The Pittsburgh Steelers won six of their final seven games of the 2022 NFL regular season, but just missed out on the playoffs with a 9-8 record. It's clear that head coach Mike Tomlin has a core in place that is ready to compete and building depth in the offseason is the next step at improving.
Pittsburgh needs to be careful, though, as they are already hovering around the cap space limit as it is. It'll be up to the front office to find a couple of underrated options in the coming months. With that in mind, here's a look at three free agents the Steelers need to sign to make the playoffs next season.
Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agency
1. Cameron Sutton, CB
The biggest priority for the Steelers in free agency should be finding a way to bring cornerback Cameron Sutton back. Sutton has spent the first six years of his NFL career in Pittsburgh and is coming off a career-best campaign. The 27-year-old logged 43 tackles (1.0 for loss), 15 pass breakups and 3 interceptions in 16 games played (94% defensive snaps). The veteran is only one of five free agent CBs that logged at least 3 interceptions in 2022 and Spotrac lists his expected market value at $7.6 million. Pittsburgh should not hesitate to provide a two or three-year deal around that annual salary given how familiar Sutton is with Tomlin's system.
2. Mike McGlinchey, OT
Protecting young quarterback Kenny Pickett has to be on the mind of Pittsburgh's front office heading into the offseason. The Steelers allowed 38.0 sacks in 2022, which ranked right in the middle of the pack, and threw out a ton of different offensive line combinations. Current starters Dan Moore and Chukwum Okarafor combined to allow 10 of those sacks and tallied 14 penalties. Mike McGlinchey is a name that sticks out here due to the fact that he started every game for the 49ers for the third time in his career this past season. He has shown consistency and toughness while playing through a broken rib since Week 8 as well. McGlinchey would fit right in with Pittsburgh's mentality.
3. DeMarcus Walker, DE
It's not just the offensive line that could use some more depth in Pittsburgh. The Steelers posted their lowest sack total since 2016 this past season and are set to lose a couple of big name players on defense. That includes free agents like Larry Ogunjobi and Devin Bush. It'd be better to take a chance on a lesser known player than it would be to pay up for an aging veteran here, though. DeMarcus Walker shined with the Titans this past season as he racked up 32 tackles (10.0 for loss), and 7.0 sacks despite playing in only 37% of the defensive snaps. The 28-year-old seems to be finally tapping into his potential and could thrive under defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
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