LB Bud Dupree– To me, this is a slam dunk no brainer. The team has to find a way to bring him back. A year ago I would have said something completely different but with the way he played this season, complimenting TJ Watt and making this defense a force to be reckoned with, he needs to return. He should be the number one priority for Kevin Colbert and I think he will be. I expect the team to find a way to bring this man back.
G BJ Finney– As I mentioned with Feiler, I think Foster will be gone so I’d bring Finney back on a two year deal as insurance and depth. He can also play center and tackle so he’s worth the contract. He will return.
ILB Ryan Shazier – He’s on this list because the Steelers have signed him the last two seasons and then put him on IR, to show him respect and commitment. It’s admirable but at this point, it can’t continue. He should be signed on as a coach, essentially that’s what he’s been. I think he’ll have a part in this organization as long as he wants but it will not be under a player contract any longer.
FS Sean Davis – Davis improved in 2018 before being hurt in 19’, paving the way for the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade. If Davis is willing to come back as a backup, for depth, he’s worth talking to but if he wants to be a starter, he’ll need to move on. He’s not getting paid starter money in Pittsburgh. I expect him to go elsewhere.
DT Javon Hargrave – Hargrave is a stud up the middle and someone who is going to get paid. Unfortunately, it won’t be in Pittsburgh. The team should do all they can to try to bring him back but they won’t be able to afford him with the limited cap space they have and the need to keep Dupree. Hargrave will be elsewhere this coming fall.
TE Nick Vannett – What a wasted 5th round pick to trade for this guy. Let him go.
DT LT Walton – With Hargrave all but out the door, Walton should be signed for insurance and depth. I think he’ll be back.
ILB Tyler Matakevich – He’s a good special teams guy and brings some fire to that unit. I anticipate he’ll be signed. I don’t have much of an opinion either way on him. If he contributed to the defense more, I’d care but since he doesn’t, I don’t.
In addition to the free-agent class, there are guys currently on this roster that should be released.
Here are the players I think the team should move on from.