4 former rivals Pittsburgh Steelers must consider signing in 2021
By Scott Long
EDGE Olivier Vernon
Olivier Vernon represents the biggest name of the group, and thus the least likely for the Steelers to sign. However, he does fit a need, and while he is a big-name player, he’s not the player he once was, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a valuable addition.
At 31 years old Vernon can still rush the passer and would present a huge addition to a positional group that desperately needs depth. While his best days are definitely behind him, Vernon quietly had nine sacks last year, which were his most since 2013, and he clearly benefitted from playing opposite Myles Garrett. Playing on a defensive unit that features Watt, Heyward, and Tuitt could provide a similar benefit to him.
Vernon is a one-time Pro Bowler, who according to Pro Football Reference has 63.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles over his nine-year NFL career. Signing him would benefit Pittsburgh, while also taking a starter from last year away from the division-rival Cleveland Browns, who along with the Baltimore Ravens figure to be the biggest competition for this year’s AFC North Division title.
Any of the above-mentioned players would be welcome additions to the Steelers this year, as depth will be needed if the team has any hopes of making a deep playoff run. While the team could target other players as well that aren’t former rivals, keep an eye on these four names as next season approaches.