4 Bargain free agents the Steelers need to be targeting

Vance McDonald Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Vance McDonald Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Jake Ryan (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

ILB Jake Ryan

While the Steelers are rightfully high on Devin Bush entering his second season, there are still a lot of question marks about the ILB unit as a whole. For starters, Vince Williams is projected to start next to Bush, and while he has been a steady presence on the defense, he saw his role reduced last season. Behind them is Ulysees Gilbert III, a young player who flashed in the preseason but needs to prove more before seeing considerable time on defense.

In steps Jake Ryan, a former Packers draft pick who has bounced around recently due to an injury. He has obvious talent; one simply has to look at his tape from 2016-2017 to see that he can be a contributor on defense. While his obvious injury issues make it unlikely he sees anything more than reserve snaps, having a dependable third option is smart in case a starter goes down.

Because of his injury history, his contract likely won’t be for much more than the minimum. Adding a veteran with his talent even though the injury question is there at that price is beyond fair and would strengthen the unit as a whole going into 2020.