2022 Offseason Questions: Will Brian Flores Hire Help Steelers Attract Free Agents?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.

This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.

Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.

These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: Will the hiring for Brian Flores help the Steelers attract players in free agency?

The Steelers’ decision to hire Brian Flores to their coaching staff was, I believe, genuinely motivated entirely by football concerns on the field. He is in the building because they feel that he is going to help the team perform better with his ability to coach and to lead, in whatever capacity that actually takes when all is said and done.

There are intangibles involved, as well, and Flores is generally regarded as a coach who is popular with players. He is on the younger side, and we would be ignoring reality if we were to think that the fact he comes from a minority background and brings that life experience with him doesn’t help him relate to a league that is more than two thirds made up of non-white players.

The Steelers have, perhaps by far, the most prominent minority coaching staff in the league, and that obviously has a lot to do with Mike Tomlin at the top of the food chain, but Flores is now a major profile in the building as well, which may attract some interest from free agents, especially to have both Tomlin and Flores on hand.

When the news came out that Flores was filing his lawsuit, it also should be said that there were a lot of players who were voicing their support for what they perceived was his intention, so we also can’t discount the possibility that that, too, would be attractive to players, along with the Steelers decision to hire and thus support him while continuing his lawsuit.

So will any of this actually help Pittsburgh attract players in free agency, during a year in which they figure to have a bit more cap room to play with than they normally would—especially if they feel like moving money around? Obviously, they didn’t hire him to be a recruiter, but he’s a proven coach and overqualified for his current role.

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