4 most underrated and unappreciated moves of the Steelers offseason

Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson (26)
Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson (26) / Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers had one of their busiest offseasons in team history. From completely tearing down and rebuilding their quarterback room to handing out their largest free agent contract in team history, there is a lot of newness on this team, and that naturally comes with a lot of excitement as fans await their new team to take the field.

However, there were quite a few important moves that weren’t getting that much attention. Despite these players potentially playing big roles, they have flown under the radar from the media and fans. Here are the four most underrated moves the Steelers made this offseason.

Steelers signed Dean Lowry

Defensive line depth has been a big issue for the Steelers for quite a few seasons. Investments in Isahiahh Loudermilk and DeMarvin Leal haven’t yielded the help you would want, meaning that, when healthy, the starters are playing almost every snap. This is especially concerning for Cameron Heyward given how old he is.

Dean Lowry was never going to garner a lot of attention, but as a rotational defensive line player, you could do much worse. He has consistently played over 40 percent of the defensive snaps in his career and can chip in on special teams. That is ideal for a player that you want to bring on to give your starters a break.

His pass rush is almost nonexistent, but he plays the run well and isn’t a liability as a player. He can give the starters a break during games and can hold his own as a starter if an injury were to force him onto the field. Given his cheap contract, that is a great move for the team.

Steelers sign Cameron Johnston

I get it, a punter is never going to make huge news as an addition, but for a Steelers team that has lacked even average punting for the past ten or more years, this is a big step in the right direction. Sure, you have gotten stretches of ok play, but every offseason there seemed to be a new punter competition. That isn’t the case anymore.

Cameron Johnston has been one of the best punters in the NFL for some time, and Pittsburgh paid him like one. For once, it seems as though this team is confident that they are going to have some stability there. While no one is praising the offseason just for Johnston, it is a relief to have a capable punter locked up on the roster.

Steelers acquired Donte Jackson

I have been on the record as against the trade that sent Diontae Johnson to the Panthers. It has left a gaping hole in the receiver room, a hole that hasn’t been filled and seemingly won’t be this season. Putting that value aside, the player acquired in that trade, Donte Jackson, is someone that I like even if I dislike the trade as a whole.

Jackson is a great second cornerback to pair with Joey Porter. He also brings a speed element that this defense has been lacking for some time. He also took a reduced salary, so he is playing on a very team-friendly deal. Overall, he is an exciting addition to this defense even though most view the trade that brought him in as a bad one for Pittsburgh.

Steelers sign Cordarrelle Patterson

This may go down as my favorite overall move from the offseason. Shortly after the NFL announced its new kickoff rule, the Steelers were quick to sign arguably the best kick returner in the NFL at the moment in Cordarrelle Patterson. He should provide an instant impact on special teams and hopefully provide an edge on kickoffs.

He has also been a viable offensive threat in his career since making the move to running back. While his days of seeing a significant workload are likely past, he can easily handle a few carries a game and work as a hybrid receiver on certain snaps. I expect him to wear a lot of different hats and impact various elements of the game. Because of this, he is easily the most underrated addition to the roster from this offseason.

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