What in-house free agents are staying?
Ramon Foster is the biggest name free agent for the Steelers. This offensive line has become one of the best in the league, and removing anyone is an option it should be Marcus Gilbert.
Matt Feiler needs to remain on the roster to assure the right tackle position is covered even if the Steelers plan to keep Gilbert. After starting most of the 2018 season, Feiler proved he’s capable of starting in the NFL. Pittsburgh needs to consider that before releasing him to the market.
Eli Rogers and Jesse James are both unrestricted free agents. Rogers’ return could come with Brown’s departure, but if AB is being moved the Steelers should strongly consider bringing back Rogers to keep the receiving core in tact.
James isn’t guaranteed and much of the decision will come with his desire to start in the NFL. It’s hard to say if a team will hand him a starting job in free agency, but it’s certain Pittsburgh won’t. If he believes he’s more than a number two, he’ll hit the market and run.
On defense, Mike Hilton is a must. Outside of Joe Haden he’s the best cornerback Pittsburgh has on the roster. Since earning the starting job in 2017, Hilton has become one of the most reliable slot corners in football. Re-signing him is a major priority to the fans but maybe not the Steelers.
L.J. Fort is the final name on the list, but chances are this move comes with the team’s confidence in adding another inside linebacker this offseason. Whether it’s through the draft or in free agency, Pittsburgh needs an athletic backer to replace Ryan Shazier. Which means if they find out Fort is probably gone.