The Steelers could be big-game hunting next offseason with some of these interesting free agents potentially filling some holes.
The 2022 season just kicked off for the Steelers, but it’s never too early to look ahead. The potential free agent class of 2023 could have some interesting options available when the time comes. There will be a lot of holes to fill potentially when free agency rolls around for players to negotiate deals with different teams in the NFL.
There could be some specific positions that the club might need to target at that point in the year. The offensive line will still probably need to be addressed, and there could be holes to fill on defense as well. Pittsburgh will have some cap space to work with as they are currently projected to have roughly $22 million to spend when free agency opens.
Jabrill Peppers could be a cheap replacement at safety for the Steelers
Jabrill Peppers could be an interesting option at safety for the Steelers if he would become available. He is a former first round pick and has spent time with the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants before joining the New England Patriots recently. He signed thereafter sustaining a knee injury late in 2021, which put him behind the eight ball.
The Patriots decided to sign him in free agency and take a small gamble on a one-year deal. He could provide starting snaps if Terrell Edmunds would depart the club next offseason. Peppers also has experience as a return man and that could interest Mike Tomlin.
James Bradberry would become the top cornerback on defense
James Bradberry is a cornerback that many fans of the black and gold wanted the team to sign for a while. He has been one of the better corners in the NFL since he was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. This corner has played for the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants before joining the Philadelphia Eagles.
This signing would mean a couple of situations occurred for Pittsburgh to be interested. One of, or both, Ahkello Witherspoon and or Levi Wallace failed to show their abilities as a number one cornerback for this team. Bradberry is a proven veteran that could handle that role on a defense.
Tremaine Edmunds would become an instant upgrade over Bush
Tremaine Edmunds seemed like everyone’s darling pick back in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he got picked before the Steelers even had a chance of landing him. Instead, they went with his brother Terrell Edmunds at safety with their first-round pick that year. It was a perplexing move at the time, but it seems like it has worked out well for everyone involved thus far.
Devin Bush does not seem like he will be back next season, no matter how he performs. Inside linebacker is going to be another major need and signing someone like Tremaine would be a huge upgrade at the position. He is an athletic freak for the position and will not turn 25 years old until next May.
Isaiah Wynn would stabilize the offensive tackle spot in the trenches
Isaiah Wynn is a former first round pick and will not turn 27 years old until December. He has been one of the more consistent tackles in the NFL since joining the league in 2018. The biggest issue with Wynn has been the lack of his availability during his time in the professional ranks at this current juncture of his career.
This player is a Super Bowl champion that can play at a high level, which will command good money on the open market. His health concerns throughout his career might become a factor in scaring teams away. If he can stay healthy and perform at a high level in 2022, he will be lining up for a giant pay raise.
J.J. Watt could finish his career in a depth role with the Steelers
J.J. Watt will be a name that Steelers fans will hear connected to the team until he retires. The idea that he and T.J. Watt could play together is too exciting of a proposition for everyone to pass up. He is scheduled to become a free agent in 2023 after signing with the Arizona Cardinals a little over a year ago.
A couple of things would need to happen for Pittsburgh to have mutual interest in this deal. The main one is, Watt needs to accept a lesser role of not being an every down starter, which could be hard to convince him. His age is starting to become a factor as he continues to deal with injuries as his performance has not been at the same level for years.
The Steelers have some spending cash to potentially play with when free agency opens next year. There could be some big names that could fill some holes on this roster.