The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: The Steelers will add another veteran outside linebacker (who will make the team) before the start of the 2021 season.
Explanation: Recent reporting indicated that the Steelers showed some interest in free agent outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan before he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Pittsburgh lost two of its top four players at this position this offseason, and have only added sixth-round pick Quincy Roche to the mix since then.
The Steelers brought in free agent safety Karl Joseph for a visit before the draft. While a deal was not worked out at the time, it showed that they wanted to address the position. They did after the draft, signing Arthur Maulet.
The display of interest in Kerrigan shows that they know they’re not done addressing the outside linebacker position, a great indicator that we should expect them to add here over the course of the next few months. It might not be a particularly exciting name, but it will be someone with some experience.
It could even be a familiar face in Anthony Chickillo, who remains a free agent after spending most of last season with the Denver Broncos. The Steelers reunited with a number of former players last year in Joshua Dobbs, Sean Davis, and Jeraldd Hawkins. There’s a pattern.
Cassius Marsh already is their veteran outside linebacker, for better or for worse. The Steelers had him playing ahead of Adeniyi last year when they brought him in, and there is a reason that they decided to re-sign him. They like him, and more than a lot of fans seem to. And they like Roche, too.
That doesn’t mean that they’re not going to keep looking at the market and exploring their options. That’s what they always do, at every position, in a perpetual effort to better their team. But the harsh reality is that they don’t have the cap space to bring in anybody notable.