Pro Football Focus recently graded every teams’ offseason moves in 2020. Here’s why the Steelers only earned an average grade so far.
With a week of free agency in the books, Pro Football Focus took the liberty of grading each NFL team’s performance this offseason. The Steelers have made a surprising number of moves, considering they were 30th in cap space prior to the start of free agency.
Though some fans have been raving about the recent moves Pittsburgh made, Pro Football Focus doesn’t necessarily agree that they have done a great job this offseason. In fact, the Steelers earned just an “average” grade, according to PFF’s Antony Treash.
Teams were given grades from poor to excellent with below average, average, and above average in between. According to Treash, the job the Steelers have done this offseason falls somewhere in between.
Here is some of what the article had to say on Pittsburgh’s 2020 free agency moves:
"While we like the Wisniewski and Ebron signings, we weren’t fans of tagging edge defender Bud Dupree. Yes, he had a career year in 2019 and generated a 76.3 pass-rush grade that ranked 24th at his position, but he had never even touched the top-60 in any of his four seasons prior."
I can understand where PFF is coming from. While tagging Bud Dupree seemed like a necessary move in an attempt to keep this stellar defensive unit together, other edge defenders like Robert Quinn and Dante Fowler Jr. were given less money per year on contract extensions. It’s also been rumored that Jadeveon Clowney may not even make as much in yearly value as what Dupree is making on the franchise tag this season.
Still, I think most fans would agree that landing Eric Ebron for $6 million per season was a pretty good deal. Adding Ebron to the mix at tight end will give the Steelers the flexibility to ignore the position early in a weak tight end class this draft.
Stefen Wisniewski is another capable player who comes at a discounted price. Pittsburgh lost both Ramon Foster (retirement) and B.J. Finney (signed with Seahawks) this offseason, and it was crucial to bring in a veteran player with the versatility to play along the interior offensive line. While Wisniewski’s $1.23 million in 2020 doesn’t scream ‘starter money,’ he should be a solid swing interior offensive lineman who can back up both guard positions and center, Maurkice Pouncey.
In addition to these moves, the Steelers also signed fullback Derek Watt and traded for former Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman, Chris Wormley. Watt could be an upgrade over the often-injured Roosevelt Nix while potentially taking on the special teams responsibilities of Tyler Matakevich. Wormley has just one year remaining on his rookie deal, but he could be a solid rotational player for the Steelers this season.
Everyone will have their own opinions on how the Steelers offseason is going, and I personally don’t hate the moves they have made so far. While Pittsburgh hasn’t made a big splash in free agency, they brought in some reasonably priced players who can help them compete in a closing Super Bowl window.