4 Steelers free agents who could be forced into retirement

These Steelers free agents may have already played their final snaps in the NFL.

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3. Mykal Walker, LB

When the Pittsburgh Steelers were bit by the injury bug at the linebacker position last year, they were forced to call upon Mykal Walker. The former Falcons linebacker was promoted from Pittsburgh's practice squad to the active roster. That's when things spiraled out of control.

Walker was immediately thrust into a staring role in Week 8 -- earning 63 snaps in his first action of the year. Unfortunately, he was constantly late to the play and easily exploited in coverage. After playing significant snaps on Pittsburgh's defense, Walker's usage decreased down the stretch.

In 2022, Walker started 12 games for the Atlanta Falcons. Now he is just 26 years old and should be in the prime of his NFL career. Instead, the veteran linebacker may not be able to crack a 53-man roster after botching his opportunity in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers will likely have no interest in bringing Walker back this summer, and teams who put on his tape aren't likely to want him on their squad either. Walker was a former fourth-round pick by Atlanta in 2020, but his journey in the NFL could be coming to an end soon. He will be fortunate to get another chance in this league after his performance in Pittsburgh in 2023.