When we get to this point in the summer, some strange things can happen in free agency. Early in the free agency period, the most sought-after players are picked over and massive contracts are handed out. Now is the time of desperation for many NFL veterans who are hoping to land back on a 53-man roster.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had as much roster turnover as anyone this past offseason as they look to turn a new leaf. Numerous additions in free agency and the NFL Draft are expected to bolster their roster in 2023 as they look for their ticket back into the tournament.
With how tight the race is sure to be in the AFC (and in the AFC North, in particular), Omar Khan will explore every avenue to make sure this team is as good as possible in 2023. If injuries occur or players disappoint at Steelers training camp, moves can be made. Here are four current free agents who already have Pittsburgh Steelers connections.
4. CB William Jackson III
I've never been a firm believer in William Jackson's abilities, and I think he's been overrated for the better part of his career. However, the Steelers liked him enough to trade for an aging cornerback with back injuries on a bad contract just before the deadline last year.
Even though his deal was terminated before the 2023 free agency period and Pittsburgh could likely bring him back for the veteran minimum, the Steelers won't even consider this unless an injury occurs. With the additions of Patrick Peterson, Joey Porter Jr., and Cory Trice Jr., this team is suddenly deep at the cornerback position.
Though I don't believe Jackson has much left in the tank, he does fit the mold of the long boundary cornerback Pittsburgh is now coveting. If they were to have one of their top cornerbacks go down with an injury, Jackson is a player they could consider bringing back.
Obviously, if this happens, it means that Pittsburgh's secondary is in pretty bad shape. However, Mike Tomlin has always had a soft spot for William Jackson III since the 2016 NFL Draft, and he may still consider bringing him back in the event of an injury to one of their boundary cornerbacks.