The Pittsburgh Steelers off-season has begun and there are some big decisions to be made for 2020. Nothing should be higher on the priority list than Bud Dupree and Mike Hilton being brought back.
Steelers fans endured a few bad defenses in the last few years but they rejoiced in 2019 when the Steelers defense broke out. This is the most confidence fans have had in the Steelers defense since the late 2010s.
The best thing about the defense is that only three starters from the defense are a free agent of some level this offseason. The bad thing is Bud Dupree and Javon Hargrave priced themselves into an area where the Steelers will struggle to find room for one let alone both.
Mike Hilton is the other starter that is due for restricted free agency. This is big because, while he is a free agent, his restricted status will play into the Steelers favor.
Hargrave is a great lineman and I loved the pick when he became a member of the Steelers, but, he plays on a defensive line that also features Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward who combine for a nearly $30 million cap hit in 2020.
With that big of a number, it doesn’t make sense to offer Hargrave a big money deal due to their high use of sub-package defense. Simply put, when Heyward and Tuitt are both healthy, Hargrave is the third option and his snaps go down.
Knowing this with Hargrave he is going elsewhere in free agency. This turns the attention to numbers one and two on the priority list, Dupree and Hilton.