With the bulk of free agency behind us, let’s take a look at the best offseason moves the Pittsburgh Steelers made in 2020.
The Steelers are never a team that really makes a lot of waves in the offseason (though they were no stranger to offseason drama with Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell). However, Pittsburgh did enough this offseason to improve their chances in 2020.
Getting a contract done with Bud Dupree was a priority, but the Steelers weren’t able to pull that off. Now that some of the Steeler’s needs were filled in the NFL Draft, we can really see how successful their free-agent acquisitions could be. Here are the top three moves Pittsburgh made this offseason:
Signing TE Eric Ebron
This move was probably the best thing the Steelers did in 2020. Not only were they able to land Eric Ebron on an extremely manageable 2-year, $12 million deal, it also gave Pittsburgh the flexibility to avoid reaching for a tight end in a poor tight end class – something I was afraid they were going to do before signing Ebron.
Ebron may not be a top-tier tight end in the league, but his ability to win from the slot and stretch teams vertically from the tight end position will be an added bonus for Pittsburgh and should give their offense an immediate boost.
Retaining OLB Bud Dupree
I personally wasn’t thrilled about the idea of locking Bud Dupree up to a long-term deal. His one year of production scares me, and he still wasn’t overly efficient as a pass rusher. However, giving Dupree the franchise tag was good for a few reasons.
For starters, it allowed them more flexibility in the draft to take an offensive piece like Chase Claypool early. Dupree also gives them the best option in a closing Super Bowl window. He may not be around for the long haul, but it was important to keep him in black and gold in 2020.
Signing OG/C Stefen Wisniewski
This wasn’t a flashy move by any stretch of the imagination, but the signing of Stefen Wisniewski was as important as any. The Steelers lost both B.J. Finney to free agency and Ramon Foster to retirement this offseason. Wisniewski is a versatile experienced offensive lineman who can play all three interior spots.
If the Steelers elect to keep Matt Feiler at right tackle, Wisniewski could a starter for Pittsburgh at left guard in 2020. At just over $1.4 million per year, that’s a steal of a deal – even if Wisniewski ends up being just a backup.
The Steelers make a ton of moves this offseason, but these three will prove to be essential to their success in 2020. Pittsburgh’s additions outweighed their losses this year. Let’s hope it equates to more wins.