How the Steelers should prioritize future contract extensions

T.J. Watt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
T.J. Watt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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James Conner Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Low Priority: James Conner, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, Mike Hilton, Matt Feiler, Vance McDonald, Tyson Alualu

The Fact of the matter is that the Steelers just will not be able to extend every player set to hit the market this offseason – and there are a lot of them. While some of these players may be retained on reasonable deals, the rest will be earning their money elsewhere.

James Conner is a terrific story, but his health and average play make it hard to justify giving him a new deal. Bud Dupree is due for a big payday next offseason, and it will be hard for the Steelers to spend that much money at outside linebacker when T.J. Watt is much more of a priority.

Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler are both solid offensive linemen, but the Steelers may not want to pay them into their 30s when they may be able to find similar replacements for cheaper. Meanwhile, it’s possible that Mike Hilton, Vance McDonald, and Tyson Alualu could all be entering their final season with the Steelers.

Next. 4 Steelers drafted in ESPN’s 128-player total NFL-redraft. dark

Pittsburgh has a lot of sorting out to do in the near future, but it’s clear that some contract extensions are much higher priorities than others. I’m hoping Pittsburgh has a similar mindset when they go to hand out extensions next offseason.