Pittsburgh Steelers updated free agency predictions
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of work to do this offseason and not a lot of money to do it with. Here are my free agency predictions for 2020.
The NFL free agency period is quickly approaching, and the Steelers are going to have their hands full next month. With free agency taking place before the draft, Pittsburgh may find a way to fill a few of their needs sooner rather than later.
Mike Tomlin has clearly made Bud Dupree’s extension a priority, but will they be able to get one done this offseason? There are a lot of questions that will soon be answered. Here are my updated free agency predictions for the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason:
Bud Dupree gets the franchise tag
The fanbase is really split on the idea of giving Dupree a massive contract extension. After four years of minimal impact to Pittsburgh’s defense, Dupree finally stepped up his game in 2019. But was it because he’s in a contract year? Can he repeat his defensive performance next season or in the years to come?
Despite his impressive statistical production, Dupree wasn’t very efficient as an edge rusher last season, and it took him 980 snaps to earn his 11.5 sacks. The Steelers would like to be able to get a long-term deal done, but Dupree’s agent knows his value on the market. I think Pittsburgh is forced to tag him.
Javon Hargrave signs with another team
This prediction you can go ahead and set in stone. Javon Hargrave isn’t coming back. There was much speculation about this even into last season, but signing with the infamous Drew Rosenhaus is just icing on the cake.
Hargrave was not a full-time player for the Steelers and they didn’t value him as much as some other NFL teams are going to. Pittsburgh knows they are getting Stephon Tuitt back this year, and with the cap situation being what it is, they will wave goodbye to Hargrave.
Matt Feiler is retained as the starting right tackle
This one is pretty simple. Matt Feiler is a restricted free agent, and the Steelers will place a high tender on him. If some other team wants to poach him, it’s probably going to cost them a second-round pick – and nobody is going to do that.
Steelers sign a defensive tackle in free agency
Though Pittsburgh will be losing Hargrave, they will be able to find a replacement in free agency for a reasonable price. This group of free agents is loaded at the defensive tackle position. Though Hargrave is a cut above the rest, there are a handful of big-bodied nose tackles they could use for their base defense.
Players like Damon Harrison, Mike Daniels, Jordan Phillips, Michael Pierce, Danny Shelton, and Andrew Billings may all be ripe for the picking. I think Pittsburgh looks to replace Hargrave with a cheaper free agent.
As we draw closer to free agency, we will have a better outlook of Pittsburgh’s plan of attack. For now, these are the free agency moves I feel most confident about.