The expectation was for this free agency class to help stabilize the Steelers. While some have done their part, others have fallen flat and have hurt this team. In a year of poor play overall despite okay results, this once-praised free agency class is looking like more bark than bite.
With the season heading into its second half, I wanted to adjust my grades for the group. Things have trended slightly down overall from my initial reaction to the news, but some names have been pleasant surprises. Here are my updated grades for the Steelers 2023 signings.
The Steelers low-level deals
Composite Grade: A
Important to note that I am not grading any player who re-signed with the team this offseason. While those grades aren’t great either, I wanted to focus on the new faces this team brought in as opposed to the familiar ones they decided to keep.
This first grade is anyone who received a veteran minimum deal with the team. These are hard to grade negatively, as these deals don’t risk a lot. Even for a name like Le’Raven Clark, who didn’t make the team, he provided an extra body during camp to work with. He doesn’t negatively impact the cap, so no harm is done. The same goes for Breiden Fehoko, who has yet to register a defensive snap but won’t be graded harshly given his contract.
Where this group shines is at linebacker. The team added Markus Golden and Kwon Alexander late in the offseason on minimum deals, and both have been impact players. Golden has provided the team with a stable third edge rusher and Alexander is in line for a starting role due to injuries. Both have been great depth and served valuable roles, and because of that, this group as a whole ranks highly.
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