Photo via Steelers.com
By Hombre de Acero
The 2018 off season has already brought change to the Steelers with the next month promising to bring more, even if the Steelers remain quiet in free agency. But before any of that can happen, this corner of Steelers Nation must first resolve these 5 Smoldering Question on Steelers Free Agency.
1. In his post-season pow-wow with reporters, Steelers President Art Rooney II declared that “Its hard to play defense in today’s NFL.” While many will readily accept Rooney’s assertion, it was only 2 years ago that the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl on the strength of their defense.
Do you think the erstwhile Steelers President might be a little too quick to let Keith Butler and company off the hook?
2. At first word was there’d be no changes to Mike Tomlin’s defensive staff, yet Carnell Lake resigned and Johnny Mitchell got kicked upstairs. Once praised for “The Lake Effect” Lake has been a lightening rod for criticism of late.
Even if you accept at face value his explanation that his resignation was a choice, do you think the Steelers secondary will be better or worse off under Tom Bradley?
3. The day one free agency signings of Mike Mitchell and Ladarius Green were out of character for the Steelers. The latter move was a complete failure, even if you accept that Green played well in the 6 games of the four year contract he signed. Mike Mitchell’s offers more of a mixed bag, but he still was not the impact player the Steelers needed him to be.
The Steelers of course have obtained the services of future Hall of Famers like Kevin Greene through free agency, as well as perennial Pro Bowlers like Ryan Clark and James Farrior.
But none of these were first-choice options of the Steelers.
Could it be that the Steelers simply aren’t suited for Splash Free Agency?
4. William Gay fell to free agency as a salary cap casualty. When the history of Steelers cornerbacks is written, the top five will read: Mel Blount, Rod Woodson, Jack Butler, Ike Taylor and Dwayne Woodruff.
Where would you rank William Gay?
Feel free to offer a range as opposed to a specific rank but be ready to defend your choice.
5. The Steelers have offered tenders to Anthony Chickillo and Chris Boswell, franchised Le’Veon Bell and if reports are correct, Chris Hubbard will have signed with the Browns by the time you read this.
Pittsburgh’s remaining unrestricted free agents are Arthur Moats, Justin Hunter, Daniel McCullers, Sean Spence and Stevan Ridley. Restricted free agents Eli Rogers, Fitzgerald Toussiant and Greg Ducre (who????) also have gotten no offers and are unrestricted free agents.
You are Kevin Colbert: Which of these players do you bring back for 2018?
6. It does not take a football genius or a Steelers news junkie to know that Pittsburgh’s most urgent needs in 2018 are inside linebacker and safety.
Which position would you target for the draft and which would you target via free agency? Offer examples and defend your choice.