5 former Steelers who are still free agents

Finding work might be difficult for these five former Steelers players.

Green Bay Packers v Pittsburgh Steelers
Green Bay Packers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Like many teams during the offseason, it's 'out with the old and in with the new' for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite originally having the highest number of starting snaps set to return for the 2024 season, Omar Khan was not content with the outlook of the roster and numerous veterans have been released.

Things may not have worked out well in Pittsburgh for most of these players, but we wish them the best of luck with whatever teams they sign with next. Unfortunately, nobody seems to want Pittsburgh's leftovers, and most of their free agents are having a hard time finding work.

This could change as teams look to fill needs before the NFL Draft. For more patient teams, they may not call on these Steelers free agents until injuries start to occur in training camp. Here are five notable former Steelers who are still sitting in free agency.

Patrick Peterson, CB

The Patrick Peterson experiment didn't at all go according to plans in 2023. The Steelers were hoping that the former All-Pro still had some tread on the tires, but that wasn't the case. Last season, Peterson was consistently a step slow in coverage as he no longer possesses the mirroring ability he once had.

Now at 34 years old and coming off one of the worst seasons of his NFL career, there could be a retirement announcement in the near future if he doesn't find work soon. Peterson was one of many remarkable players from a loaded 2011 draft class (just like Cameron Heyward), but his time in Pittsburgh was short-lived and he will have trouble finding work in 2024.

Allen Robinson II, WR

I don't have many beefs with general manager Omar Khan, but I was racking my brain when he traded for Allen Robinson II just days before the 2023 NFL Draft. Robinson was a player who clearly looked washed up in Los Angeles, and I did not expect that to change.

Though Robinson proved to be a sure-handed option when called upon, his inability to create separation on his routes or do anything after the catch led to a small usage in 17 games for the Steelers in 2023. His tape from last season isn't going to have teams lining up to sign him to a contract in 2024.

Levi Wallace, CB

I'm not going to spend much time on this one. Levi Wallace was flat-out bad for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023. Wallace has no recovery ability or margin for error in coverage and he was awful as a run defender last season. Oh, and did I mention that he doesn't play special teams?

Wallace is young enough to get one more shot, but I don't think teams are going to be interested in an unplayable cornerback without position flexibility in the secondary who can't contribute on special teams. He might be out of luck when it comes to finding a new team in the NFL.

Mason Cole, C

Mason Cole wasn't good for the Steelers in 2023, but the center pool in free agency is very shallow, and Cole could certainly find himself on an NFL roster as a backup. Ironically, Pittsburgh doesn't have a true center on their roster, and some writers and analysts (like ESPN's Mike Clay) have Cole listed as one of the five best remaining center options in free agency.

Markus Golden, EDGE

There's no question that, of all of the current free agents who played for Pittsburgh last year, Markus Golden is the best remaining player of the group. Golden is coming off a strong season as a rotational edge defender, and he proved to be a quality option when spelling T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith of snaps in 2023.

However, Golden is 33 years old, and his short, stout frame isn't going to work as a pass rusher for every team. Like many long-time starters, Golden doesn't play special teams. This means that a team would likely need to view him as the third-best edge defender option on their squad to give him a contract. His age and lack of special teams ability could make it hard for him to find a new home in 2024.