5 bargain free agents the Steelers must sign this offseason

Marlon Mack #25 of the Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Marlon Mack #25 of the Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

RB Marlon Mack

If the team is committed to fixing the running game, they will likely draft a running back relatively early. If, however, they feel confident in Benny Snell and wanted to add a capable player to push him, grabbing a cheap free agent could do the trick. The running back market is pretty deflated, so and option like Marlon Mack could be had at or close to the minimum. If he signed for that, the team may be able to save a draft pick in return.

Mack is a great power back who has struggled to stay healthy for a whole season. As well, he isn’t much of a receiver, but he can block and has some speed for a player his size. He compares favorably to James Conner honestly, as he is a better overall runner but lacks the pass-catching prowess that Conner has. If he was willing to play at or close to the minimum, the team could build a strong stable of backs with little to no draft investment.

While he wouldn’t be a long-term option, the Steelers could invest very little in Mack and get a productive player out of him. Perhaps a two-year deal with a minimal signing bonus could lure him to the team. No, he wouldn’t be expected to start for multiple years, but Mack could string together a productive season with the team in 2021.

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While the Steelers will be limited by their cap space in terms of what they can do, there should be a plethora of cheap options that the team could invest in. Will they be huge impact players? Probably not; but they could provide solid value for their cost. The team will have to scrape the bottom barrel for players, but sometimes they could pay off bigger than expected.