Khans Steelers moves from last summer
Khan was officially named the GM of the Steelers at the end of May. The draft and brunt of free agency moves had already passed, but that didn’t mean that it was an uneventful time for Pittsburgh.
At the beginning of June, Stephon Tuitt announced that he was retiring from the league. This came as a shock, as it was always a possibility that Tuitt was done, he hadn’t given any leaning one way or another. With it so late in the offseason, it seemed more likely that Tuitt would be coming back.
This left a huge hole on the roster. While Chris Wormley and third-round pick DeMarvin Leal were options, none of them could adequately replace Tuitt. Khan was quick to pick up free-agent lineman Larry Ogunjobi on an unusual deal. Usually, the Steelers hand out minimum deals on one-year contracts, but Ogunjobi proved to be the exception.
The deal was for 8 million dollars, something this team could afford, but a rare change of structure. That said, this move did seem like one of desperation, as the defense had a huge hole on the line suddenly. It was a necessary cost to keep this team competitive.
Another new structure was extensions. Colbert was keen on waiting until the very end of training camp to award new deals. As well, those contracts rarely had any guaranteed money in them outside of the signing bonus.
Minkah Fitzpatrick was the first to fall, signing a mega deal that he has easily earned. The main benefit of getting this deal out of the way early is that the threat of a hold-in is now gone. Fitzpatrick would report to camp like everyone else and begin practicing as opposed to missing most of camp in hopes of not getting injured.
Two other Steelers got new deals in camp, and neither came down to the wire. Chris Boswell inked a fair market deal while Diontae Johnson landed a controversial extension. That said, this was easily the better worked of the two deals considering the fact that receiver contracts were exploding.
Johnson's deal was for the short term, only adding two years to his deal, and it was well below market value for a top receiver. I had thought that Johnson’s new money would be in the 22-23 million a year deal considering what other comparable receivers got. He only got an average of around 18.4 million though, a steal considering what other top guys were getting.
Towards the end of summer, Khan constructed his first-ever roster. While this included the usual mandated cuts. He also made two trades. He sent a 2025 7th for Jesse Davis and swapped 6th and 7th-round picks in 2023 for Malik Reed. I liked both moves on paper, as it added needed depth, but neither player proved to be worth the asking price. And that was that. Pittsburgh entered the season under a new regime with hopes of remaining competitive.