5 Overrated NFL Free Agents the Pittsburgh Steelers Should Avoid At All Costs
Free Agency: 5 Players the Pittsburgh Steelers Should Avoid
When discussing which NFL free agents the Pittsburgh Steelers should avoid signing, the discussion tends to become a bit automatic because in most offseasons, if there's a team in the league that fans don't have to worry about keeping tabs on the free agency news wires, it's the Pittsburgh Steelers. With salary cap issues and a history of not overpaying for players (even their own players), the free agency madness that engulfs some other teams and fan bases just isn't there from year to year for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That said, if this was to be the year when the Pittsburgh Steelers do manage to clear up a bunch of cap space and try to make a run at a front-line free agent, there are several things to consider. First, the Steelers would have to go after a player at a position of need. Pittsburgh won't be signing a free-agent quarterback or running back any time soon. Second, the price would have to be right. That fact alone eliminates most of the what anyone would consider the top players in the 2014 free agent class. And traditionally, another important factor is that the player has to be a good person who doesn't cause any trouble. Pittsburgh won't overpay for to get rid of some other team's problem, and they have gotten rid of players, sometimes controversially (Santonio Holmes) before letting issues take over.
With all that in mind, there are many players in this year's free agent class that you can scratch off any list for the Steelers. Here are five free agents the Pittsburgh Steelers absolutely must avoid this offseason, even if they don't continue their organizational standard of avoiding almost all of them.
Ed Morgans is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @writered21.
5. Alterraun Verner, Cornerback, Tennessee Titans
Pittsburgh should avoid Alterraun Verner because cornerback isn't necessary a position of need. There's still a couple years of good football left in standout corner Ike Taylor, and Cortez Allen is the projected starter on the other side if he's healthy. Verner would be a costly replacement for a position that doesn't necessarily need a ton of help. There are weaker areas on the Pittsburgh defense.
4. T.J. Ward, Safety, Cleveland Browns
T.J. Ward is a player who at first glance would fit the Steelers. Current safety Ryan Clark is a free agent and it's probably 50-50 at best whether he is back in Pittsburgh next season with his defensive backfield mate Troy Polamalu. So, some might want Ward to step into Clark's spot. Sharmarko Thomas could be able to step into this role with a full training camp of first-team reps, or the Steelers could re-sign Clark, draft another safety and build from there. It's unlikely they spend the money required to sign Ward.
3. Eugene Monroe, Offensive Lineman, Baltimore Ravens
Like safety, offensive line is probably a position where the Steelers are going to have spots to fill. Four of Pittsburgh's current free agents are offensive linemen, including the very versatile Cody Wallace. The health of Pittsburgh's offensive line has been a question mark for years. But recent top draft picks Mike Adams and David DeCastro are still in the mix and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Pittsburgh target that spot in the draft again. Spending big money on an offensive lineman like Eugene Monroe when players can't stay healthy at that position doesn't make any sense.
2. Eric Decker, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
Who wouldn't want wide receiver Eric Decker? After all, the Denver Broncos standout caught 87 passes last season for nearly 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Pittsburgh Steelers, that's who. The main reason to not sign Decker is that he is overvalued. There isn't another offense in the NFL with the possible exception of New England or New Orleans where Decker would put up those kind of numbers. That means he's overvalued. Even if he was normally valued, the Steelers would probably pass, but given what Decker will probably command on the open market, Pittsburgh should steer clear even if choosing not to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery.
1. Jimmy Graham, Tight End, New Orleans Saints
It's very unlikely the Steelers are even going to have a choice on Jimmy Graham. It would be hard to imagine the New Orleans Saints letting a player go who has been the best at his position the last couple years. And even if they did, what would be the point in Pittsburgh signing him? The Steelers already have a top-10 tight end in Heath Miller, and unless Graham were willing to move to wide receiver, signing him -- regardless of his immense talent and production -- isn't a good idea given that Pittsburgh would have to break the bank to do so.