5 free agents that could give Steelers new life in the New Year

Pittsburgh could give themselves a head start on 2024 with these free agent pickups.

Pittsburgh Steelers, D.J. Reader
Pittsburgh Steelers, D.J. Reader / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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3. D.J. Reader, DT

This one would be quite interesting. For the last four seasons, Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader has tormented the Steelers as one of the best players on that defensive front. Reader is one of the very best run defenders in the game today, and if he's been absent from the field in Cincinnati, you have been able to tell. That defense is much different against the run without Reader.

The Steelers, meanwhile, have been very vulnerable against the run this season, giving up an average of 117.5 yards per game on the ground through Week 16. This is certainly an area where Pittsburgh has to add talent, and Reader coming over from a division rival would be quite the storyline.

Not only is Reader a great run defender, though, but he is also effective in pass rush situations. On the season, he has totaled 34 pressures on 314 pass rush snaps as an interior lineman, which is a strong number. That's a good 10 percent pressure rate, essentially.

Going on 30 years old, Reader is likely at the end of his prime and will also be one who wants to find a team to win a Super Bowl with. At one point, very recently, he probably thought he had a good chance in Cincinnati.