Steelers 2018 Scheduled Free Agents Following 2017 Final Cuts

The Pittsburgh Steelers now have their initial roster set for the 2017 season and while it might undergo a quick shuffling prior to their regular season opener, now is as good as time as any to take a look at the players currently under contract who are set to become free agents in 2018.

Unrestricted Free Agents:

RB Le’Veon Bell – After the Steelers failed to sign Bell to a long-term contract by the July 17 deadline, the running back is now scheduled to once again be an unrestricted free agent in 2018. In short, the Steelers will likely need to decide if Bell is worthy of the franchise tag after the 2017 season ends and if they decide to go that route, it will come with a $14.54 million price tag.

DE Stephon Tuitt – Tuitt’s status figures to change in the coming days as I still expect the team will sign him to a very lucrative contract extension prior to them boarding the team plane for Cleveland. For now, however, Tuitt is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and that’s why he’s on this list.

OLB Arthur Moats – Moats made the Steelers initial 53-man roster this year and is now scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. This might very well wind up being his last season in Pittsburgh as it’s hard to imagine the team will re-sign him during the offseason.

WR Justin Hunter – Hunter, who signed a one-year contract with the Steelers this past March, has a lot to prove in 2017. He’s still young, however, and a rebound season might lead to the Steelers considering re-signing him. With that said, Hunter might first decide to explore free agency if he puts up any kid of significant stats this season.

T Chris Hubbard – Hubbard signed a one-year restricted tender during the offseason and now figures to be the swing tackle and extra blocking tight end again in 2017. Moving past this season, Hubbard will likely want to explore unrestricted free agency in 2018 and the Steelers are likely going to let him do so.

DT Daniel McCullers – For now, McCullers is on the 53-man roster for 2017 but that could change quickly. Assuming he sticks all season, it’s hard to imagine him getting much playing time on defense and thus it’s likely 2017 will be his last year in Pittsburgh.

Restricted Free Agents

OLB Anthony Chickillo – The Steelers former draft pick will be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2017 season and assuming he stays healthy and productive, he’ll easily be retained with a tender at a yet to be determined level. It will either be an original round tender or a second round tender depending entirely on how much and how well he plays in 2017.

WR Eli Rogers – Rogers appears set to start the 2017 season as the Steelers starting slot wide receiver just as he did a year ago. Assuming he stays healthy and productive throughout the year, its not hard to imagine him being restricted tendered during the offseason and much like Chickillo, that level will ultimately decided by how he plays this season.

FB Roosevelt Nix – Nix, the team’s starting fullback and core special teams contributor, is poised for another great season. At this point, it’s hard to imagine Nix not receiving some sort of restricted tender from the Steelers next offseason.

K Chris Boswell – If the Steelers don’t sign Boswell to a contract extension over the course of the next several days, he will be scheduled to become a restricted free agent next offseason and thus a prime candidate to receive a second-round tender. Assuming that ultimately happens, the team would then likely look to sign him to a long-term contract by this same time next year.

P Jordan Berry – Berry is set to follow the same path as Boswell right now. As long as he has a productive 2017 season, he should receive a restricted tender during the offseason with that potentially followed by a long-term deal.

ILB L.J. Fort – Fort should be a restricted free agent after the 2018 season as long as he registers an accrued season. Like all other players on this list set to be restricted, it’s not hard to imagine him being tendered and in Fort’s case, likely at the lowest level.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

C/G B.J. Finney – Finney should be an exclusive rights free agent once again following the 2017 season and thus would likely be in situation similar to the one Alejandro Villanueva went through this offseason in that he’ll likely be highly underpaid. Regardless, there’s no reason to think the Steelers won’t tender Finney again at the minimum level and see how things go from there.

S Jordan Dangerfield – Dangerfield made the Steelers 53-man roster again this year and should be an ERFA after the season ends and ultimately easily retained with a minimal tender.

TE Xavier Grimble – Will Grimble stick all season on the roster? We’ll see. Regardless, he should be easily retained after the 2017 season with an exclusive rights tender.

LS Kameron Canaday – After beating out rookie draft pick Colin Holba for the long snapping job this year, Canaday should be an ERFA after the season ends and assuming he does his job well and sticks around, he’ll likely be tendered at the minimum.

G Matt Feiler – Feiler made the final roster this year after a strong preseason showing. We’ll see if he sticks all season and if he does, he’ll easily be retained as an ERFA after the season is over. For all we know, he might compete top be the Steelers starting left guard spot next year.

CB Mike Hilton – Hilton, one of this year’s camp phenom for the Steelers, made the 53-man roster and seems likely to stay there all season. Hell be an ERFA after the season and thus easily retained with a minimum exclusive rights tender.

RB Terrell Watson – Watson, like Hilton, turned a strong training camp and preseason into a 53-man roster spot. He will also be easily retained after the 2018 season via a minimum ERFA tender if stays on the roster all season.

CB Greg Ducre – For now, Ducre is on the Steelers Reserve/Injured list but I don’t expect him to remain there all season.

S Malik Golden – Golden was waived injured on Friday and thus should revert to the Steelers Reserve/Injured list. If that happens, he might not stay there all season.

C Mike Matthews – Matthews has been on the teams Reserve/Injured list for quite a while now and might remain there all season due to the seriousness of his injury.

  • SteelerSurfer

    Wow you keep ahead of the game! That’s why your the best.

  • George O’Doherty

    What about Bryant? Isn’t he going to be a UFA?

  • Jeff Papiernik


  • Brian Miller

    Nope, still under his rookie contract for 2 more years.

  • SteelersDepot

    no his contract tolled because of suspension

  • Nolrog

    He still has two years of contract left, 2017 and 2018.

  • Nolrog

    So besides Tuitt, who’s expected to get extended and Bell, who could be franchised, there’s not really that much of a concern for next year.

  • Bob Francis

    Seeing Hunter on this list is another reason I don’t get them choosing him over Coates. If Hunter has a good year, he’s likely gone. Would the team have controlled Coates for at least another season? They must have really liked Hunter more.

  • DirtDawg1964

    We have a nice little two year window to make some magic happen. After that we could be facing some challenges what with guys like Shazier and Bryant due new contracts and Ben possibly retiring.

    We will have to enjoy this window while we have it.

  • Andrew

    It was likely either Coates or Hunter, and Coates, serving as a 6th/inactive WR if everyone’s healthy, drew some draft pick compensation in return.

    Basically they may have downgraded a very small amount in the 6th WR (inactive) slot for 2 draft picks. I’ll take that any day.

  • Michael Conrad

    Just pick them boys on the Alabama D and you won’t miss players. Ruben Foster is going to be very good.

  • NW86

    Everyone is assuming it’s a slam dunk, the Steelers will offer Tuitt $10M/yr to match Heyward and he will take it. But let’s remember, a lot has changed since Heyward signed that deal, the cap has gone up significantly, and a lot of D-linemen have signed for big money. It’s hard to find clear comparables because of the different defensive schemes out there, but think about some of these recent DL contracts and their yearly values:


    I know Tuitt isn’t as big of a name as some of the guys on that list, but I’ll bet he doesn’t feel like he’s too far off. I’m not saying a deal with Tuitt won’t get done. I’m just saying it takes 2 sides to tango (Bell should have reminded us of that), and Tuitt’s side may not be inclined to sign for $10M/season.

  • Michael Conrad

    I love Coasts speed and seems like a nice kid. The problem is there is a problem. His ball awareness just was to much to deal with. Do you think he catches the ball Tucker did in the preseason game against Carolina leading to the win.

  • Steelmania

    Your on to something – his agent is going to want more than the Steelers gave Hayward based on the market – Steelers might not be comfortable with that. Seems signing Truitt would have been accomplished if he is not looking for the kind of $ you reference above!

  • michael young

    My guess, they expect JuJu to be a part of this offense as the year moves on and they draft another WR to groom next year. Also, I don’t think it’s reasonable to think Hunter will have a big year. I think he will make some big plays (deep ball/redzone), but there is only 1 football and he’s likely the 6th or 7th option other than situationally.

  • LucasY59

    I have been saying something similar all offseason, and that is why they really need to get him an extension (because he is only going to get more expensive) if they wanted to franchise tag him it would be a lot more than 10 mil (but the Bell situation makes that less likely, and also the raises the importance of getting a deal done this week) I could see the extension being in the 12 mil/yr range, but if they wait till next yr it might cost 15 (maybe even more depending on how well Tuitt plays this season)

  • LucasY59

    they wait till this time of yr with most extensions so its not that concerning a deal hasnt been done yet (IIRC DeCastro’s deal was done Sept 6th last yr, and I remember Troy signing an extension as he boarded the plane awhile back as well)

  • Michael Mosgrove

    right now, at this point, the season will determine the outlook on most of the players. here is what i would say to do if we were at the free agent period, IF all the players here even have an average season OR better.

    resign following:
    Tuitt- obvious reasons.

    let go:

    bell: nuff said.

    Moats- even if he has a good season, they wont keep him next year. they will more than likely draft another pass rusher. bringing the olb room to 5 still. dupree, watt, chickillo, and draft pick. this is the caveat, im expecting deebo to retire. moats will still be the fifth option.

    Hunter- while he may havea good season, i expect the steelers to have a draft pick competing with him next year. or maybe tucker sticks around and makes the 53 after another good camp.

    mother hubbard- never been a fan but he is waht he is. a backup. the FO likes him more than i do because of his versatility. personally i dont see him being versatile because while he has played at all 5 lineman spots, he doesnt exceel at any of them. my hopes for hawkins taking his spot have been tempered after hawkins poor camp. but we will see what next year holds.

  • Denny

    Yes I am assuming it will take an injury before Hunter is even active on game day.

  • Mister Wirez

    Nope… He bobbles it and the football ends up bouncing out the sideline. That’s why he’s no longer here. He just couldn’t cleanly snag a football out of the air. Even the passes he did catch had me holding my breath. I saw few times last year where Coates would bobble-drop a pass and Ben looked like he was ready to lose it on him..

    It makes me wonder if #7 quietly lobbied for Hunter behind the scenes?

  • steelmann58

    Think the Steelers might keep both the CB and safety on IR since the Always Looking for secondar help

  • CP72

    Yeah might as well start my panic attack early!!

  • SouthernSteel

    IMO Eli will not be resigned… juju will take over and we will draft another WR next year… . Eli will get 5million a year from some sucker of a team…