It seems like every season Steelers fans are disappointed by Kevin Colbert’s free agency spending. That usually has a lot to do with the team being up against the cap in most seasons. But in 2021, this has hit an even more extreme level. The Covid 19 pandemic caused the salary cap to go down for the first time in history. This put an enormous strain on the Steelers salary cap situation. Pittsburgh is pretty much out of the free agency business now that they have re-signed Cam Sutton and Zach Banner. What will follow is a series of near minimum veteran signings to fill out the roster. Here’s a look at the type of signings we might expect moving forward with an eye towards players with some upside:
1. Jesse James TE:
This makes almost too much sense. The Steelers need a veteran tight end in the worst way, and old friend Jesse James just so happens to be on the market. I’d put this down in pen that James will be tight end two come September.
2. Jordan Willis EDGE:
Jordan Willis was a combine freak when he came out of Kansas St. in 2017. The Steelers have zero depth at edge after the loss of Bud Dupree. Willis could be a nice upside play on the cheap. https://www.mockdraftable.com/player/jordan-willis
3. Gareon Conley CB:
Drafted 24th overall in the 2017 draft, Gareon Conley is a super athletic corner with good size for the position. This may cost a bit more than the minimum, but Conley is a gamble worth taking for the Steelers.
4. Forrest Lamp G:
We scoured the free agency list for interior lineman with any hope of upside. Lamp has had a rough start to his career, but tested incredibly well at the combine. He could be a cheap depth piece for this team.
5. Tanoh Kpassagnon DE:
Pittsburgh could use some depth along the defensive line. Kpassagnon would be a nice rotational player to spell Heyward and Tuitt.
6. Rueben Foster ILB:
Reuben Foster hasn’t played a snap since 2018. Injuries are a major concern here. But this was a top ten talent coming out of Alabama in 2017. On a minimum contract Foster is worth at least a training camp look see this season.
7. Darron Lee ILB:
We have been proposing acquiring Lee for years now here at Steelers Sanctuary. Steelers off-season targets – Darron Lee
He is an athletic inside linebacker who could be a good emergency replacement if anything ever happened to Devon Bush again. The Steelers simply do not have anyone on the roster that can back Bush up right now.
8. Adam Humphries WR:
A week ago I would have told you signing a player like this would have been impossible. After seeing how soft the free agent market is for wide receiver however, now it seems very possible. Humphries is going to be one of those receivers scrambling to make a one year deal this off-season. He is an excellent slot receiver who would compliment this group nicely.
9. Damien Williams RB:
Damien Williams is a good power/speed back just recently released by the Kansas City Chiefs. Williams comes in a at 220 pounds, with 4.4 speed at his disposal. He is coming off his best season as a pro in 2020, and would be a good addition to the running back room for the Steelers.
10. Vic Beasley EDGE:
Vic Beasley has all the physical tools in the world. The only question about this player is the “want to”. His effort and commitment have been questioned several times over his career. If Beasley ever made up his mind to give football his all, the Steelers would have one hell of a player. Seems worth a flyer at the veteran’s minimum.