Steelers 2017 Free Agency: Short List Of Potential Bargain Targets

I’m an old curmudgeon when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers being active in free agency. However, being as they have some salary cap space to play with this year and combined with the fact the team has made a few early splashes in free agency in each of the last three years, I thought I would throw out a few names of players that might interest the Steelers starting today for the sake of some legal tampering period discussion.

Alterraun Verner – After being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, Verner has reportedly already received calls from interested teams. His fall from grace in Tampa Bay happened very quickly as he was a solid player during his final year with the Tennessee Titans. Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake has a history with Verner as the two spent one season together at UCLA. Verner might could be a stop-gap slot option for the Steelers if the price is right. Verner can also play on special teams and he’s still only 28 years old.

Captain Munnerlyn – Munnerlyn has been mentioned previously by Alex Kozora and with good reason as he can definitely play in the slot. With that said, he will turn 29 very soon and is reportedly looking for a four or five-year deal that will average more than the $4.2 million that he made in 2016. The fact that Munnerlyn failed to record an interception last season along with just 3 defensed passes will likely keep his market price down.

Prince Amukamara – Amukamara is a former first-round draft pick who has had injury and lack of production knocks him since he was drafted in the first round several years ago. While he did finally stay healthy for the most part last season, he still missed a few games early in the year. Amukamara isn’t likely to command big money because of his failure to make splash plays last year with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

John Simon – While not an every-down edge player, Simon is a more than adequate backup and at 26 years of age might be considered an upgrade over Arthur Moats. He might ultimately be one of the best bargains on the free agent market this year. The Steelers should know quite a bit about Simon as not only did he play his college football at Ohio State, he was also brought in for a pre-draft visit back in 2013.

Nickell Robey-Coleman – NRC isn’t sexy at all and especially due to his short stature. Even so, he had a decent year coverage-wise in the slot last season and isn’t afraid to stick his face in the fan. While no team should tie their wagon to Robey-Coleman as a long-term player, he can provide a short-term fix for a team who plans to draft and develop a slot cornerback this year. NRC can also give teams a little something on special teams as well and his price tag right now should be very affordable.

Brandon Flowers – The Los Angeles Chargers released Flowers on Tuesday and he’ll now get a small head-start on free agency. He can play in the slot, but it needs to be pointed out that he just turned 31 years of age and missed 10 games last season due to injuries that included him suffering a few concussions. The Steelers also don’t usual go after defensive free agents on the wrong side of 30. Any team that does sign Flowers will view him as a short-term fix and thus I don’t expect he’ll get big money.

Brian Hoyer – If the Steelers wind up losing Landry Jones during the early stages of free agency, perhaps they should consider bringing back Hoyer, who spent a few weeks with the team several years ago. His market value figures to be very low right now at 31 and he would provide the Steelers some experience behind Ben Roethlisberger for the next season or two the way Bruce Gradkowski did.

As you can see, this list of players is short and none of them are regarded as being top-tier players. I will now let all of you have fun poking holes in these potential free agent targets and add your own in the comments below.

  • Brian Tollini

    + Brian Hoyer
    + John Simon

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Steelers probably don’t even look that ‘high’ at players, but Houer was one I was hoping for last year and he signed for only $2M with the Bears.

  • Jeff Papiernik


  • Doug

    I’d gladly take Simon over Moats and Chickillo

  • Kysteeler

    Nickell Robey-Coleman seems most likely, we have a need and he is still young.

    I’d like to see John Simon as well, don’t forget that Simon was in for a pre-draft visit.

  • Douglas Andrews

    John Simon would be a nice addition! Probably means Moats is let go

  • Applebite

    I honestly think that they’ll wait until after the draft to address FA this time around. So much talent this year, not enough picks to take them all….!!

  • Joey

    Wouldn’t mind Munnerlyn

  • blackandgoldBullion

    CB Leodis McKelvin is getting up there but seems to me to have been a steady performer over the years. Might he come cheap and could he help for 2 years?

    DE Leger Douzable is available again.

    CB Verner if he is not too expensive.

  • Big Joe

    I like Simon and would be interested in seeing if he could fit in our D.

  • francesco

    Logan Ryan

  • Terrible Towlie


  • Shane Mitchell

    I think with the draft being as deep as it is this year in slot CBs and defense in general the market for these mid to low tier free agents is going to be tough going. Cant think of a position we would want to sign before the draft except maybe a back up QB.

  • Jeff Burton

    This is a much more realistic list of potential free agents than the Glennon/Pryor/Kirkpatrick speculation. I would look for the Steelers to fill a couple holes with proven commodities to free up their first 4 Draft picks to fill WANTS and not NEEDS. If the get a CB that frees up a pick from this prime TE crop. If they pick up a proven WR that would make it easier to pick a developmental QB. I’m convinced at this point Mahomes will be gone but Davis Webb should still be there and he’s got real potential. If the QB pick is in the later rounds I like Brad Kaaya and a little later I would take a chance of Chad Kelly. If he matures he could be force and I’d put Uncle Jim on the payroll during training camp to make sure that happens.

  • Michael James

    Just no to Simon. We need playmakers, not depth there. We already have those mediocre/reliable backups in Chickillo and Moats. I would much rather double-dip in the draft.

  • george

    What….no Darrelle Revis??? 🙂

  • steel67

    I would like Simon and Hoyer. It will be interesting to see how KC plays Free Agency this year

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Why he’s a bum

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    And verner/prince

  • TroymanianDevil

    John Simon

  • Daniel

    Rams open to trading CB Trumaine Johnson

    Just saying

  • Dshoff

    I have a hard time with the idea that we could get Hoyer for cheap. If we could, that sounds like a no brainer to me.

  • David Henderson

    Need to wait until after the draft. Wouldn’t mine seeing a reliable WR signed.

  • falconsaftey43

    Under a $17M franchise tag, plus you have to give up a pick for him? Then hope you can sign him long term? No thanks. He’s not THAT good.

  • James Cowan

    Hoyer won’t be a bargain. He can win games so will get at least 8 million a year.

  • David Henderson

    How about Norman Carroll or Branden Lefell

  • Sam Clonch

    Agree he’ll be out of Steelers price range, but I don’t see anyone going after him as a starter, so I think $8 mill would probably be the top end of what he’ll possibly get.

  • Sam Clonch

    Lol, good one. Is there a rule out there preventing a team from having 2 players on franchise tags on the same roster? Would be a funny scenario.

  • Daniel

    Rams open to trading CB Trumaine Johnson

  • SouthernSteel

    Davon House? Wouldn’t be a bad CB to add in FA and draft 1 in first 3 rounds

  • Rocksolid20

    We will wait till all the other teams have signed who they want and then we will see the low priced bottom of the barrel guys , maybe we sign one or two of the cheap ones . As Ben’s window gets smaller and smaller .

  • NinjaMountie

    A one year rental for 17 million..that would be hard to imagine them even considering.

  • Joseph Shaw

    Hoyer over Jones FTW.

  • blue

    DJ Fluker

  • Nolrog

    I wouldn’t be going after cheaper players. I would be looking for a big splash. Nick Perry. 26 year old, OLB, 14 games, 11 sacks, 16 QB hits and an INT. Will cost around 5/40 to get him. Give him a year to learn from Harrison and maybe he can blossom into a beast.Lorenzo Alexander, on a short deal (2/13) would be a second choice (because his age, 33, but maybe you can get a couple good years out of him). 13 sacks, 20 QB hits, 2 Forced Fumbles and an INT.

  • Daniel

    whoa nvrmind

  • Andrew

    McCown as a backup is fine by me. Then we dump a higher pick into a QB next year when there is a better QB class.

  • Tyler Bowman

    Dave – your mantra has been edge edge edge all year for the draft. Why not take the same philosophy to free agency and throw all your money at an edge guy like Nick Perry? The 11 sacks Perry delivered last year is probably more than you could ask for out of any rookie. Go big or go home.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Sad to say but true. They just don’t make a big splash in free agency.

  • Brian Tollini

    I believe in that scenario he would still be considered the Rams franchise play, making it perfectly legal

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    SD released Stevie Johnson. He’s a bit of a clown but might still have some gas left in the tank.

  • mokhkw

    Davon House, ex-Jags. Didn’t start last year as Jalen Ramsey took his LCB spot and it seems he only plays that position or is much more comfortable there.

    In 2015 he had 23 passes defensed and 4 INTs. Jags saved $6mil by cutting him, apparently his former team the Packers is interested in getting him back.

    6’0″ /200lbs/ 27 years old / 4.5 40 time. Can play press/man and zone. Probably could get him for $5mil/year.