The Pittsburgh Steelers will be heading into free agency with a ton of free agents looking to hit the market come March 17th. What should we expect with the Pittsburgh Steelers heading into free agency? If you have been following the Steelers for quite some time they typically do not make a huge splash in free agency. They will normally fill in holes where they're needed.
The last time I remember the Steelers trying to make a move in free agency was with trying to pull Dont'a Hightower from the New England Patriots. I remember when they threatened to remove their contract offer if he boarded a plane back to New England. Dont'a did end up boarding the plane and there was no contract done. He ended up signing back with the Patriots.
It can be a frustrating system the Steelers run by not overpaying in free agency, but it has worked for them in the long run. The problem this season is teams are dealing with Covid-19 and the cap is expected to be much lower than in 2020. That puts the Steelers in a bigger crunch because they're already hurting in regards to the cap.
Per overthecap.com the Steelers have spent by far the least in the NFL in free agency. In fact $42 million less. Dallas comes in as the next team to spend less in free agency at $66 million. So typically the Steelers love to fill in their needs rather than be big free agent spenders in the offseason. From 2017-2020 the Steelers have spent $99.7 million on free agents according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Post-Gazette.
Mike Tomlin on the Steelers heading into free agency: “There’s uncertainty in every season,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “You just comb through it page by page. And you start, first and foremost, with assessing your in-house things, the state of our team, the depth of our team, and the issues relative to personnel with our team. And then we look at our looming potential free agents. I think that is the place we shop first and foremost.”
Uncertainty is right when it comes to the Steelers. This offseason is going to be a hard one for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and some fans don't even see it coming, unfortunately. 19 free agents on the Steelers is not a normal offseason and the Steelers team to walk on the field in 2021 could look so unrecognizable from past seasons because of their cap issues. If I were to bet who the Steelers could retain it would be either JuJu or Dupree (possibly may lose both) Sutton, Hilton, Alualu, and Banner. Steelers could possibly lose Hilton, but keep Sutton because Hilton will demand a big market and finally get paid what he is worth. Also, it would make sense for the Steelers to keep Sutton because he can play outside cornerback.
Buckle up because in 9 days this offseason could be an unusual and painful one for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers should be able to overcome this in the offseason if they play their cards right heading into 2022 because they will have a lot more cap room heading into 2022 rather than 2021. So there is some good news to come out of this offseason. It will not last forever. The Steelers just need to get through the 2021 season then they should be fine.