The Pittsburgh Steelers will begin free agency in seven days. They're one of the top teams in the NFL who have the most free agents available in 2021. It also looks like the Steelers team walking onto the field in 2021 could be much different than we have ever seen over the years. Over 15+ free agents will hit the open market come March 17th. Several of them are starters. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Alejandro Villanueva, Bud Dupree, and Mike Hilton are just some of those names.
Bleacher Report recently wrote an article on who the Steelers should prioritize during free agency. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Alejandro Villanueva, and Bud Dupree were not listed as priorities for the Steelers. It makes sense because the Steelers could bring in guys like Sutton, Hilton, Alualu, and Fieler at the fraction of the cost compared to one big free agent.
The 3 players Bleacher Report said the Steelers need to prioritize are Matt Fieler, Mike Hilton, and Tyson Alualu. I agree they should prioritize those 3 players, but you have to add in Cam Sutton because he can play outside cornerback.
Matt Feiler - Bleacher Report says solid offensive linemen are like gold in the NFL and the Steelers are facing an uphill battle going into 2021 with their current offensive line. With Maurkice Pouncey's retirement and Alejandro Villanueva likely gone it would be wise to bring back Feiler. Feiler's ability to play multiple spots on the offensive line makes him valuable. He only gave up 2 sacks and 2 penalties last season. If Pro Football Focus is projecting him to get a two-year, $12 million dollar deal in free agency then the Steelers would be making a mistake not doing what they can to reduce the turnover on the offensive line.
Mike Hilton - Top slot corners seem to have not caught up with their vital role on the defense in the NFL. Hilton saw at least 50 percent of the defensive snaps in 9 of the 12 games he played in according to Bleacher Report. He was excellent in his role with the Steelers and has developed tremendously in his 4 seasons. Hilton had 5 quarterback hits and three sacks in 2020. He also plays great against the run as he had 8 tackles for losses. Hilton understands the Steelers defense and Pro Football Focus projects he will sign a 3-year, $12 million dollar contract in the offseason with the Steelers. Bleacher Reports says if Hilton is willing to sign that deal the Steelers should have him sign it immediately.
Tyson Alualu - Bleacher Report says the theme of retaining players who could be had for relatively cheap continues with Tyson Alualu. He is coming off a great year with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Alualu was ranked Pro Football Focus's top 9th ranked interior defensive linemen in the NFL. Bleacher Report says if the Steelers are going to be contenders in 2021 they will do it with their defense. That means the Steelers should bring back most of their defense going into the season. Other teams could be scared off by Alualu because of his age, but that would bode well for the Steelers. He had one of his best seasons last year with the Steelers and that is more of the reason why Pittsburgh should bring him back in 2021.