5 Steelers free agents who are likely to return to the team in 2021
By Tommy Jaggi
After bouncing around the league since 2017, Zach Banner found a home in Pittsburgh in 2019. He worked his way up the ladder to eventually become the starting right tackle for the Steelers. Sadly, Banner was injured during his only start in 2020 in Week 1 against the New York Giants.
Had he played a full season, it would have been much harder to retain Banner in 2021 (assuming he wouldn’t have been terrible). However, the big offensive tackle is coming off a torn ACL and has just two starts heading into his fifth NFL season. Because of this, I think the Steelers bring him back on a cheap ‘prove-it’ deal.
Banner probably knows that his best chance of earning a starting role in 2021 will come with Pittsburgh – the team that took a chance on him two years ago. I can see the Steelers giving him a very reasonable one-year contract and give Banner the potential to earn much more if he stays healthy and plays well next season. After that, it’s unclear where he could wind up, but I do think the Steelers sign Banner give him another shot to compete as a starter this year.