4 former stars Steelers should sign before training camp

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Steelers

Cleveland Browns tight end Harrison Bryant (88) blocks defensive end Olivier Vernon (54). Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

While the Steelers are fielding a relatively complete roster, these four former stars would be great fits for the team heading into the 2021 season.

The Steelers made some shocking news a few weeks ago when it was reported that they were in on Ryan Kerrigan before he signed with the Eagles. Making such a move would be surprising considering the team’s track record with veteran signings, but in a year where the team wants to win now, adding a former top star makes sense especially if it is in a position of need.

What is classified as a former star to the Steelers?

A former star is a player that at one point was considered a top player at their position. Age, injuries, or both can turn this former star into a free agent that is looking for a home this late into an offseason. They may not be full-time starters at this point in their career, but they can serve as valuable rotational players and great depth overall. With all of that said, here are four former stars that the Steelers should sign before training camp.

Olivier Vernon

One of the more unheralded Browns of the past few seasons was edge rusher, Olivier Vernon. In his two seasons with the Browns, Vernon compiled 12.5 sacks, and more importantly, he registered 9 sacks last season when he was his most healthy (he only played in ten games in 2019). He is a great pass rusher and would be a huge upgrade as the top backup edge rusher.

The biggest issue with Vernon is that he has mostly played in a 4-3 as a defensive end as opposed to a 3-4 outside linebacker. His only registered season as a 3-4 outside linebacker came in 2018 with the Giants where he got seven sacks. That said, the Steelers have blurred the lines between defensive schemes, so Vernon could be a valuable asset as a hybrid edge type. As well, he would only be a rotational player on the defense. Vernon is a great veteran presence that would better the overall depth at edge rusher.

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