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—some already decided, some not.
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 was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
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 Steelers look outside the organization for defensive line help after Stephon Tuitt’s retirement?
While I doubt that the Steelers knew with certainty until rather recently that Stephon Tuitt would be retiring, it is obvious that they have known for a while that it was a possibility. Their decisions may not have been made knowing that Tuitt would not be there, but at least knowing that he might not be.
Now that we are beyond the hypothetical, however, what’s next? Do the Steelers add to the defensive line room? They didn’t add any help in free agency—though they brought back Montravius Adams on a two-year contract—but they did draft DeMarvin Leal in the third round, and they have Tyson Alualu back this year after missing all but one game in 2021.
Regulars would be inclined to assume that the Steelers won’t make any big, splashy moves here, even if they are regaining a good chunk of cap space due to Tuitt’s retirement, and they have also changed general managers—even though it’s an in-house hire.
The regulars would probably be right, as the team seems to have favorable views of the likes of Chris Wormley, whereas that really wasn’t the case in David DeCastro’s situation last year, where they really had nobody they would be comfortable turning to if necessary, prompting them to go out and sign Trai Turner.
I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that the Steeler make any kind of move of significance here. But it also can’t be dismissed. There are plenty of veterans like Nick Williams whom they can sign on the cheap without guaranteeing much who could at least add to the competition. And we can’t completely discount the possibility of them looking at something more substantial. But if they do, it probably won’t be until training camp.