Steelers showed interest in Pro Bowl OT Orlando Brown before he signed with Bengals

Steelers, Orlando Brown
Steelers, Orlando Brown / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Things are starting to get really interesting when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers front office. Just when we were about to say that Omar Khan is continuing the process of making stop-gap moves where Kevin Colbert left off, the Steelers were reportedly in the running for the biggest free agent on the market this year.

Three-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle, Orlando Brown Jr., just inked a four-year, $64 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. This $16 million per year price tag is far more than Pittsburgh has ever paid for an outside free agent on the open market. However, they did show interest in the top free agent of 2023.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the two other teams to show interest in the premier left tackle were the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ultimately, however, it was the Bengals who offered the best deal with excellent guaranteed money.

This is a player I've wanted the Steelers to target since long before free agency started. While Orlando Brown isn't considered the best offensive tackle in the league by any stretch, teams rarely let young Pro Bowl tackles hit the market, and I wanted Pittsburgh to make an aggressive move.

I applaud Omar Khan and Andy Weidl for at least coming close here and showing interest in a player that would normally be well outside of Pittsburgh's price range. Sadly, Brown will give our division rivals a huge boost on their offensive line, as Joe Burrow now has a true blindside protector in Cincinnati.

Steelers apparently still interested in OL help

This could have been a rare occurrance and an opportunity they couldn't pass up speaking to Orlando Brown's agent to at least see what the going rate was. However, it certainly seems like the Steelers are interested in adding more help to the offensive line.

The decision to inquire about Brown comes after the Steelers signing of OG Nate Herbig. With the interior offensive line mostly solidified at this point (at least in terms of depth), Khan set his sights on the offensive tackle position. As of now, Chukwuma Okorafor and Dan Moore are the only two true tackles currently under contract.

It's also worth noting that the two offensive linemen they were clearly interested in during free agency -- Nate Herbig and Orlando Brown -- each weigh in at over 334 pounds. Weidl helped bring in some mammoths on the Eagles' offensive line that has found a ton of success over the past several years, and it's possible that he's bringing that element to the Steelers with him.

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At this point, it might be wise to wait until the NFL Draft to address the offensive tackle position, as most of the talent has dried up in free agency. It will be interesting to see what they ultimately decide to do.