(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
The Athletic NFL staff released an article yesterday that featured each team's worst move this offseason, and for the Steelers, longtime beat writer Mark Kaboly said the Steelers failure to address the No. 3 outside linebacker role behind starters T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith was their worst move in the offseason.
"When you head into the offseason at $25 million over the cap, there’s not much room to address all the depth issues," Kaboly wrote. "Outside linebacker was the one that fell through the cracks having only transient Cassius Marsh and rookie mid-rounder Quincy Roche to back up T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, a second-year player who is taking over for the departed Bud Dupree. This could be a moot point come training camp or slightly after if they bring someone else in, but as of now, it’s an issue."
Defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Keith Butler flat-out said at minicamp that the Steelers are looking for a No. 3 outside linebacker.
"We're looking for a third guy," Butler said via Chris Carter of DKPittsburghSports. "We've always wanted to have a third guy. Last year that guy was Alex. When we lost Bud (Dupree), he was a big part of our defense. We hated to lose him but that's the nature of this game sometimes when it comes to money and salary cap. We're looking for a third guy who can step up. Hopefully Cassius can help there too. We think he can help us but we'll see as we go along and how we can stay healthy."
Mike Tomlin also said during minicamp that "there's not a lot of depth at outside linebacker" and that it's a "position to keep an eye on."
Judging by Butler and Tomlin's comments, it appears that they are not too confident in Cassius Marsh and Quincy Roche serving as the No. 3 outside linebacker. And you can't blame them with Marsh being a journeyman and Roche a rookie, who was selected in the sixth round.
So, it wouldn't be surprising if the Steelers brought in a veteran edge rusher at some point before the start of the regular season. Perhaps, Justin Houston or Melvin Ingram could fill that role. According to Overthecap.com, the Steelers currently have $13,139,993 in cap space, so they could get something done with Houston or Ingram if they come on a cheap deal.