With the Pittsburgh Steelers Le’Veon Bell drama coming in, we should also look at some other players the Steelers might want to resign.
Even if all the attention has been on Steelers’ star running back, Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh has to concentrate on resigning more players than just one. Although the primary focus has been Bell, these other four studs have almost as big of an impact on the future of the Steelers.
These players may not be arguably the best running back in the NFL, but they all have significant roles on this team. Without them on the roster moving forward, no one has any idea where the Steelers are headed.
So, while the Steelers front office tries to wrap up contract talks with Bell, fans can begin to focus on which other players Pittsburgh needs to resign this year.
Stephon Tuitt– Stephon Tuitt has one more year left on his contract, and the Steelers should want to keep him. He was their best defensive lineman last year with Cameron Heyward hurt. He was a second-round pick but could have easily been a first round pick three years ago. His character and hard working style are something the Steelers tend to like, and his production on the field is something that would be missed. Tuitt is a big reason the Steelers run defense does as well as it does, despite the run defense not being the best. Losing him would make run defense another hole the Steelers would have to work on.
Alejandro Villanueva– Villanueva is about as good of a story as any on the Steelers. He was converted to tackle since moving around a lot in college and in his unsuccessful attempts to make an NFL roster. He is currently an exclusive-rights free agent, but in a year he will be a restricted free agent. The Steelers have some leverage with the new CBA and would be smart sign him for longer than two years to avoid unrestricted free agency. If it were me, I would sign him long-term when he becomes a restricted free agent; so, they have a quality NFL Left Tackle in the future. At least this offseason they should begin the negotiations.
Vince Williams– Williams signed a team friendly extension last offseason, and that loyalty should not be forgotten. Williams knows that he is going to a get a chance to start and be an NFL Free Agent this next offseason. It would be a shame if the rest of the NFL found out about his talent without an extension because he could become much more expensive in a year.
Ross Cockrell– I know he is a very average NFL corner, but teams will pay a premium for that. The Steelers already have to replace William Gay at some point, and we don’t even know yet if Cameron Sutton can be that guy. Cockrell could be signed to a team friendly contract, and that would provide some security at the corner position. I know some will say the Steelers are trying to upgrade there, but I can’t see him being signed to a contract that makes him uncuttable. Don’t forget what happened with Keenan Lewis.