4 free agents the Steelers must sign before the 2021 draft

Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward (26) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward (26) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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While the Steelers have done the best they can fill out their roster before the draft, there are still a few free agents that would make sense to add to the roster.

The Steelers were lacking resources before this offseason, but all things considered, they have done a fine job addressing the biggest needs. That said, there are still a few current free agents that would make sense for the team. With just over 10 million in cap space, a smaller-sized contract shouldn’t affect the team’s cap space that much. Adding a player now means the draft choices could fluctuate as well, opening up the board to a multitude of positions. Here are four free agents the Steelers should sign before the draft.

Casey Hayward

Casey Hayward was once seen as a top-ten cornerback, but his age and cost forced the Chargers to part ways with the veteran this offseason. He hasn’t garnered much attention on the open market, and it seems likely that he may be waiting for the right opportunity. The Steelers have a glaring need at cornerback with the departure of Steven Nelson, so adding Heyward could fix that issue.

Signing Heyward doesn’t mean Cameron Sutton would head to the bench or a young cornerback is added in the draft. Even if Hayward was signed, expect Sutton to be the full-time starter. He would play the outside in base and kick inside when three or more corners are called for. As for drafting a corner, the team has plenty of long-term questions at cornerback. While their playing time during their rookie year would be limited, they would have a chance to develop a year before taking on more of a role next year.

The biggest question with Hayward is his cost. He is worth more than the minimum, but the team would likely want to pay him less than Sutton. Perhaps the team could get Heyward on a two-year deal. This will keep his first-year cap hit low as well as give the team another cornerback on the roster heading into 2021. Hayward makes a lot of sense right now, especially when you consider teams will likely be more willing to sign him after the draft.