The Pittsburgh Steelers need to be better in the secondary and more specifically in this writing, at cornerback.
First, we can expect that Ike Taylor will be gone. I see no reason to bring him back in any way, shape or form.
As for Cortez Allen, it’s anyone’s guess as to what he will look like heading into the 2015 season. His ball skills and tackling were both sub-par but if the coaching staff sees improvement then who knows?
As for right now, I’m going to assume the Steelers are prepared to look elsewhere for a starting corner opposite William Gay.
If the Steelers are looking for cornerback help, it would be logical to start in free agency but is there a plug-in starter worth signing?
The top free agent corners are likely to be Tramon Williams from Green Bay and Darrelle Revis of New England. At 29, Revis may well re-sign with the Patriots but he may also choose to test the market for one final big payday.
Either way, I do not see him coming to Pittsburgh because he doesn’t really fit the defense and they aren’t likely to pay him either.
Williams is a little more interesting because he played in a similar 3-4 system in Green Bay under Dom Capers. He’s also very durable having missed just one game during his eight year career.
Williams made $6.9 million in 2014 plus had a $2 million signing bonus. Would he want a deal similar or one worth more? Chances are that a three to four year deal would make sense. Williams will be 32 years old in mid-March and I have to think that’s a concern despite his durability.
Brandon Flowers is a guy who the Steelers briefly kicked the tires on last year before he ultimately landed in San Diego on a one-year deal. He’s a pro-bowl caliber type corner who battled a few injuries this season but is capable of good things.
Two other possibilities could be Antonio Cromartie from Arizona and Kareem Jackson from Houston. Personally, I think you pass on Jackson who has had some injury issues and came into camp overweight last season. Those are not positive traits in my opinion.
Cromartie is intriguing because he took a one-year deal in an effort to prove himself last season and for the most part he did. His name has already surfaced in New York where he could re-join new Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles.
Pro Football Focus had him rated as a top-10 corner especially in cover skills but his tackling leaves a lot to be desired.
As far as I’m concerned those are the only guys worth spending money on in terms of finding a starting cornerback in free agency. There are plenty of guys who can fill the nickel corner spot but that isn’t what the Steelers need right now.
Although his age is a concern, keep an eye on Williams.