4 former Steelers who are shockingly still free agents

Pittsburgh didn't have any major losses in free agency, but we're surprised to see these four former Steelers still unsigned.
Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers don't often let players walk in free agency that they want to keep around on their roster. Every once in a while, sticky contract situations force the team to say goodbye to a quality player like Bud Dupree or Javon Hargrave. This wasn't the case for the Steelers during the 2024 offseason.

Pittsburgh didn't have any highly-sought-after free agents that teams were rushing to sign. Many of the players they let walk were either underwhelming or had already seen their best years.

Still, it's shocking the number of former Steelers starters who currently sit in free agency. Here are five former Steelers who remain unsigned in 2024.

Markus Golden, EDGE

Despite his compact frame and lack of elite athletic traits, Markus Golden has been a solid player for a decade in the NFL thanks to his strength, pass rush moves, and football IQ as an edge defender. In a part-time role for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023, Golden earned 4.0 sacks, 6 tackles for a loss, and 10 quarterback hits.

Pittsburgh allowed Golden to walk thanks to the emergence of Nick Herbig, but I'm surprised to see that he hasn't found a new home with another NFL team. Golden isn't going to be a core special teams player, but he's still a quality rotational pass rusher -- even in his old age. The 33-year-old showed that he still has something left in the tank, but he remains a free agent.

Ahkello Witherspoon, CB

Ahkello Witherspoon hasn't been on the Steelers since 2022, but it's shocking that no team has jumped at the opportunity to sign an athletic 6'3'' cornerback who started 17 games last season. Witherspoon recorded 3 interceptions and 9 pass breakups last year with the Rams.

Despite his ups and downs, Witherspoon offers traits and experience as a boundary cornerback, and there weren't many cornerbacks who did entering free agency. Witherspoon will be 29 years old for the 2024 season, and he may be looking for the right opportunity, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in his services.

Chris Wormley, DL

In 2022, Chris Wormley suffered a season-ending knee injury late in the season with the Steelers. Last year, he found himself on the Panthers roster for a five-game stint. The former Michigan product and third-round pick of the Ravens in 2017 has never been much of a pass rusher, but his 6'5 3/8'' frame with 34 1/8'' arms is hard to come by these days.

Wormley is 30 years old, but good run defenders can last a long time in this league. He's good enough to fight for a rotational role on a team's defensive line, but there have been no suitors so far in free agency.

Patrick Peterson

As bad as Patrick Peterson was at times with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023, you'd think that his name recognition alone would be enough to give him one more shot at finding a role in this league. Heavy man coverage in Pittsburgh was not a good fit, but for a team that runs a lot of zone, Peterson may still have a little bit of fuel left in the tank.

Peterson is nowhere near the perennial Pro Bowl player he once was, but he still has instincts and ball skills. Maybe this will mark the end of his outstanding NFL career.