3 remaining free agent safeties the Steelers need to sign (and 2 to avoid)

Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (31)
Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (31) / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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Doesn’t make sense for Steelers: Micah Hyde

On the surface, you could do a lot worse than Micah Hyde as your strong safety. He is a battle-tested veteran, has been a consistent top performer, and will likely play on a relatively cheap deal. He also isn’t just a box safety, as Hyde has regularly been a versatile piece in a secondary and can play all over.

The issue is his age. Hyde just turned 33 a few months ago, and defensive backs have some of the most notable drop-offs once they get older. We saw this with Patrick Peterson last year. Despite being a good player for most of his career, age had clearly caught up with him and he became a liability for the defense.

On the plus side, Hyde is a safety which does require less athleticism, but at his age, he is still nearing that cliff. Even if he plays on the cheap, there is no guarantee that he is the same player this year. Even if he is, you won’t be able to count on him long-term.

While not the biggest issue, we have also seen some injury issues pop up. He missed most of 2022 and had some nagging injuries in 2023. If this were a few seasons ago, I would be all for a Hyde signing, but at his age, it makes more sense for the Steelers to look elsewhere. There are plenty of other players that they can target instead.