By Thanksgiving weekend you can pretty much tell whether your team is in or out of the playoff hunt. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, the playoffs are almost certainly a forgone conclusion at this point. With that in mind, we decided to take an early look at the 2023 Steelers free agents. We put a percentage on what we think each player’s likelihood of being back next season:
Larry Ogunjobi – (50%)
Pittsburgh would undoubtedly want Larry Ogunjobi back, but the cost may prove to be more than the team is willing to spend. He certainly has fit in nicely into the interior of this defense, and been an impact player when healthy. Unfortunately Ogunjobi will be looking for a deal similar to the one he signed with Chicago before failing the physical. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years, and $40 million will be the parameters of a new deal. That may be far too rich for the Steelers liking.
Cam Sutton – (90%)
Pittsburgh may value Cam Sutton more than most other NFL teams do. He certainly is a solid slot corner, but one who struggles on the outside however. With this team’s absolute desperation at this position, they can not afford to let Sutton walk. In fact the Steelers may end up overpaying to keep Sutton in the fold. Either way it’s a good bet he is back in 2023.
Devin Bush – (40%)
The Steelers are probably regretting not picking up the fifth year option on Bush right now. He is by no means reached top ten pick status, but he has turned around what once looked like a total bust of a career. We put the percentage low because we are not sure Devin Bush wants back after all he’s been through here. It will take some convincing to re-sign him, and it may not be worth the effort to be honest.
Terrell Edmunds – (70%)
Safeties generally struggle in to make big money in free agency. Safeties without ball skills really struggle as Edmunds found out last off-season. We’d like to see the Steelers upgrade at this position, but they probably get this deal done on the cheap. There are too many other holes to fill on this roster.
Robert Spillane – (90%)
We’d like to tell you that there’s a zero chance Robert Spillane will be back, but we’d be lying if we did. The Steelers seem to love him, and he will cost next to nothing to bring him back. Prepare yourself for more Robert Spillane covering out in space in 2023.
Demontea Kazee – (75%)
This one depends a lot on how Kazee plays in the second half. The Steelers seem really intrigued in what a three safety look could do with him in the lineup. It shouldn’t cost the team much to have him back, so we put the percentage pretty high here.
Benny Snell – (100%)
Mike Tomlin loves himself some Benny Snell football. To be fair, he has become a core special teamer at this point. Snell will be a cheap special teamer for years to come in Pittsburgh. Mark him down as one of the Steelers free agents that’s a lock to be back.
Derek Watt – (10%)
Even the Steelers have to admit that this signing was a complete waste of valuable cap space over the last three years. Short of Watt taking a minimum contract to stay with the club, his days in Pittsburgh are numbered.
Tyson Alualu – (0%)
Who’d of thought a 35 year old nose tackle coming off a major injury would end up being a non-factor in 2022? Oh ya, we did! Top 5 potential cap casualties for the Steelers in 2022
Mr Alualu will be retiring after this season, one year too late for the Steelers unfortunately
Zach Gentry – (100%)
Gentry has made great strides since his rookie season. So much so he has made himself an important second tight end with the team. Expect a team friendly deal to keep him around.
Miles Boykin – (99%)
Miles Boykin may not be much of a receiver, but he is one of the premiere gunners in the NFL. Pittsburgh brings him back on that fact alone.
Malik Reed – (0%)
Omar Khan has done some good things in his short time as GM, but this isn’t one of them. The Malik Reed trade did nothing for this team’s depth at outside linebacker.
Mason Rudolph – (0%)
None of the Steelers free agents will be running out of Pittsburgh faster than Mason Rudolph. The fact that he has not dressed for a single game this season certainly has him ready to hit the road. Combine that with the fact that the club will have zero interest in having him back, and this is the easiest call on the list.
If you like this article then check out episode 50 of the Steelers Sanctuary Podcast that will be out tomorrow morning. We will be going deeper into the 2023 free agents, and much more! https://www.buzzsprout.com/1981237