Before I get too far into this and start to get the hate mail about the Pittsburgh Steelers lack of salary cap room: I understand. These are not the players I think they Steelers will target in free agency. There is going to be almost no opportunity for the Steelers to sign any free agents, much less any of the premier names that will be out there.
But as I begin to study the available players throughout the NFL, there were two names that really jumped out to me as ideal for the Steelers. However, I am going to keep it fairly realistic. These aren’t the number-one players in the league that are on the board, but they are excellent football players who would be great fits in positions of need for the Steelers.
First is Baltimore Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. Ellerbe was the best linebacker on the Ravens roster in 2012 and one of three Ravens linebackers who are either free agents or retiring at the end of this season. I am sure Ellerbe will be a top priority for the Ravens to re-sign, because his athleticism and coverage skills make him a perfect fit in what the Ravens want from their inside linebackers. But along those same lines, Ellerbe would be an excellent fit next to linebacker Lawrence Timmons in the Steelers 3-4 scheme, and would allow Timmons to do much more in blitz packages.
The other is Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore. Moore has been a tremendous player for the Falcons early in his career. He, like Ellerbe with the Ravens, will be a priority for the Falcons to get under contract in a hurry, but his mix of size and speed are exactly what the Steelers could use to bolster and aging and oft-injured group of safeties that they are working with right now. Moore is going to command some big money either in Atlanta or somewhere on the free agent market, and that’s something the Steelers don’t have nearly enough of.
The Steelers have some definite needs this off-season, and inside linebacker and safety are two near the top. If the Steelers could find a way to get Ellerbe and Moore into the fold, it would allow them to focus their draft picks in other areas and really make this team better in a hurry.
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