Kozora: 2017 Steelers’ Free Agency Wishlist

As we do every year, our initial free agent wishlist. We’ll update things with another list right before the official start of free agency when we have a much better idea of who is going to be available and who the Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to retain.

Chime in with your suggestions in the comments below.

Quarterback

Shaun Hill/Minnesota Vikings – If Landry Jones signs elsewhere, a real possibility, the Steelers will need a veteran backup, even if they want to draft a QB (and they will). Hill is one of the oldest dudes in the league but that only makes him wiser.

He’s made just one start the last two years, shuttled to the bench after the Vikings traded for Sam Bradford but in 2014, he started eight games for the then St. Louis Rams and wasn’t totally awful (63.3%, 8 TDs, 7 INTs).

I’m stretching things a bit here but he played for the Vikings from 2002-2005, leaving the same year Mike Tomlin became the defensive coordinator. So maybe there is some sort of connection there. Maybe?

Running Back

Benny Cunningham/Los Angeles Rams – Cunningham would help three-fold. As a runner, naturally, serving as Todd Gurley’s backup in that mess of the Rams’ offense but still managed to average 4.8 yards per carry on 21 carries this season. He’s been an asset out of the backfield, catching 45 passes his sophomore year in the league.

Maybe just as importantly for the Steelers, and definitely for fans, he’s been one of the league’s better kick returners. Over the last three seasons, he’s averaged at least 27 yards per return, and a 60+ yard return each year. Think of him as the rich man’s version of Fitzgerald Toussaint. Cunningham also played 135 special teams snaps, giving him all-around value. Makes a lot of sense.

Knile Davis/Kansas City Chiefs – Similar thought process to Cunningham. He fell way behind in the pecking order up in Kansas City this year, becoming the third string back but had a big role in the offense in 2014. It wasn’t notably successful, he averaged 3.5 yards per carry, but he’s got size, speed, and a kick return background. He’s proud owner of two kick return touchdowns and an average over 28 yards in 2014.

For the record, if you’re wondering, Todd Haley was in Pittsburgh by the time Davis was drafted. No connection there.

Defensive Line

Brandon Thompson/Cincinnati Bengals – The man who owns one of my favorite nicknames of all-time: Yams. That was given for his big lower half and I’m dying for him to team up with J-Wobble for the most bottom-heavy set of teammates this side of William Perry.

He missed all of last season with a torn ACL suffered at the very end of 2015 so he should be a full-go for even spring activities. Thompson won’t offer much as a pass rusher but he’ll insulate the nose tackle spot behind Javon Hargrave in case of injury while playing at a higher, more consistent level than Daniel McCullers, whose roster spot should be challenged this season.

A niche player coming off a knee injury should mean Thompson could be had for a veteran minimum contract or at worst, a tick higher.

Sean Lissemore/San Diego Chargers – Three years, three San Diego Chargers’ defensive linemen? I’m game. Lissemore is a more athletic nose tackle than Thompson. He has 6.5 career sacks six seasons. Like Thompson, he sat out 2016 but with a shoulder injury. It’s actually a bigger concern than Thompson’s because there’s a worry his shoulder injuries have become chronic. But for the cheap, and as an interior pass rusher (the Steelers need another of those), Lissemore fits.

He also went to William and Mary so those Hampton Road kids always have a special place in Tomlin’s heart.

Karl Klug/Tennessee Titans – A little younger, a little more expensive, I like Klug as that impactful three-tech. I’m all about picking up damaged goods and Klug also missed 2016, though he was able to play until late December when he tore his Achilles.

That obviously parks a red flag front and center of our conversation, casting doubt on when exactly he’ll be available, but it’ll drive his market value down to junkyard prices. In 2015, Klug had four sacks and last year, he set a career high in tackles, doing well in Dick LeBeau’s defense. So the fit is there, even if it’s sorta tough to initially find.

Leger Douzable/Buffalo Bills – He’s back. My white whale and the guy I was hoping Pittsburgh would bring in for the last 18 months. Douzable had a heck of a year with the Buffalo Bills finishing with 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and his tape speaking even more positively from him.

He’ll profile as an Elephant type of end/outside linebacker in Pittsburgh which the Steelers sorta tried to do with Anthony Chickillo but scrapped pretty quickly. And hey, he made it through 2016 healthy. What a find.

Outside Linebacker 

Erik Walden/Indianapolis Colts – Moving onto the team’s most pressing need. Maybe they shoot for the moon and target a Nick Perry or Melvin Ingram but I’m not going to hold my breath. So these are the mid-tier targets. Walden quietly tied 8th in the NFL with 11 sacks this year to go along with three forced fumbles.

He is 31 years old, though compared to James Harrison, he should be in daycare, but that will drive his price down. He has size, can set the edge, and has a Dwight Freeney-inspired spin move. Last year was an outlier and is going to force us to take a closer look, he previous never had more than six sacks and that happened only once, but 11 sacks at a relatively cheap price in this day and age doesn’t happen often.

John Simon/Houston Texans – I think I’ve floated Simon’s name before. There’s a clear connection to draw here; Simon is an Ohio State alum and brought in for a pre-draft visit back in 2013. His career with the Texans have been middling; 3.5 sacks last year, just five in 2015, but it’s a nice middle-of-the-road option for a more successful version of Jarvis Jones.

At the Combine, he weighed in at 6’1/4 257 with 33 1/2 inch arms, which is pretty perfect for Pittsburgh.

Secondary

D.J. Hayden/Oakland Raiders – Our focus here is on the slot with Hayden. He’s a little Justin Gilbert-like, the 12th overall pick of the 2013 draft. He played well this season by all accounts in the slot for Oakland but the injury bug continued to bite him, falling on IR in December.

You have to hand it to the development Carnell Lake has had with the secondary and I’d like to see if he can mold Hayden. Low-risk, high-reward, and gives depth behind William Gay with Senquez Golson a total guess at this point and to me, much less talented on paper when he came out of Ole Miss.

Kayvon Webster/Denver Broncos – Webster mainly played on special teams in Denver and I think you could argue him playing inside or out. That special teams value makes him interesting enough on the back end of the roster and the chance to carve out a niche, especially if this is the end for Shamarko Thomas.

And for what it’s worth, Webster and Antonio Brown are good friends, growing up in Miami together. Brown is three years older but the two still have a friendship. From the Denver Post in 2015. 

“When Sunday’s game ends, a strong friendship begins again. Broncos cornerback Kayvon Webster will exchange jerseys with Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown.

They will trade more than uniforms. They share a similar story. They grew up in Liberty City in northwest Miami, learning to survive on their own in their early teens. Brown was homeless at times during his high school years. Webster bounced around, staying with his “grandma, cousins, friends and girlfriends,” just trying to figure it out. He became friends with Brown during the time. Brown, three years older, stood out as a quarterback, and, anything else he tried.

The two became close when Brown came back to Miami during college. They train together in the offseason. Brown appreciates how Webster pushes and holds him accountable.”

Real low-level signing but the niche player that would make plenty of sense. This year’s Steven Johnson.

 

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • CP72

    Damn you Alex and your completely sensible well thought out list.

  • Alex Kozora

    It’s the Colbert special! Bland with a side of boring.

  • tequila0341

    Just give up on Leger. It’s not happening.

  • Alex Kozora

    If your screen name gets to be tequila, I get to have Douzable. Let me live!

    *Throws lampshade on head*

  • Steelers12

    im glad you mention Hayden because i been saying him for a while

  • John Noh

    Hayden is a hot mess. The Raiders should pay the Steelers for taking him. Benny Cunningham would be cool just for the namesake.

  • Steelers12

    just 5 names im interested in
    WR – Cordarrelle Patterson
    OLB – Dion Jordan
    Pass Rusher -Jabaal Sheard
    CB – DJ Hayden
    DLINE – Charles Johnson

    my pipe dream is Jets cut Brandon Marshall we sign him cheap to return home and DeMarcus Ware take huge paycut to join our OLB rotation

  • Rocksolid20

    I feel Ellington would fit in as a #2 RB

  • Alex Kozora

    Gilbert was a hot mess too…

  • RickM

    And your point is?

  • RickM

    I admire you for keep plugging away. Keep hoping, you never know.

  • Alex Kozora

    Gilbert was a hot mess too…

  • Jason Vancil

    No thanks on Jordan. We have enough problem guys.

  • Jason Vancil

    I had Robert Alford on my list before last night. He probably priced himself out of our range with his performance in the SB.

  • A Football Fan

    The Quality Man – Speculating
    Nice list of position picks for 1/2 the $$$. Now if they could trade several draft picks for one back up CB who can play Man2Man D.that would be a unique draft; but it would upset the policy of Bland with a touch of Boring. Whatever they do they need to get rid of their biggest problem-the Zone Coach. That would be the biggest improvement they could make for 2017 Season

  • Sonny Saks

    Cut green, Gay, and let Timmons walk. Please sign a impact player in defense!

  • steelburg

    Im not a huge fan of this list. I would rather keep some of the guys we already have. I like Webster, Davis, and Hill and I also like the idea of bringing Steven Johnson back. A player I wouldn’t mind in that Chickillo/Simon role is Jason Jones we brought him in for a vist last year. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Mathews back on the defensive line I thought he played well when healthy.

  • Dennis Nevinsky

    Another player that could interest them is LB Datone Jones.

  • Alex Kozora

    Thought about him! Just a really tough fit for me to figure out in this defense. What’s his role?

  • CP72

    I really like Ellington. Great with the ball in his hands.

  • Michael James

    I don’t like the idea of bringing in another average OLB FA. Either you go for Perry or Ingram, or you just draft OLB in the first round and keep Dupree, Harrison, Chickillo/Moats + draft pick.

  • Alex Kozora

    That Hayden being a hot mess doesn’t mean the Steelers wouldn’t look at him.

  • Boots

    I like the Cunningham suggestion, and Leger could be a good rotational guy. It’s a pretty underwhelming UFA group in general this year. Hopefully there are some salary cap cuts that could help

  • Sam Clonch

    When was the last time they gave top $ to an outside FA?

  • Boots

    I could see him being a nickle rush end and that possible elephant type guy

  • RickM

    I guess if they want to repeat the same mistakes. The return from Gilbert was minimal. I would hope they would set their sights, while limited, a little higher.

  • Steelers12

    we cant be choosy at this point, he still young with potential

  • Sonny Saks

    Never! Lol

  • falconsaftey43

    Well he was brought in right before the season started. Had to learn the whole system. And they had Burns, Cockrel, Gay to play in front of him so didn’t need to rush it. Let’s see if he does anything in 2017 before we say it was a failure.

  • Sam Clonch

    Lol, exactly. I wouldn’t expect them to change that, especially considering overall it was a very successful year. These mid-tier guys are probably the best we should expect.

  • Sam Clonch

    The investment on Gilbert was also very low. 6th round pick in the ’18 draft.

  • Alex Kozora

    I think Hayden would be setting their sights higher. At least he has pockets of good tape. Gilbert waking up on time was considered a win.

  • Alex Kozora

    I can dig it.

  • Sam Clonch

    Jaabal Sheard? Or will the SB win (uuuuuugh) kick his value up too much?

  • Alex Kozora

    It makes sense but I’ve suggested him one too many times…

  • Sam Clonch

    I’ve drunk the kool-aid.

  • pittfan

    yes, we have mediocre covered. exceptional is in short supply

  • Brian Miller

    Yup, good point.

  • Sam Clonch

    Picking at #30, I don’t think you can expect a guy who could be a starter from day 1. What happens if Deebo finally breaks down, or Dupree gets knicked up again? You get exactly what we had for most of last year. A mid-tier signing that has some potential upside gives you a chance to have an upgrade in the interim, while that draft pick develops. Also, as great a guy as Moats is, he isn’t the best backup in the world.

  • SouthernSteel

    Give it up for Goodwin also.had 2 or 3 nice plays!

  • SouthernSteel

    Gay always has one bad year then 2 good years….so last year was horrible. ..so let’s hope he gets it back together

  • RickM

    Lol, good line. I watch the Patriots add as many draft picks as possible and will never consider any of our draft picks easily dispensable. And watching the great contributions from our rookies, the 3rd-year Gilbert needing a year to learn our system seems a weak argument at best. But he didn’t get much opportunity, so we’ll see what 2017 brings. As for Hayden at least he brings good D tape as you point out, something that Gilbert didn’t.

  • LucasY59

    but still bring up Douzable, haha

  • ATL96STEELER

    I understand we’re desperate for the edge guy, but Ware is basically finished. Jordan is athletic enough to play standing up, but he’s been a 4-3 DE since college…Johnson is finished.

    The guy I would take a stab at would be Patterson…a lot of untapped potential there I think.

  • LucasY59

    I would be vary wary of Hayden and his injuries (they already have enough of that with Golson)

  • LucasY59

    I think Patterson would help on KR, but dont know if he is any better than Coates on O, plus if they have Bryant they dont really need 3 similar players (if Martavis doesnt come back then it would be much more likely, but also more likely they just draft another WR)

    I have already said that Marshall would be a great add, and would hope they do it even if Bryant comes back

  • Michael Conrad

    I’m not a big fan of cheap free agents or this list. The Steelers need a couple starters on D maybe not in the first year but down the road . I would stick with the draft and maybe one or two FA if needed or a cut in preseason. I’m not sure the steelers are good at FA signings . Mike Mitchell and Green give me pause about bringing in FA .

  • The Chin

    I agree somewhat with that sentiment but occasionally you land James Farrior

  • francesco

    Would like to know the Patriots RFA and URFA players?

  • Alex Kozora

    Like Spiderman, everyone gets one.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I understand your point, but I think this is a year for someone like Moats. Not a starter, but some depth at some positions which allow you to draft to your needs, and we have a bunch of those needs which are really depth issues, not starter issues. For instance, the Dline I think is pretty well set for starters in Hargrave, Heyward, and Tuitt, but can we upgrade Walton, Matthews and McCullers through free agency easier than we can waiting for a player to develop who is a lower level draft pick. To me, I’d like to see both McCullers and Matthews upgraded, but I don’t think we can do that with both of them with 5th or 6th round picks.

  • Steelers12

    U get it. Jordan is low risk high reward. Patterson could add depth at wr n return kicks. Hayden would be similar to Jordan in low risk high reward

  • Steelers12

    I don’t think ware is quite finished and Jordan has tons of untapped potential as well

  • LucasY59

    this group of FAs shows just how bad the 2013 Draft class was, so many bad picks and all of them not getting a 2nd contract with the team that drafted them

    guys like DJ Hayden or Dion Jordan could be available for very cheap (and since they play positions that the Steelers really need some help at) I want the team to bring them in on 1 yr non non guaranteed deals to prove it with no risk to the team (since it is not likely they will be able to turn it around)

    same could be said with Joeckel, Cooper or Warmack (Titans probably try and keep him?) and since the Steelers are not likely to Draft OL this yr, could be a way to bring in a new young(ish) guy

    EJ Manuel is another 1st rd guy from that draft (but because he is a QB he might be expensive) I like the idea of bringing him in instead of drafting a QB this yr, but dont think it will happen

    A guy like Patterson could be a option if Bryant is not an option, but I would much rather have Martavis (even though Cordarrelle could be helpful as a KR) there are a few other WR FA options as well, but not sure what the team will do at that position (could be nothing)

  • Steelers12

    i want us to sign DJ Hayden and Dion Jordan
    Out of Joeckel, Cooper and Warmack i would take a chance on Joeckel
    pass on manuel, i would take Geno over him

    and i could see us using Patterson as well as Bryant, Hogan. Edelman and Amendola are all same WRs and they are successful

  • Michael James

    I don’t think you can upgrade Walton to be honest. He’s played really well down the stretch and the FAs that could perform on a higher level than him are way too expensive. Walton is a very good DL #4. Agree on McCullers though.

  • Steelers12

    Mitchell not as bad as people make him out to be and Green was injured

  • Steelers12

    Perry and Ingram price will be too high right?

  • Steelers12

    same with Courtney Upshaw

  • Steelers12

    keep Timmons if price is right

  • Michael James

    None of the OLBs mentioned has much potential. OLB is a highly valued position, if you want a good player you have to pay the price. I can’t remember a single cheap FA that turned out to be a very good edge rusher (Harrison obviously doesn’t count).

  • falconsaftey43

    Patriots have 7 defensive starters set to be FA. Sheard, Long, Branch, Hightower, Ryan, Harmon, Butler.

  • LucasY59

    Knile Davis bounced around the league this season (almost as much as Christine Michael) Steelers didnt seem that interested when they couldve taken him on waivers (probably had something to do with them already picking up Karlos as well) so I dont see him getting signed, but think he could be a good option

    other non 1st rd guys from that draft are

    Mike Glennon (same problem as Manuel, QB = $$$, Matt Barkley as well, but not as sure about him, and even less sure about Geno Smith)

    Simon is a good one from the article, bringing him in as well as Drafting would be good insurance to make sure the OLBs improve from last yr

    and the info on Webster makes me think there is a decent possibility the team brings him in, I want them to re-sign Shamarko (cheap) but bringing in Webster to push him could be a good idea (at worst both play well enough to make the roster (which means Dangerfield is back on PS?) and at worst they were cheap signings that are pretty easy (no dead $) to cut)

  • LucasY59

    I like Ingram, but think he will be a big $$$ guy (the league is so desperate for pass rushers) he could get a Olivier Vernon type deal (which means there is no chance of him with the Steelers)

    I think the Packers are going to try really hard to keep Perry (they are like the Steelers and keep the guys they like)

    Hard to say who will really be available when FA starts (after teams assign Franchise Tags) but pass rushers (…that are good) rarely become available

  • LucasY59

    I think the team is going to force it to be cheap (they ate the big cap hit last yr) I am thinking it could be close to what they pay Harrison (under 2 mil) but IF he wants to stay with the team that is what might need to happen (they didnt force him into a salary cut before (when it seemed like they couldve) so he doesnt get a bigger contract now)

    *giving VW the extension instead of him last offseason also means they wont be willing to pay much for LT

  • ATL96STEELER

    Even though it’s a big position change for a young player…I would take a low risk on Jordan because I do agree on the potential. Ware…you might be right, but imo when you start getting injured a lot as an older DEF player, it’s time to move on.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Good group of 2nd Tier FA’s. I like the idea of Cunningham as a returner and I’ll also take either of the OLB’s as an upgrade over what we have now.

  • srdan

    You have to appreciate our front office, and even more, appreciate the fans and writers on this forum. All dig very deep!

    Most other teams wish list and conversations are: Eric Berry, Jamie Collins and so on. Here, it’s the rams 3rd rb. lol

  • Steelers12

    yeah dont overpay but if price is right he has a little tread left on tire

  • Steelers12

    LMAO

  • Sonny Saks

    Probably but for once I think they need to be more aggressive with the window closing on #7

  • Sam Clonch

    I don’t know much about the OLB on the list, Alex really dug deep on this one. But you make a good point about having to pay the price. Say what you want about the logic behind it, but the fact is that this front office doesn’t pay outside guys that big money. They’ll give it to the home grown guys like Brown, Bell, and hopefully Tuitt this year, and use FA to plug holes. Management philosophy is to reward guys who’ve earned it as a Steeler first and foremost. The people that are holding their breath waiting for them to sign a Jamie Collins or Nick Perry are going to turn blue waiting!

    Draft a guy if he’s there, maybe look to move up if the price is right. Sign a guy to fill in in a pinch if something happens to Deebo or Dupree in the meantime. That’s the pattern they’ve shown with Jarvis drafting and Moats signing, and it’s what I’d expect them to do again this time. Just hope they do a better job in the selection process this time! Although I’m not going to lie, and a lot of people would hate me for saying it, but we could do worse in FA than giving Jarvis a modest contract as an experienced backup. I stress BACKUP. Need to look for that young guy that can take over full time from James.

  • Steel City Slim

    When it comes to backup quarterback, I’d rather give Mettnberger a chance than to go out and sign Shaun Hill. And definitely draft a quarterback. I wish they would have drafted Dak Prescott last year. I know they had an interest in him.

  • Sam Clonch

    Have compensatory picks already been handed out? With not a lot of glaring holes (in my opinion), and the fact that compensatory picks can be traded this year, I expect HUUUUGE discussions/arguments/blood fueds this year about the Steelers moving up to get a premier edge rusher type guy. Maybe not, as I’ve also heard it’s a good edge class this year, but it’ll be talked about like crazy.

    Also expect a lot of people to argue for the Steelers to trade out of the first round. All I can say to those people, is the last time the Steelers didn’t make a pick in the 1st round was in 1967. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the quality of the team back in those days before Chuck Knoll. They might move up, but I give it ZERO chance that they trade out of the first round. Absolutely against the Rooney’s philosophy.

  • LucasY59

    the tricky part is that IF the team drafted a guy like Reddick (which I think is a good possibility since they like Shazier so much, and Haason is Shaz 2.0) they really wouldnt need LT, but will have to make the decision before the draft happens

  • Alex Kozora

    haha, Kevin Colbert has conditioned us.

  • Alex Kozora

    Not yet. That won’t happen for a little bit longer.

  • LucasY59

    IIRC, Comps are not awarded until after the end of the season calender yr (March) …or right before

    I am one who hopes they are open to trading (really wanted them to last yr, and have been thinking about scenarios, but still waiting to see if they get a comp and things like that) IF there is no OLB still available at #30 I would just as happy moving out of the 1st and taking BPA a bit later (while gaining a few picks) as I would be moving up a few to get the player they want

  • srdan

    And hte crazy part is that people will roast colbert and this site when free agency starts. I remember a couple years ago the steelers looked at one of the bills castoffs as an OLB, he played some DE too. Don’t get me wrong, i was excited about him. But when the steelers didn’t sign him, people on here were calling the season a major failure and borderline calling for colbert to be gone…in March!!! I forget who the player was but it was like the bills 6th OLB or something.

  • Sam Clonch

    Called it, lol. I’d bet you some Iron City they make a 1st round pick!

  • Sam Clonch

    They did sign Moats from the Bills a few years ago…

  • Steelers12

    i hope we pass on drafting a QB this year

  • LucasY59

    agree the over reaction can be crazy, I know who you are referring to (but cant think of his name either) he went to the Rams and then bounced around, might even be back with the Bills…

    *Alex Carrington might be the name coming to my mind now? definitely not a player that was good enough to worry about (…he wouldve been depth even if they had signed him)

  • LucasY59

    I think they will also, Its just my opinion that they should trade (but it wont happen) just like some have the opinion that they should sign big $$$ FAs… I know better than to expect them to do things they dont normally do

  • Alex Kozora

    Yeah Carrington sounds right.

  • Steelers12

    they might could still use Timmons as Hassan wouldn’t play every down and you can occasionally flip Timmons to OLB

  • LucasY59

    still have VW as well though… kinda expensive ST/depth guy, but still want him on the team,

    so I agree if it happened they could find ways to make all of them useful (but I think it also shows that Timmons is probably only getting a 1 yr deal, maybe 2 if the 2nd yr has no dead $ and they can cut him, either way he is nearing the end quickly)

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I’m with you. Every year I look at the draft and think about that 1st draft pick. Most of the time I conclude I would have given that guy up, and easily taken a 2nd and 3rd for that pick. When I check the 2nd and 3rd round, I see loads of guys the Steelers could use. To do this they would have to be supremely confident in their drafting prowess.

    I think that overall they do a great job. So why not trade back? With any average draft, they can easily find a 2nd rounder that has dropped that may be just as good as some 1st round guys. Just think of their pick of Stephon Tuitt. As a bonus they would get an additional 3rd rounder.

    I get the fact that you can occasionally miss here and there, but who cares! You can miss on a 1st rounder as well!

  • popsiclesticks

    I hope they don’t bring Shaun Hill in. I think he’s a few steps beyond done.

    EDIT: Had always been intrigued by the idea of getting Hayden on the cheap. So I’m with you on that one.

  • tequila0341

    I can’t remember a single play he made in the SB. Chris Long took a lot of his snaps and got the key holding penalty that pushed the Falcons out of FG range.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    we have signed 3 mediocre players from san diego. ladarius green, ricardo matthews and cam thomas, and the one we should have signed, eric weddle, we let slip through our fingers. makes sense.

  • Sam Clonch

    1) Again, have made a 1st round pick every year since 1968.
    2) During that whole time, the Steelers have only moved off their originial spots 4 times, moving back (but still staying in the 1st round, 17 back to 21) and moving UP 3 times.
    3) All 3 of those times they moved up have come in the Colbert era, snagging Casey Hampton, Troy Polamalu, and Santonio Holmes (say what you will about Holmes, but he earned us that 6th ring and the SB MVP. )
    4) Colbert has 4 times picked at #30 or later, highlighted by Heath Miller and Cam Heyward. I’d call Ziggy Hood a poor pick, and Kendell Simmons a push (83 starts AND 2 rings is a solid career).

    Conclusion is that Steelers are more than comfortable drafting late in the first round, and Colbert has done so with pretty good success. They’re also more likely to move up than down, and that they are VERY unlikely, historically, to move out of the 1st round all together.

  • Sam Clonch

    You mean the guy who AB posterized? Sorry, Steelers don’t give big contracts to aging outside FAs coming off the worst year of their careers. Davis will be the better safety come next year anyways. Younger, faster, CHEAPER!!!

  • LucasY59

    right and on the other side if they do trade earlier into the 1st there is even more pressure to get it right (I would be ok with it IF they were pretty certain he would be the guy they need, and it would most likely be a OLB since that is the biggest need as well as a position worthy of the investment) but most likely they will look at everyone still available and be comfortable waiting until #30 and taking the BPA (who they will say is the guy they wanted and even if there were 10 other guys they like, wont move back and get the extra picks as well as a candidate for #30)

  • Sam Clonch

    I heard his name a few times, but no splash plays. Stats say he had half a sack. He started off strong in NE, had 8 sacks in 2015 (15.5 sacks his first 2 years in the league with Cleveland). BB seemed to sour on him this year, and he lost his starting job. Still had 5 sacks though.

    I think he would be the epitome of a Steelers FA signing. Only 27, so still tread on the tires. Has had starting experience, and has had a decent amount of success. If he’ll sign a modest deal, maybe thinking he’ll get a chance to start (I doubt he beats Deebo, but that’s why they have camp!), he’d be a great addition I think.

  • tequila0341

    I seem to remember that he mostly rotated in even in his best years as a base end in a 4-3 sub package. I don’t think he’s been a full-time player since Cleveland, and when he did play in a 3-4 he seemed to really struggle with the mental aspects of dropping back. I don’t think he’s a fit for the Steelers’ 3-4.

    I don’t think Tomlin likes a 4-man rotation at OLB – much prefers playing the best guy for 80-90% of the snaps. I can’t see Sheard becoming that full-time guy.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I wanted Weddle more than anyone but how Sean Davis played; Keep him!

  • Sam Clonch

    I’ll back up and say I don’t know everything about the guy. Looking up some quick stats though, he had 50 starts during his 4 years in Cleveland, and 9 in two years with the Pats, 8 coming this year.

    I’m not saying he’s “the answer”, but I think he could be the best stop-gap solution available in the Steelers normal price range in this years FA class. I’d be VERY disappointed if they didn’t address the position in the draft still, hopefully high.

    Of course this is all due to Alex’s brainwashing. As you can see below, it was all his idea!

  • Nolrog

    >>> Maybe they shoot for the moon and target a Nick Perry or Melvin Ingram but I’m not going to hold my breath.Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at this rosters construction and see if we’d be better served with a guy like that who can get after the QB and a more middle of the pack RB.

  • LucasY59

    I think most of the options listed in the article are good (and very typical of what the team usually looks for) I think it is a little hard to figure out FAs before the teams assign Tags, but most of the guys who get tagged are not a candidate for the Steelers anyway

    non salary cap (ie not at all possible) FA wish list (or at least a list of some of the best at each position, which are really just “wishes” that wont come true)

    QB: Mike Glennon (too expensive, but if I could add a depth guy behind Ben, he would be my choice (of the FAs this yr) I would be interested in EJ Manuel as well, but prefer Glennon, *if Ben retired after the loss to the Pats, I would be going after Cousins, but Ben will be back)

    RB: LeVeon Bell (already on the team, but will need to be Tagged and get a long term deal worked out) not a lot of other RB out there, so that makes keeping LB even more important, Andre Ellington could be a possibility but am wary of his injury history

    WR: Terrelle Pryor (browns are probably going to pay him a lot $$$, other than Alshon Jeffrey he might the highest paid FA WR this yr) guys like Patterson, Hunter (and Woods, or Goodwin, Bills with 3 FA WRs, that were decent but didnt get used much in Buffalo) maybe Floyd? (but things are looking bad for him, belicheat didnt even have him active for the SB…) *not a FA right now, but IF Brandon Marshall becomes available he could be a good (and maybe even affordable) guy to add (***have gone into detail on other posts about how this could happpen, so wont bring it up/repeat more than putting the name out there again***)

    TE: Dion Sims (dont think the Steelers are going to get a FA TE two yrs in a row, so not really considering this much) Toilolo could be another option but Falcons will likely keep him (same with Sims and the Fins)

    OT: Matt Kalil (up and down career so far, Steelers look to be set at OT, so like TE not a real consideration) Reiff is 2nd option here, and Joeckel could be a cheap reclamation project, but I would try and make him a LG
    *sidenote, anyone think Tony Hills would still be in the league? (been awhile since he did close to nothing with the Steelers, but has stuck around, was in NO last season)

    OG: Chance Warmack (probably getting re-signed by Tennessee) OG is the OL position I would want them to bring someone in, Zietler and Lang would be good ones as well, but I think their teams could tag them and will most likely keep them from hitting the market, like I mentioned above Joeckel could be another option

    OC: hardly anyone to mention and the least likely of the OL positions to add someone

    NT: (there are some guys at this position I could get really excited about, but it wont happen, so Im not gonna) Dontari Poe would be a BEAST to add to Heyward, Tuitt, and Hargrave, (KC will have to do some stuff to keep him, like cut Jamal Charles, they are currently right near the cap, so I expect them to lose some talent this offseason) even if he does become available some team is going to pay him a Ton, Brandon Williams would also get a great add (both adding the talent, but also taking it away from a competitive team, and the best part with him is that it is also the divisional rival!) Sylvester Williams, Johnathan Hankins, or Brandon Thompson (like it was pointed out in the article) could be other options, but since NT doesnt get many snaps, and Hargrave is a rising Star on the team at that position I kinda doubt they would spend $ to bring someone in

    DE: Calais Campell (Vet player to add that is chasing a championship, would be really good guy to rotate with the two starters, would have to take a discount to sign (*and it seems that only happens with the cheatriots) so not likely to happen) Lawrence Guy is another that could be poached from the ratbirds (but IF they lose their DL it will probably be for big $$$ and then they will collect the comps) Ziggy Hood is another guy, but since Walton did well this yr, not sure if he would even be the #1 depth guy? (bringing back Mathews is the most likely scenario, as well as a possible draft pick)

    DE (elephant) 4-3 type edge guys that are used to rushing with their hand in the dirt, not sure if the Steelers have much interest, but should be open to improving the pass rush in some non-traditional ways: Jason Pierre-Paul (only if he gives a few finger discount, hehe) Datone Jones, Jabaal Sheard Cortney Upshaw, Julius Peppers (probably too old) maybe even Margus Hunt who could also play some 5tech DE as well *Dion Jordan could be a cheap reclamation project here (not sure if he can get on the field, and even if he did he might not do well in the transition to standing up at OLB, but think he could be worth a shot)

    OLB: (good ones are going to be EXPENSIVE) Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones, Nick Perry (would all be nice, but dont expect it to happen) John Simon or Corey Lemonier seem more likely, but even then I’m not sure, Barkevious Mingo is another (but I doubt they really want to try another 2013 draft failure if they are already moving on from another, Keke is better suited for a 4-3 also and might not even be that cheap, could get a mid range contract somewhere like Jarvis will)

    ILB: Donta Hightower (like his versatility, could even line him up outside some, but another that has no chance of happening) re-signing Timmons, or bringing back Spence would be more likely (but ILB is another position they have depth at and they could do nothing but draft a rookie)

    S: (another dream position to bring someone in at) Eric Berry could be the playmaker to return the D to a #1 contender (but he will be getting PAID) even a guy like Johnathan Cyprien could be a good add

    CB: (one more where a good player could really help, but will also be really expensive) Trumaine Johnson might be one of my favorite FAs (but he is also going to be way more expensive than the Steelers would pay) actually a a lot of good players available, Stephon Gilmore, Dre Kirkpatrick, Prince Amakumara, Morris Claiborne, and AJ Bouye could help the team, but a guy like Webster (from the article) makes sense as a cheaper depth guy that can contribute on STs

  • John Noh

    Gilbert just got released. Not the team’s concern anymore.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    you mean the #1 safety in the nfl this year? yeah ill take him even for a year over anyone we had at safety position last year.

  • Sam Clonch

    Best safety in the league? I think you spelled Landon Collins/ Eric Berry wrong (voted AP all-pros). Weddle didn’t even make the BS fan voted pro-bowl, only slipped in because McCourty was playing the SB. Steelers front office regrets nothing.

  • francesco

    If there are two players I need to have are Butler and Ryan.
    Now Steelers go do your job to get them now!!!

  • Steelers12

    you mean let Bell walk?

  • Steelers12

    and that is all Timmons deserve, even if he signs a 3 year deal its really only year to year here on out

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Sam. I know. I am one of those people that remind all that the Steelers build through the draft and would never spend on an expensive FA. I agree with that philosophy as spending $15 million a year is tough when that guy has not done anything for you in the past and is not necessarily going to get you over the top. It’s just way too much to risk on just 1 player.

    I know that it is unlikely they change their stance on drafting strategies. My point is that there is very good evidence that they are very good at drafting. So they could take it to the next level, showing confidence in their own abilities and trying to make a few trades. Why not trade down to accumulate more mid rounders and later trade up so they could get an extra 1 or 2 guys in the heart of the draft. It’s like the sweet spot where they have historically done some of their best drafting.

    I do realize it is unlikely.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    yes because the press determines players that are best. walthers and pfr had him as the #1 safety. who cares what the fans think, and yes i realize i am a fan and my opinion means nothing. weddle outplayed eric berry.