Now that the draft is over, it’s time to fill out the remaining roster spots with what’s left in free agency. Kevin Colbert did a nice job addressing most of the team’s needs during the draft. Having said that, this team could use a few more veterans to fill out key areas of need. There are still a few interesting free agents the Steelers should gamble on to fill those spots. This team is clearly in “win now” mode, and these five players would be worth the risk to help with a championship run:
1. Vick Beasley – EDGE:
It has been a steep downward spiral for Vic Beasley since his breakout year in 2016. After recording 15.5 sacks that year, Beasley never again sniffed double digit sacks. He signed one year $9.5 million contract with the Tennessee Titans in May of 2020. The Titans released him the following November while criticizing his will to play in the league. He spent the rest of the season bouncing on and off the Raiders practice squad.
The good news is Beasley would not cost the Steelers more than the veteran minimum to see where his head is at. There’s no questioning the physical talent here. If Beasley decided to put his mind to reviving his once promising career, this could turn out to be quite a steal.
2. Gareon Conley CB:
Gareon Conley is a former first round pick of the then Oakland Raiders. Coming out of Ohio St., Conley tested extremely well. He had four interceptions in less than two full seasons with the Raiders. https://www.mockdraftable.com/player/gareon-conley
Oakland gave up on Conley pretty early trading him to the Houston Texans mid season in 2019. A year later, Conley missed the entire 2020 season due to complications from ankle surgery.
This is a high pedigree player at a position that the Steelers are extremely thin at. It may take more than the minimum to get Conley signed, but it may prove well worth it. Of all the players still out there, Conley is among the most intriguing free agents the Steelers should gamble on.
3. Isaiah Wilson RT:
There were red flags on Isaiah Wilson coming out of Georgia, and those seem to have come to fruition in the NFL. Wilson played in only one game with Tennessee in his rookie season. He was suspended by the team after a run in with police midway through his rookie campaign. Tennessee eventually traded him to the Miami Dolphins this off-season where he was promptly cut after being hours late for his physical.
Make no mistake this is a troubled player. Wilson is still young however, and might be worth taking a chance on. First round talents at tackle are hard to come by, and the Steelers could certainly use one of those. If Isaiah Wilson were to turn his life around, this team would have a talented player at a discount price.
4. Obi Melanfonwu CB:
Obi Melanfonwu is not a player with a checkered past, or terrible injury history. He is an incredible athlete who has found a hard time getting a foothold on a NFL roster. Melanfonwu tested off the charts coming out of the University of Connecticut. He has been a player we have suggested the Steelers take a flyer on several times. Steelers off-season targets: Obi Melifonwu
At worst you get a pretty good special teams player here. At best, you get an A+ athlete who may finally put it all together. Melanfonwu could play corner or safety, making him a versatile asset. This team could do a lot worse with a bottom of the roster player.
5. Eric Fisher OT:
This one is admittedly a long shot for the Steelers. Figuring out the value of a thirty year old tackle coming off an Achilles tear is difficult to say the least. Spotrac projects a contract of $18 million, which seems extremely expensive for a player coming off a severe injury. https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs/eric-fisher-12281/market-value/ If that is indeed the case, count Pittsburgh out on this player.
It is much more likely Fisher settlers for a one year deal at $6-$8 million so he can reset his value. If Kevin Colbert could squeeze that number down closer to five million, we might see something get done. It’s a risk considering an Achilles injury is tough for any player to overcome. But when you are a franchise that is all in for one more Super Bow run, these are the kind of risks that could put you over the top.