NFL Offseason Previews: Pittsburgh Steelers

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NFL Offseason Previews: Pittsburgh Steelers


The NFL offseason is upon us, and teams will begin working to craft their 2023 rosters in the coming months. In this series of offseason previews, we will look at what each team has to work with and their biggest needs. Today we continue with the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason preview.

As a reminder, here are dates to keep in mind for the 2023 NFL offseason:

  • March 7: deadline for teams to use the franchise tag
  • March 13: legal tampering period opens
  • March 15: NFL free agency begins and the new league year starts
  • April 21: deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
  • April 27-29: NFL draft
  • May 1: deadline for teams to exercise 5th-year options on 2020 first-round draft picks
  • July 15: deadline for franchise tag players to sign an extension

You can find previous teams offseason previews here: Bears | Bengals | Browns | Lions |

2022 Summary

It was a tale of two halves for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022. In weeks one through eight, the Steelers were 2-6. Pittsburgh’s two victories came over the Bengals in overtime in Week 1 and against the Buccaneers in Week 6. The win over Cincinnati was by three points, and the win over the Buccaneers was by two points. So, it could have easily been an 0-8 start to the season if some things shook out differently.

After their Week 9 bye, Pittsburgh was a different team. The Steelers finished the season 7-2 and 9-8 overall. The biggest difference? Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Pickett was bad in his first four starts. The rookie threw two touchdowns to five interceptions and owned a 71.8 passer rating. After the bye week, Pickett threw five touchdowns to one interception and held an 84.0 passer rating.

The Steelers believe they have the answer at quarterback; now they must figure out the rest.

Key Positional Needs

Here’s where the Steelers need to find help this offseason:

  • OT
  • CB
  • DL
  • EDGE
  • WR

Key Free Agents

Here’s a look at the Steelers upcoming key free agents:

  • Larry Ogunjobi (DL)
  • Devin Bush (LB)
  • Cameron Sutton (CB)
  • Chris Wormley (IDL)
  • Tyson Alualu (IDL)
  • Damontae Kazee (S)

Salary Cap & Draft Capital

Here’s a look at the salary cap room and draft capital that the Steelers have to work with this offseason:

  • Current draft picks: 17 (1), 32 (2), 49 (2), 80 (3), 120 (4), 236 (7), 243 (7)
  • Cap space: $1M 

Offseason Outlook

The Steelers will need to figure out how to keep some of their big pending free agents, first and foremost. You can see by the list of pending free agents where their offseason needs list was constructed. The Steelers are set to lose three big pieces of their defensive line (Alualu, Wormley, and Ogunjobi) this offseason.

Linebacker Devin Bush and safety Damontae Kazee are also pending free agents. If Pittsburgh doesn’t retain Alualu and Wormley, they’ll go into 2023 with Cameron Heyward and Montravius Adams as their primary interior defenders.

The Steelers have three picks in the top 50 in April’s NFL Draft and some cap flexibility, so they’re not in a terrible position.

Pittsburgh’s defense ranked 10th in the league in scoring last season, so keeping that unit intact and adding to the offensive line should be a priority this offseason.

If you’re looking for more offseason reading, Sam Hoppen at 4for4 (our sister site) is previewing each division:

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.