We all woke up Wednesday morning to a shocking turn of events. Jason Worilds announced his retirement from the NFL. His departure leaves a gaping hole at the OLB position.
Seeing the Steelers re-sign Arthur Moats was a bit of a relief, seeing as how thin the position is already. Only him, Jarvis Jones, and Shawn Lemon are under contract this upcoming season. Arthur had a strong year, recording four sacks in a limited role.
I personally think Arthur Moats has shown he can handle being a starter on the team. Doing that well in a low amount of snaps says something about how hard he works.
He’s also reportedly a very good personality to be around.
Despite this, how ready is the team to move forward? Is this all they’re going to do until the draft?
The OLB free agency pool has already mostly dried up, with the bigger names like Pernell McPhee and Brandon Graham having signed big contracts. The only other option they might have is to sign a lower tier player, around the skill level of Moats from last year.
As of this writing, Derrick Morgan is still available [Update: He signed with Tennessee]. He’s probably the best player left who can fill the OLB spot on the Steelers. But will the front office actually make a reach for him?
I doubt it but this team is always full of surprises.
I expect an edge rusher to be drafted by at least the 2nd round, preferably the 1st round.
Brice McCain left via free agency to the Miami Dolphins, which didn’t really surprise me. I think it was a good choice in letting him walk if it meant keeping Antwon Blake.
Blake has shown the ability to step up and become a presence in the secondary. From his fiery attitude to his physical assets, the only thing he lacks is height. But that’s no excuse if you work hard enough (just ask Antonio Brown).
Free agency has also been dry for the cornerback market, although reports are coming in that the Steelers are interested in Saints CB Patrick Robinson. I don’t know how serious this interest really is, but I hope it’s more of an actual consideration than that Darrelle Revis call.
Cornerback is another position I expect the Steelers to have high on their draft board. Yet, I see it only slightly less of a priority than outside linebacker.
RB DeAngelo Williams is due for a visit with the team on Friday. It’s good the team has realized that they need a back up who can take some of Le’veon Bell’s burden. Williams is a good fit since he knows his best days are behind him and he’ll only be taking at the most a 2nd string spot.
Even if DeAngelo signs with them, I still expect a mid round pick spent on a running back.
The Steelers are usually quiet during free agency, so I wouldn’t fret too much on their lack of activity. But whatever they decide to do, it will be a cause for further discussion.
Info courtesy of steelers.com and ESPN.com