How to make the Steelers competitive again in 2023
How the Steelers attack NFL Free Agency
While I could be tackling a wide variety of free agents, I want to focus on landing two key starters and adding some cheap veterans. Specifically, I want to land a viable starting tackle, as it will set this lineup for more success in the future.
Mike McGlinchey: 4 years, 60 million, 20 million signing bonus, 6 million cap hit
The Steelers use their effective cap savings from the Okorafor to bring in Mike McGlinchey. The 49ers' right tackle has developed into a solid and consistent force along the right side of the offensive line. He can man that side down as the left side continues to grow or gets replaced by draft picks. This seems like a slam-dunk move considering the cap savings vs. the talent difference.
David Long: 2 years, 12 million, 5 million signing bonus, 3.5 million cap hit
While I think there is a real chance that Steelers bring back Robert Spillane, I opt to add a more coverage-based linebacker. I’m trying to set up this group as a rebuilt one, and I believe David Long can be a competent starter. He is slightly undersized, but he plays sideline to sideline and can hold his own in coverage. He should be the primary starter and sub-package linebacker for this team as they look for a competent second player to run next to him.
Taven Bryan: 2 years, 12 million, 4 million signing bonus, 3 million cap hit
I have the Steelers targeting a stopgap defensive end. Taven Bryan never developed into the elite traits he flashed in school, but he fits the mold of what this team likes in a defensive end. Long term, the team can hopefully draft and develop someone, but Bryan is insurance in case the draft doesn’t pan out that way.
Greg Little: 2 years, 5 million, 1.5 million signing bonus, 1.75 million cap hit
The Steelers locked up a starting right tackle earlier, now they land a versatile swing tackle. I’m not sure how the draft is going to shake out, so I wanted to ensure that the team has some competition for Dan Moore. Greg Little has been very hot and cold, but he is young and would be a viable reserve if he was added.
Chase Winovich: 2 years, 8 million, 3 million signing bonus, 2.5 million cap hit
The Steelers finally lock up a viable backup edge rusher in Chase Winovich. The former Brown and Patriot edge rusher has never developed into a starter, but he has become a fine reserve that can play a handful of snaps every game. The team needs better depth overall, and Winovich would provide the team with a good third option.
Case Keenum: 2 years, 7 million, 3 million signing bonus, 2.7 million cap hit
A cheaper replacement for Trubisky, Case Keenum is an established veteran who likely has accepted his role as a good backup in the NFL. Given his veteran status, he would be a good mentor for Pickett and can win a few games if need be.
This wraps up the majority of the major moves in free agency. 19 million total in first-year cap hits. The team brings in two starters, as well as a pair of possible starters. The next page will be dedicated to veteran minimum deals to help build out the depth chart.