When the NFL offseason officially begins and players are free to sign with any team, it is typically a slow period for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are traditionally one of the quieter franchises in the NFL when it comes to signing free agents.
Whether it’s because of annual salary cap problems or just the team’s plan to build through with what they already have and the NFL Draft, Steelers’ fans go into the offseason not expecting much from Kevin Colbert and his staff.
That could change this season.
According to ESPN’s Scott Brown, the Steelers plan to be more active in free agency than in past years, and that was the case even before a report by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the salary cap will rise from $123 million to $130 million.
“We’ll have our eyes open to see if there’s somebody that can come in and help us get better,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said Saturday morning on 970 ESPN. “There’s always interesting prospects out there in terms of the unrestricted market. There’s certainly some areas we’re going to try to address this offseason.”
Whether that means attempting to retain their own free agents like outside linebacker Jason Worilds, or looking outside the organization to plug other holes remains to be seen.
The Steelers have some work to do to get below the salary cap before March 11, but they can easily do so by releasing, restructuring and extending certain players.
Once they do so, it looks as if the plan could change in Pittsburgh as the Steelers could look to be more active than usual when free agency begins next month.