The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to return to relevance in the AFC after a loss to the division-rival Cleveland Browns in the wildcard round this past January.
It seems like Mike Tomlin’s squad has fallen behind its counterparts in the conference. However, the presence of Ben Roethlisberger and a still-elite skill-position group still has Pittsburgh in the playoff conversation.
With training camp slated to get going late next month, there’s still some things that general manager Kevin Colbert and Co. must check off their to-do list. Below, we look at three moves the Pittsburgh Steelers should still make this offseason.
Pittsburgh Steelers sign Trai Turner
A surprise release of the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this offseason, this five-time Pro Bowl guard visited with the Steelers just recently. It makes perfect sense given Pittsburgh’s issues in front of the immobile Big Ben. As of right now, Kevin Dotson would likely be Pittsburgh’s Week 1 starting left guard. The former fourth-round pick started four games as a rookie last season.
In Turner, the Steelers would be acquiring a player who has earned five Pro Bowl appearances over the past six seasons. Sure he’s coming off an injury-plagued 2020 campaign that saw him miss seven games, but he’d come in on the cheap and provide the Steelers with a stopgap option next to new starting left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor.
Pittsburgh Steelers sign T.J. Watt to record-breaking extension
We previously focused on why Watt should not be in a hurry to sign what will likely be a record-breaking extension this summer. There’s multiple reasons for this. Primarily, the market dictates value as much as a players’ performance. Said market on the defensive side of the ball will likely reset multiple times before Watt is slated to hit free agency next March. Simply put, the dominating edge rusher would likely earn more cash long-term if he were to let this play out throughout the 2021 NFL season.
That’s one of the reasons it makes perfect sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers to get Watt locked up ahead of training camp. The former first-round pick from Wisconsin has been absolutely dominating through four NFL seasons — registering a combined 111 quarterback hits and 49.5 sacks during that span. Even if it comes in at well north of $20 million annually, Pittsburgh would be smart to ink him to that record-breaking extension here within the next month.
Pittsburgh Steelers sign Richard Sherman
It has not been the Steelers’ MO under Colbert to hit the free-agent market hard. The team tends to look for value and veterans late in the process. Picking up former Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden from the division-rival Cleveland Browns in August of 2017 is a recent example of this. Could the Steelers follow suit and add depth at the same position here soon?
To say that Pittsburgh needs help behind Haden at cornerback would be an understatement. It released Steven Nelson early in the offseason. Adding Sherman to the mix would make a ton of sense with Haden slated to start on one side and Cameron Sutton as the team’s primary slot guy. The future Hall of Famer has also indicated he would like to latch on with a contender. Despite their premature playoff exit a season ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers may still qualify.