The Steelers currently have 22 free agents on their roster, obviously not everyone will be re-signed. Robert Spillane, Damontae Kazee and Zach Gentry are three options that would be nice to see re-signed, but there are three other options that will really help the team.
Cam Sutton is arguably the most important free agent on the team. We all know the struggles the Steelers have in drafting cornerbacks, getting Sutton under contract would be huge. Cam had arguably his best year since being drafted and was the team’s best cornerback, compiling 43 tackles, 15 pass defensed and three interceptions. Spotrac has Sutton receiving a three year $22.9million contract on the open market. Pittsburgh cannot let Sutton leave in free agency.
Pittsburgh should be looking hard at cornerbacks in the draft as well, possibly with their first pick in the draft. Re-signing Sutton also allows for some flexibility at the cornerback position, as they can pair Levi Wallace with Sutton on the outside and move Sutton to slot corner when necessary and bring the rookie in to play on the outside.
Cameron Sutton grabbed three of the Steelers 20 interceptions this year, keeping him on the team allows for continuity in the secondary which could allow them to do more of the same next year, and with the Steelers pass rush being what it is, there’s a good chance the Steelers will pick off more passes.
Yeah, I know a lot of you do not want to see Terrell Edmunds name pop up, but he’s just as important of a free agent as Cameron Sutton. After signing a one-year deal last year, Edmunds had his best year as a Steeler recording, 70 total tackles, two sacks and five passes defensed.
Two big reasons that make Terrell Edmunds an important free agent is how well he works with Minkah Fitzpatrick and the fact he has been very healthy over his career. The Fitzpatrick, Edmunds combo has worked out very well as we’ve all seen, breaking the duo up could hurt the back end of the secondary. No, Edmunds does not make many splash plays, but his solid play in run support and decent play in pass protection allow Minka Fitzpatrick work his magic when the ball is in the air.
Terrell Edmunds contract may be somewhat tough to nail down as he’s a very solid player and knows the defense like the back of his hand and is a very dependable player which is very important. Knowing what Edmunds means to the back end of the secondary could get him a bit more money and a longer deal. Pittsburgh could offer him a two- or three-year deal possibly starting at $5 million or $7 million per season, some reports have him signing a two-year $10 million deal as well.
Ogunjobi came in last year as a free agent and did a very solid job replacing Stephon Tuitt. Larry Ogunjobi once again finds himself as a free agent, and Pittsburgh must clear some space to keep him on the roster. It took some time for Larry to get comfortable with the defense but once he did, he was off and running.
Ogunjobi finished the year with 48 tackles, seven for a loss, 1.5sacks all while dealing with injuries throughout the year. The Steelers depth at defensive end young but shows promise, keeping Larry Ogunjobi would be very beneficial as it would allow DeMarvin Leal and Isiah Loudermilk to continue to grow. Pittsburgh should also look to draft a defensive lineman in the draft as well, since Cam Heyward is not getting any younger.
The free agent market for defensive line is rather strong this year, and that could play to the Steelers favor. Spotrac has Larry Ogunjobi receiving a two-year $7 million contract, although he may receive slightly more money.
Pittsburgh can make roster cuts, and restructure contacts to open up cap space to make it possible to re-sign these key free agents. Omar Kahn and Andy Weidl have their work cut out for them during free agency. Kahn will have to work some of his cap magic to get these free agents.