There’s never a dull moment with the Pittsburgh Steelers and this week was no different. Let’s take a look at what’s going on with the Steelers with these questions:
1) Who’s being released?
According to multiple reports, safety Mike Mitchell will be released when free agency starts on Wednesday, March 14. He might be the biggest name going but he might not be the only one – cornerback William Gay, safety J.J. Wilcox, cornerback Coty Sensabaugh and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey could be gone too.
These moves would save the Steelers a total of $12.475 million in cap space. The Steelers currently have $1.022 million in space. The total savings on Mitchell should be around $5 million with $3 million in ‘dead money’ because of pro-rated bonuses. Antonio Brown restructured his contract earlier in the week, freeing up $9.7 million in cap space.
It’s also possible that these players might be re-signed at a reduced salary.
2) Who’s changing positions?
Could cornerback Cameron Sutton be moving to free safety? How about T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree switchings sides at outside linebacker? These are all rumored to happen according to Dale Lolley at dkpittsburghsports.com.
The move of Sutton to safety is due to the Steelers being short on cap space due to the Le’Veon Bell contract. Watt and Dupree might switch sides to enable them to get the best out of both linebackers.
3) What’s the latest on Le’Veon Bell?
Not much. After the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him Tuesday, Bell has stated that he doesn’t plan to sit out the 2018 season. He also said it will be a rerun of last year – he won’t be a training camp or OTAs. He said he will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
The deadline to agree to a long-term contract is July 16, and Bell is confident they will come to terms. If they don’t, he’ll be paid $14.54 million this year.
4) Who will they draft?
Here’s some players the latest mock drafts say the Steelers will take in the first round:
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: I just don’t see the Steelers taking a quarterback in the first round when Ben Roethlisberger said he’ll play at least one more year. He did meet with the Steelers at the combine however. One mock draft had the Steelers trading up for Wyoming QB Josh Allen.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State: The most likely scenario is the Steelers taking Vander Esch or Rashaan Evans of Alabama as their first pick. They are desperate for linebacker even if they get a linebacker in free agency. It’s doubtful but maybe Tremaine Edmunds of Virginia Tech might fall to them.
Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama: Safety is another position of need after the news that the Steelers will release Mike Mitchell. Justin Reid of Stanford is another possibility at safety.
Ronald Jones, RB, USC: Some mock drafts have the Steelers taking a running back, but it seems as if they’re set at running back for this year with Le’Veon Bell. Some mock drafts also have the Steelers taking Derrius Guice of LSU.