5 realistic free agent options for Steelers on a budget

Golden Tate #15 of the New York Giants. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Golden Tate #15 of the New York Giants. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers will have a number of players signing elsewhere in free agency, but here are five realistic options they could explore that fit their budget.

Right now, it’s hard enough to envision the Steelers being able to sign any of their own players who are about to hit the market, let alone players from other teams. While they certainly won’t be able to acquire any household names this offseason due to their obvious cap limitations, there are several players I believe they will have at least some level of interest to pursue.

Right now, Pittsburgh sits at just over $11.7 million in debt, according to Over the Cap. However, I know how quickly they can be out of that hole with just a few restructures or extensions – the biggest eventually coming from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Though some of their top-end free agents like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bud Dupree, and Alejandro Villanueva are likely to be gone, here are five players who could realistically fill some of the voids the Steelers will have in 2021:

Golden Tate, wide receiver

Mike Tomlin has had some level of obsession with Golden Tate since coming into the NFL Draft all the way back in 2010. In fact, I thought there was a chance that Pittsburgh would make a move for him when he became available in 2017. Fortunately, the veteran wide receiver just became available after being released by the New York Giants.

Though his career has already spanned over the course of a decade, he could still be a viable slot option for a football team looking to compete (which is exactly what the Steelers have their mindset on in 2021). Tate no longer has the quicks he used to, but he can still run good routes and pull the ball down in traffic. His asking price at this point would be the lowest since his rookie contract as he turns 33 years old in August. Still, for a team looking to make one last push, Pittsburgh could use him as a stop-gap replacement for JuJu next season.