3 Free Agents the Steelers Should Still Pursue Before the Draft

pittsburgh steelers

Getty The Pittsburgh Steelers should pursue these three players to fill some of the holes remaining on their roster

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been very busy this offseason.

They’ve completely overhauled their quarterback room.

They’ve added some major pieces on defense. The Steelers have even brought in one of the best kick returners in NFL history to bolster their special teams and added some nice depth pieces.

They sould still be far from done.

The Steelers still have some major needs to address before the start of the 2024 season and have a bit of cap room to work with even when factoring in what they’ll have to pay their rookies.

Here are three players they should look to use that cap space to acquire to fill a few more needs before the draft.

Chris Reed

Right now, the Steelers don’t have a center on their roster. They are expected to find their starting center in the draft, but there is some risk involved with drafting an offensive lineman to start immediately.

Offensive linemen can take some time to develop when they reach the NFL.

The team would also have no depth at the position. 

They need some kind of insurance in case the rookie isn’t ready to make the jump right away or gets injured.

Chris Reed could be that insurance for them.

It has been a few years since he has been a starter in the league and he missed most of last season on injured reserve, but he does bring plenty of experience with him.

He has started 30 games in his career and could be a solid veteran presence to help any rookie the Steelers draft.

When he has started regularly, he has shown solid ability as a run blocker, which would be important in the Steelers’ offense.

He would also likely cost them very little. His contract last season was only worth $1.5 million.

With the Steelers expected to run the ball frequently in 2024, the center position is going to be very important for them and going into the season with a rookie as the only player on the depth chart is a big risk.

A cheap veteran that can run block in case he ever actually needs to play could be a perfect fit for them before they figure out who they’re going to draft.

Avonte Maddox

One of the most notable moves the Steelers already made this offseason involved a cornerback.

They landed Donte Jackson when they traded Diontae Johnson away.

That move likely makes Jackson their replacement for Patrick Peterson, but they still have another spot open at corner.

They need somebody to cover the slot. Levi Wallace became a free agent this offseason and the team has yet to replace him.

To get that replacement, the Steelers might not need to look very far. They could go after somebody that was recently cut by Pennsylvania’s other team.

Avonte Maddox spent the first six years of his NFL career with the Eagles and had varying levels of succes.

As a rookie, he was stellar in coverage, holding opposing QBs to a completion percentage under 55%.

The following year he defended ten passes and kept that compeltion percentage in the low 60s.

Maddox has struggled the past couple of seasons. He has missed a lot of time with injuries and hasn’t done nearly as good of a job preventing completions.

However, that could provide an opportunity for a team looking to take a chance on him.

When healthy, Maddox is still better in coverage than Wallace was for the Steelers last season.

He’s also more than willing to step up and make a tackle, making 73 of them in 2021.

Maddox could benefit from playing behind a very talented pass rush and with a secondary around him that has talent of its own.

He also might come at a discount because of the injuries.

If they can get him on a prove-it deal for 2024, Maddox could be a good fit for a Steelers team that needs a slot corner and has been loading up on defense this offseason.

Tyler Boyd Should Be a Priority for the Steelers

I honestly feel like this deal should have happened already.

Tyler Boyd has expressed his interest in joining the Steelers because of his ties to the area. He is the kind of dependable, gritty player that the Steelers love.

The Steelers really need a WR2. It seems to be a perfect match.

Yet, here we are more than two weeks into free agency and a deal still hasn’t happened.

The latest report is that the Steelers don’t want to improve their offer to Boyd, but they’ve put themselves in a position this offseason where price shouldn’t keep them from getting a player that is the right fit.

Right now, they have the biggest advantage in football. They aren’t spending any money at quarterback.

That should mean that they are all-in on this season before their core gets older and they have to actually pay a QB.

The Steelers could draft a receiver, but they have bigger needs in round one and finding a dependable WR2 who can make an immediate impact gets a lot more difficult when you try to do it late in round two.

Boyd has been incredibly consistent throughout his career and has two seasons under his belt where he went over 1000 yards for the Bengals.

He would make their offense better in 2024 and the Steelers should do what they must to get a deal done.

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