With Heath Miller Injured, Should Pittsburgh Steelers Make Tight End Priority in Offseason?
This offseason looks to be an interesting one for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Contracts have already been restructured to make cap room, and Pittsburgh has already made a free agent signing by grabbing cornerback William Gay.
With potentially one position addressed, the Steelers still have many more to attend to in the coming months. It’s obvious that adding a pass rusher should be top priority, as well as safety, nose tackle, wide receiver, running back, and even finding a suitable backup quarterback. However, one position that I feel shouldn’t be overlooked this offseason is tight end.
In Week 16 of the 2012 season, Heath Miller suffered a torn ACL. Miller finished the season leading Pittsburgh with 71 receptions and was tied for first on the team with eight receiving touchdowns.
I think that it is safe to say that Miller definitely won’t be at 100 percent once the 2013 season begins. I know the remarkable comeback from an ACL tear by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson could give fans some optimism, but Peterson is in a class of his own.
Prior to Miller’s injury, the Steelers probably didn’t even have tight end anywhere near their list of things to shop for at season’s end. Now there is a strong possibility that a tight end could be taken in this April’s draft, or could be addressed in free agency.
As mentioned before, a few contracts have been reconstructed to make room for Pittsburgh’s salary cap. In addition to this, there may be some veterans released in the near future to make more cap space.
If by chance the Steelers have enough money to throw around, they could go after a reliable veteran tight end to help compensate for Miller’s absence, and the soon-to-be departed Mike Wallace. A couple of free agents that come to mind are Anthony Fasano of the Miami Dolphins and Fred Davis of the Washington Redskins.
In the event that Pittsburgh can’t find an answer via free agency, maybe one of their seven picks in the draft could be used to assist the Steelers’ passing game. Pittsburgh probably has more needs than draft picks, so they need to decide which route to follow.
Regardless of their decision, the Steelers definitely need a tight end to fill in while their Pro Bowler is on the mend.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google