The Steelers have lost their first free agents of the season when two of their 2015 starters signed elsewhere.
Shortly after it was announced that the Steelers had come to an agreement with left tackle Ryan Harris ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that former Steelers left tackle signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The signings make sense for both teams, actually. Jacksonville has money to burn and to date has signed six free agents since the market opened last Wednesday. Beachum was clearly looking for a payday and wasn’t interested in whatever (if anything) the Steelers had to offer.
With the Steelers signing of Ryan Harris, who can also play right tackle, they can have an honest competition for the starting left tackle position. Whichever player doesn’t become the starter can instantly become the swing tackle and provide the line with much needed depth.
On the other side of the ball the Steelers have lost nose tackle Steve McLendon now that he’s signed with the New York Jets. McLendon played over 34 percent of the defensive snaps for the Steelers in the 3-4 defense.
The options to replace McLendon at nose tackle aren’t as obvious as the options to replace Beachum. Backup nose tackle Daniel McCullers hasn’t had the kind of playing time that would instill the confidence to assume he’s now the starting nose tackle.
On the other hand, the Steelers have been moving away from a base 3-4 defense where a nose tackle is necessary for a little while now so this may open them up to exploring different types of defense ends and tackles to better fit their needs.
The signings and leavings still lead Steeler Nation to believe that the Steelers 2016 draft class is going to be defense-heavy.
What do you think about the departures of Steve McLendon and Kelvin Beachum, Steeler Nation?