4 discount edge defenders Steelers should sign before training camp
By Tommy Jaggi
The Steelers failed to address the edge rusher position before late in the NFL Draft. Here are four discount edge defenders they could sign.
The Steelers have always been a team to pride themselves on their spectacular pass rush. This has been what they have been known for since the Steel Curtain teams of the ’70s. Over the past 20 seasons, Pittsburgh has had some spectacular edge defenders walk through their doors. Players like James Harrison and Joey Porter were some of the best in the business at what they did.
In recent years, the Steelers found a potential future Hall of Famer in T.J. Watt. Bud Dupree was ideally suited to play opposite of Watt in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 defense. Unfortunately, Dupree has now departed for the Tennesse Titans, and the Steelers did next to nothing in the way of replacing him.
Kevin Colbert added Quincy Roche in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft – a player I really like – but the Steelers need more. With Watt and Alex Highsmith as the only viable options on the edge, here are four players discount Pittsburgh could add to help keep their pass rush elite:
If we want to start a discussion about one of the most underrated players in the league over the past decade in football, look no further than Justin Houston. Do you remember his 22.0-sack, first-team All-Pro season back in 2014? Houston may only be a shade of his former self, but he would still make a quality number three edge defender for the Steelers.
Houston is now 32 years old, but he doesn’t seem to be declining at a rapid rate like you might assume. After being a dominant 4-time Pro Bowler for most of his career on the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston still managed 19.0 sacks over the past two seasons as a member of the Colts, and he certainly provides a spark as a rotational edge defender. Due to his age and the fact that he’s still sitting in the free agency pool, perhaps the Steelers could sign him to a reasonable deal – maybe even a two-year contract to lower his first-year cap hit.