Steelers need to take a cautious approach to free agency

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The Steelers need to be cautious in free agency so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

If you’re a fan of the Steelers, you know that we are traditionally not ‘big players’ when it comes to free agency. Honestly, the Steelers have not had the kind of success in free agency you would expect from an organization that drafted four Hall of Famers in a single draft.

I mention the draft because I liken the draft to free agency.  What I mean by that is this:  When you draft a player, much time and attention are poured into evaluating a player and deciding whether or not that player would be a good fit for the team.

The approach to free agency is similar to the approach to the draft in that the Steelers, presumably, evaluate the available free agents, decide whether or not that player would be a good fit for the team and make an offer or not make an offer.

Unlike the draft where we again, presumably, either draft the best player available or draft the best player to fill a need, the Steelers approach to free agency has really never been about signing the best player available; it has usually been about trying to re-sign our own free agents and supplement with free agents.

Now, I don’t think trying to re-sign our own free agents is necessarily a bad thing; what is a bad thing is supplementing positions of need with free agents who don’t pan out.  Poor free agent signings adversely affect the team for either one season or several seasons.

Let’s take a look at how some recent free agent ‘flubs’ have affected the Steelers.

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