Earlier this week, Bill Barnwell of ESPN predicted that the Pittsburgh Steelers will eventually sign free agent tackle Russell Okung after June 1. In fact, he went on to predict that Okung, who played for the Carolina Panthers in 2020, would sign a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Steelers. What did Okung think about that prediction? I think his responses on Twitter show.
— Steelers Depot ✌️❤️✌️❤️ (@Steelersdepot) May 26, 2021
Media will make up anything. pic.twitter.com/3he9knQQJS
— Okung 💯 (@RussellOkung) May 25, 2021
The most surprising thing when it comes to all pf this is that Okung responded to mere speculation. That’s really all it is and of the ESPN prognosticators and NFL analysts they have employed, Barnhill ranks way down at the bottom. I mean he is really bad at his job.
As I wrote the other day, the Steelers are strapped right now for salary cap space. In fact, all their space right now is essential already spoken for thanks to predictive costs the team will have moving forward.
Okung, who will turn 33 years old in October, who played for the Panthers in 2020, only made seven starts in 2020 at left tackle due to a calf injury. He played last season for $13 million, of which half of that was paid to him in Bitcoin.
If the Steelers were to sign a player like Okung for $6.5 million in 2021, they would need to get highly creative with his contract and this likely add voidable years to keep his 2021 salary cap charge well under $3 million.
The Steelers are relying on tackles Zach Banner, Chukwuma Okorafor, Joe Haeg and rookie Dan Moore Jr. to fill both spots in 2021 as things stand right now.