Former Dallas OLB Victor Butler visits the Steelers today. The team would be absolutely foolish to let him walk without a contract signed.
James Harrison got the boot, LaMarr Woodley is thinking about having ‘Fat Albert’ tattooed to his stomach, and Jason Worilds is still wondering if he can actually start at OLB. The Steelers linebacker core – especially the outside set – went from being one of the most feared in the league to one in the most disarray in a very short period of time. The Steelers went from being in the position of shopping around for their number one pick to quickly shifting to a priority of ‘Dear God we better get a great OLB!’ The release of Victor Butler from the Cowboys at the beginning of the free agency period could turn out to be a very fortuitous situation for the Steelers – and it’s one they should absolutely take advantage of.
Butler will certainly come at a price, but as I stated in my post from last night regarding Keenan Lewis, they have the money to spend since they decided they wouldn’t even offer Lewis a contract (according to Lewis). He’s also being pursued by the now Lewis fortified Saints and the Jets, who have yet to make a splash in FA thus far. Butler has the speed and the talent to be the pass rusher the Steelers need to replace someone like Harrison. That was his specialty in Dallas while he played behind two Pro Bowlers - DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer.
If the Steelers want to prevent the defense from becoming a dumpster fire for the entire season and salvage a chance at making a playoff run, then they need to ‘go big’ and sign someone like Butler. It’s a ‘big’ move for the Steelers because they typically don’t dish out big cash for free agents on the open market – that kind of money is usually reserved for their own players in free agency. That practice needs to change today, and the Steelers need to sign Butler.