5 free agents that the Steelers must consider signing
By Scott Long
With the Super Bowl done, Free Agency is around the corner, and there are several options available that the Steelers must look into signing.
The Steelers enter this offseason with a roster that will no longer feature several significant contributors from recent years. Ben Roethlisberger has retired, and players such as Juju Smith-Schuster, and Joe Haden, among others, appear to be out the door as well as free agents.
The team will undoubtedly have some familiar faces next year, but with just over $32 million in cap space, according to Spotrac, the Steelers need to make some moves in Free Agency this offseason to help bolster the roster. With several players, such as Joe Schobert and Zach Banner also being potential cap casualties, the team could see that cap space rise even higher in the coming weeks or months.
The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals proved this season that Free Agency is a crucial aspect of building a roster, and the Steelers must make a splash in Free Agency this year with their available cap space in order to help fill out their roster.
5. Solomon Thomas, Defensive Line
The Steelers’ defensive line was one of the team’s biggest strengths in 2020, but the same couldn’t be said in 2021. While Cameron Heyward was his same dominant self, and Chris Wormley was much improved, the team’s depth was severely lacking. Tyson Alualu suffered a season-ending injury early in the season, Stephon Tuitt missed the entire season, and the Steelers run defense suffered as a result.
With Tuitt’s future in Pittsburgh completely in the dark, the need for help on the defensive line could become even more dire than it already is, if he and the team were to part ways. While the team currently needs to add depth to the defensive line, if Tuitt were to leave, the Steelers will likely be looking for someone to insert into his place in the starting lineup.
One option for the Steelers could be Solomon Thomas from the Las Vegas Raiders. Thomas was the third overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and while he has not lived up to the billing of where he was drafted Thomas has been a solid NFL contributor. According to Pro Football Reference, Thomas has 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 129 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, and 35 QB hits in his 5-year NFL career.
While he has yet to show up in a big way on the stat sheet in his NFL career, he has starting experience and is still only 26-years old. Playing on a front-seven that features both T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward would free up a lot of looks for Thomas and could allow him to shine.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Steelers signed a former first-round selection who didn’t live up to their draft pedigree, as they did the same with Tyson Alualu just a few seasons ago. Alualu stepped up in a huge way once he came to Pittsburgh and was surrounded by a talented group, I see no reason that Thomas couldn’t do the same.