The Pittsburgh Steelers have a slew of free agency decisions to make in the coming weeks. And not a lot of money to do it with. One player offensive line coach Adrian Klemm hopes to see re-signed is tackle/guard Matt Feiler. Speaking with Jeff Reinebold on his show Coffee with Coach, Klemm talked about Feiler and hopes to see him return.
“Matt Feiler, he tore a pec,” Klemm told the show. “He was out for about four weeks. But he’ll be coming back. Hopefully he’ll be coming back. He’s a free agent but he’s from here. And I’m just hoping that it’ll help us out in terms of retaining him.”
Maybe my tinfoil hat is on too tight but maybe Klemm saying “he’ll be coming back” before correcting himself was a slip of the tongue. Feiler obviously hasn’t signed a contract yet but Klemm seemed confident he’ll return. It’s hard to predict his market but he figures to be in the $5-6 million average yearly value range, something like a 2 year/$12 million contract.
As Klemm noted, Feiler is from Pennsylvania, a Bloomsburg grad who signed with the Houston Texans as a UDFA before the Steelers signed him to their practice squad. Feiler has climbed the roster ladder and been a Week One starter the past two years. He played RT in 2019 before moving to LG for 2020. He struggled with the position switch and looked to be a noticeably better tackle than guard.
If he gets re-signed, it’s likely with the intention of again being the team’s right tackle. David DeCastro should be on the roster for at least 2021 and Kevin Doston’s expected to become the full-time starter at left guard. Bringing Feiler back gives the Steelers a starting right tackle, possible depth along the interior, and less of an urgency in addressing the tackle position in the draft. It’s still likely to be high on their list but the team could shift Chukwuma Okorafor to LT. Assuming the team also brings back Zach Banner and/or Jerald Hawkins on the cheap, they have baseline starters and depth.
Re-signing Feiler will help sooth the loss of Alejandro Villanueva and possible retirement of Maurkice Pouncey. It’s one less hole for the Steelers to fill in free agency and moving Feiler back to right tackle would be best for him and the team.