The Pittsbugh Steelers are one of three teams, including the Chargers and Texans, who have sign just one outside free agent since it’s beginning.
For Pittsburgh, general manager Kevin Colbert indicated before the NFL Combine that its exactly what the team had in mind in its approach toward free agency.
“We’ve always been a draft, develop, keep our own [team],” Colbert said in February. “I think you’re seeing more teams doing it. And as a result, you’re seeing less and less quality free agents. There’s an inherent danger in that because some of the players who are hitting the market with the number of dollars that are available might not be quite worth what they’re going to get paid because of the supply and demand…I think that it reinforces that you want to sign your own and keep your own. You have to be careful about the free-agent market and not overpay for maybe an average player.”
The slow free agency for the team should be no surprise, really.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler: ‘A modest free agency plan isn’t uncommon for a team like Pittsburgh, which traditionally eschews the early-March sweepstakes and prefers to re-sign its own players. The Steelers’ only signing outside its locker room is journeyman receiver Justin Hunter.
But the $167 million cap — a $47 million increase since 2011 — has enticed 27 of 32 teams to sign or trade for at least three new members. The Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals have signed two new players and re-signed many others, while the Chargers spent $25 million guaranteed on left tackle Russell Okung, their only signing. ‘