Pittsburgh’s offensive line could have been much better in 2021. Here are three decisions the Steelers should have made last offseason.
If there is one gripe I have with the Pittsburgh Steelers front office over the past several years, it’s that they haven’t made nearly enough investments into their offensive line. Even to the casual fan, it’s easy to see the impact the offensive line has on the offense from game to game.
While there is some hope that this young unit could take a big step forward in the near future, this OL could have been much better already if the Steelers hadn’t made these three mistakes during the 2021 offseason:
Steelers shouldn’t have let Matt Feiler walk away
In an offseason when both David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey each hung up their cleats for good while Alejandro Villanueva headed to Baltimore, it made no sense for the Steelers to let Matt Feiler walk away.
While money was tight during the 2021 offseason (as Ben Roethlisberger’s deal accounted for a large percentage of the salary cap), the Steelers certainly could have found a way to make this work. Feiler had starting experience at both tackle and guard for Pittsburgh and he likely would have been the team’s best offensive lineman last season no matter where they put him.
Instead, the versatile veteran signed with the Chargers and graded out as the 12th-best guard in football last season, via Pro Football Focus — ahead of players like Quenton Nelson, Laken Tomlinson, and Brandon Scherff.
At $7 million per season, Feiler now looks like a steal, and he really could have helped a young Steelers offensive line that lacked a quality veteran presence in 2021. It wasn’t worth it trying to save a few bucks by signing Trai Turner late in free agency instead.