Early grades for every Steelers 2021 free agency signing

JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Vince Williams #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /

The Steelers signed quite a few lower-level free agents during the offseason, but not all of the signings were perfect.

If being a Steelers fan under a Kevin Colbert ruled team has taught us anything, it’s not to expect any big or long-lasting free agents to be signed. For every gem like James Farrior, the team has a Ladarius Green staring back at them. Even talented players such as Steven Nelson struggle to remain with the team long term. Even with those expected results, the team was still active in free agency this offseason despite a limited cap space. Not all of the signs have the same promise though. Here are the initial grades for the Steelers free agent signings.

The minimum contracts

Grade: B

While I could have gone into detail about each of the individual minimum qualifying contracts as well as the futures-like contracts handed out to the bottom of the roster players (I didn’t even consider them), it wouldn’t make much sense. For starters, none of those players would have earned less than a C grade, as a minimum contract is an easy one to get out of for the team and thus presents little to no risk outside of the minimal signing bonus a player may receive.

While contracts like Vince Williams and B.J. Finney easily deserve an A, Miles Killebrew was more in the C range. While he should be a fine special teams’ player, one more familiar with the scheme and that offers some, albeit minimal, value on defense should have been given this contract. Jordan Dangerfield isn’t a superstar by any means, but he is a great special teams’ defender. Outside of that, the rest of these contracts are neither great nor bad. This seems right in line with what the team needed; thus, a B grade makes the most sense.