4 Steelers players who should stick around in 2024

Pittsburgh won't lose any key starters in free agency, but they would be wise to bring these four role players back.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Elijah Riley, S

I might be in the minority here, but I was mildly impressed by Elijah Riley in the limited opportunities he has seen on the field for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unlike the older veteran safeties on the roster like Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee, Riley plays like his hair is on fire with every opportunity he gets.

Unfortunately, there haven't been enough defensive snaps at this point to cast a judgment one way or the other. Riley logged just 50 snaps on defense in 2023. He saw his biggest workload (30 snaps) come in Weeks 9 and 10. Sadly, an injury landed him on the injured reserve list and he would go on to see just 10 defensive snaps for the rest of the season.

Despite his limited usage in this facet, Riley proved to be a core special teams player for the first time in his career in 2023, and he made a number of big players on special teams coverage units.

Riley didn't play enough defensive snaps to qualify for a PFF ranking, but his 79.8 grade on just 50 snaps was outstanding. Riley is still just 25 years old and he has been a preseason standout each of the past two summers. I think the Pittsburgh Steelers would be wise to bring him back as a depth option and core special teams player in 2024 and give him a chance to carve out a bigger role on defense if all goes well.

All player grades and rankings courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

Next. 10 upcoming free agent with obvious ties to the Steelers. 10 upcoming free agent with obvious ties to the Steelers. dark