What’s Left For The Steelers To Do After One Week Of Free Agency?

The 2014 free agency signing period is now into its second week and the pace of signings has slowed considerable. The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed two unrestricted free agents from other teams so far, but will likely sign a few more prior to the start of training camp. Here, now, is a look at the few positions they could stand to fill.

Defensive EndBuffalo Bills defensive end Alex Carrington is certainly still a target. He remains unsigned after visiting the Steelers and Oakland Raiders, but there are rumblings that the Cleveland Browns might have interest in him as well. If Carrington winds up elsewhere, the Steelers will have to look at what else is available and it could result in them ultimately re-signing Brett Keisel. There’s really not a lot left out there if they’re looking for a starter.

Wide Receiver – We should know very soon whether or not Jerricho Cotchery will be back in 2014. If he decides to sign with the Carolina Panthers, the Steelers will have to sift through the remaining free agents and find one willing to play for the minimum or close to it. Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore is supposed to visit on Wednesday and the team will go from there. At some point they will add at least one.

Running Back – The Steelers had Green Bay Packers free agent running back James Starks lined up for a visit but he has since re-signed. There are plenty of unsigned free agents still on the market, however, and I expect one will be added in a week or two. Once healthy, I can also see LaRod Stephens-Howling being re-signed for the minimum to compete in training camp. They will likely draft another running back in May and sign a few undrafted free agents as well. Believe it, or not, this position might be the easiest to fill and fill cheaply.

Outside Linebacker – As of right now, the only experienced outside linebackers on the Steelers roster are Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones and Chris Carter. Needless to say, they need at least one more. They reportedly reached out to Packers linebacker/defensive end Mike Neal last week, but he’s already re-signed. Much like with the defensive end position, the list of unsigned free agents that would fit the Steelers is very unappealing. As much as I am against it, the Steelers might not have a choice but to bring back James Harrison. The only way I do that, however, is if he’s willing to play for the minimum. In addition, I would re-sign Jamaal Westerman for the minimum just to have another body around. He finished the season with the 2013 with Steelers and should have somewhat of an idea of how the defense works.

Cornerback – I am hesitant to put this position on the list. If, however, the Steelers do add a free agent cornerback over the course of the next several weeks, it will be a player willing to play for the minimum. The Steelers will likely address this position twice in the draft, so all they really need is another body or two. Whoever they sign, more than likely won’t make the final 53 man roster.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I like to work backwards when it comes to the draft. Let’s see:

    7th: They might be able to get a small, fast RB that can challenge LSH or become the 4th RB on the team. He would provide a depth role there and also ideally be a great KR.
    6th: Is there a CB that can be had down here that might make the team or end up on the practice squad? Does he have KR capability and upside for the future?
    5th: DE here would be good even if it’s someone who is a project guy, something like Nick Williams or Arnfelt. I expect Arnfelt to make the 53 and play some this year.
    4th: OLB. That guy that Porter coached in college might be a good choice here,
    3rd: Comp Pick: The Steelers are notorious for picking WR in this round with great success. But Martavius Bryant will be long gone with his recent performance, so which WR’s will be available here. I still say they wait until this round as this is the deepest WR class ever!
    2nd: How about Van Noy here! He can play inside but could be a great OLB. This guy makes plays.
    1st: Will they pick Dennard if he’s available? I think so, although I would love Gilbert because he could be great and has potential for a couple of KR TD’s each year.

    All this goes out the window if they could trade down. I would call the 49’ers and have them on speed dial. They have 12 picks this year and with the FA’s they pick up there is no way that they want all those picks. Could you see a good team like this turning over 25% of their team? No way in hell! Therefore they are a great candidate to trade up. The Steelers should offer them the pick at round 1.15 and get ther 1st rounder plus take an extra 2nd rounder or even 3rd rounder.

    Why? Imagine the possibilities. Kyle Fuller CB at the bottom of the 1st round, plus a great WR in round 2. Look at some of the talent that is expectede to go in round 2. They also look like potential instant starters. Who do you like? WR Matthews, Van Noy, Jean Baptiste in the 3rd, and so many others! What a great year to have extra 2nd and 3rd round picks.

    Sorry for the long post, but I would be ecstatic if the Steelers could trace down.

  • Caesar

    Depth is needed at OLB, which is why I wouldn’t want to spend a 2nd round pick on Van Noy. Jones and Worilds SHOULD be entrenched, or at least thought of that way, for the foreseeable future. To many other needs that need premium attention. 2nd round would be ideal to me for the WR, I love Donte Moncrief and if not him Davonte Adama or Martavis Bryant should be available. In round 1, go CB hopefully with Dennard or Gilbert. I would think either of them could serve as a KR, meaning that late round RB doesn’t have to be a returner/scat type. Just aim for a quality all-around guy who might be a solid backup, like David Fluellen

  • steeltown

    If Carrington is not signed, Im sure they will be re-signing Keisel

  • PA2AK

    I wonder how much Keisel’s looking for and if they have discussed it. Would have to factor into their offer to Carrington.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    As far as the trade value chart, our 1.15 = the 49ers 1.30 + 2.24 + 3.30 almost exactly (point wise).

    That would give us picks:

    1.30 + 2.15 + 2.24 + 3.30 + 3.33 (comp) + 4.15.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Good point.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Firstly, I doubt they will get the full value this year because the draft is so deep. But let’s say the worst they get is the additional 2nd round pick at 24. That means 3 picks between 30 and 56. That’s damn good!

    In this deep draft, just look around at the mocks out there and see the type of talent that will be available there. It is very impressive. Think CB, WR, OLB, TE, CB again. Any 3 of those 5, if well chosen, should easily become quality starters, at least, between this year and 2015. No matter what happens for the rest of the draft, that’s a home run in my eyes.

    Call San Fran! They may fall in love with Evans at 15 or Dennard. If that’s the case, you may get the full trade value that you mention. Imagine how great that would be.

  • Ken

    A big factor is we gave up a 3rd pound to take Shamarko Thomas… A third pick when your picking in the middle of the pack is a huge pick to lose… That’s going to hurt their chances at get a quality RB or outside LB…

  • cencalsteeler

    What’s left to do? Go out and get MJD to compliment Bell.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    So pretty much this article boils down to “Except for Carrington, the Steelers will only pay league veteran minimum for players at WR, OLB, or RB”, LOL!!!!

  • Steeler Wheeler

    What is not left to do might have been a easier article to write. QB, safety, place kicker.