Rookie minicamp has concluded and we’ve now seen the new draft picks and undrafted guys wearing black and gold for the first time. These rookies will help solidify some of the holes on the roster and also add depth to certain positions. However, there is still room for improvement on this Steelers roster and it could be wise for the front office to go after some former players to help out for the 2014 season. Pro Football Talk recently came out with 2014 All-Unemployed Team. On the list there are three former Steeler players that I think would be a nice addition to this team, as either depth and/or to help some rookies get adjusted to life in the NFL .
The one player on offense I still want the Steelers to re-sign is Santonio Holmes. I wrote about this idea before the draft took place, so I won’t go too deep into the Yo Holmes talk but the Steelers number two receiver is still a question mark. Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant appear to be the two favorites for the role. Bryant, the Steelers fourth round pick, has size and lot of potential, while Wheaton had six receptions in his rookie year. I still believe Santonio would be a perfect option for the Steelers for one year if he is able to stay healthy. Does he bring a lot of baggage? Yes he does, I’m aware of this. But for one year to give him the chance to rejuvenize his career, I think it’s worth the risk.
As for defense, I think the Steelers should consider bringing back two former players. First off I think taking back Brett Keisel would be a smart move. He is going to be 35 this season but he is still reliable. The defensive end position could use some help even if Stephon Tuitt takes over the starting role. Keisel has started 10 or more games for the Steelers for the past eight seasons. I like Tuitt a lot but I also don’t know how good he will actually be in his rookie season. Keisel would be the perfect veteran for Tuitt to learn from and play with, whether it’s Keisel in the backup role or Tuitt. His presence can only help the defense in my opinion. As of May 7th it sounded like Keisel still wanted to be in Pittsburgh, so if the Steelers want him, this could be a reality.
The second defensive player that could help out the Steelers this year is James Harrison. Last year he was less than specatular with the Bengals, recording only two sacks and 19 tackles in 15 games. In March he did say that he wanted to return to the Steelers and apparently the interest was mutual. That was before the draft, in which the Steelers added Ryan Shazier and Jordan Zumwalt. The Zumwalt pick has given the Steelers more depth at linebacker and during last weekend’s minicamp he was being used at outside linebacker. Harrison has not recorded more than ten sacks since 2010 and it’s unclear how much is left in his tank. With all that being said, if they can get him for cheap to bring him in for training camp, why not? He might still be an effective third down pass rusher. Jarvis Jones is slated to be the starter opposite of Jason Worilds. He only had one sack in his rookie year though, so how reliable will he be in year two.? Harrison becoming a Steeler again is less likely than Keisel but if an injury happens, he could be a good choice.
What do you think Steelers Nation? I’m sure some of you still won’t want Santonio Holmes back but how about defensive players? Are their any other free agents that you think can help the Steelers?