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 End – Buffalo 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.