‘versatility’, it would also give them the option to look at somebody either for defensive end or nose tackle.
While they re-signed Toussaint, I do think running back is another position that makes sense, especially with James Conner recovering from a knee injury, and finding a back with pass-catching ability would probably make the most sense.
Of course, the safety and inside linebacker positions could use both starters and depth.