5 Still-Unsigned Free Agents the Pittsburgh Steelers Should Contact
Now that the dust has settled in free agency, and the bloated contracts have been doled out to overvalued players, the Pittsburgh Steelers can get down to the business of contacting bargain-basement unsigned free agents who will fit under the team's tight cap space.
Indeed, while big names like Bart Scott and Richard Seymour are still available, they're not Pittsburgh's style. Instead, the money-conscious Steelers look for productive veterans who can be had for a song.
Here are some low-priced unsigned free agents the Steelers should call.
Players' stats and info courtesy of NFL.com.
Brandon Moore, G
The former New York Jets guard gets no love. After coming to the Jets as an undrafted free agent, Moore worked his way to a Pro Bowl selection in 2011.
Still, the Jets were unimpressed and released him earlier this year. At 33 years old, he has a few more years left in the tank. He is definitely an upgrade over former Steeler Doug Legursky and could give presumptive starter Ramon Foster a little push.
The only concern is whether or not he is affordable. At this stage of the game, however, Moore should be open to listen to any reasonable offer.
Nick Eason, DT
By bringing back Nick Eason, Pittsburgh would continue the yearly ritual of re-signing a former Steeler who had been released from the Arizona Cardinals.
While Eason won't challenge Steve McLendon for the starting nose tackle position, he can provide a veteran presence in case Alameda Ta'amu isn't able to get back on track. He knows Pittsburgh's system as he spent four years there. More importantly, he can be signed for cheap money.
Jammal Brown, T
After the recent stabbing of Mike Adams, the Steelers are left with Kelvin Beachum as his place holder. That leaves the team one Marcus Gilbert injury away from potentially starting Guy Whimper out of position at left tackle, a situation no one relishes, particularly Ben Roethlisberger.
Brown has a history of injuries, including a torn ACL and groin pull. He also has had hip surgery.
While this may be seen as a red flag, it also means that the Steelers can pick up a competent backup at cheap money. Right now, the team needs depth, and Brown's injury history might make him an affordable option.
Dave Thomas, TE
With Heath Miller still recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, the Steelers are left with Matt Spaeth and David Paulson to fill his shoes. By bringing in Dave Thomas, Pittsburgh adds a veteran who can help.
Thomas has started 38 games in his seven-year career, hauling in 102 receptions and scoring eight touchdowns. While not spectacular numbers by any standard, the Steelers don't need spectacular. They just need a low-priced, proven player to add to the tight end by committee until Miller's return.
Chris Hope, S
Remember Chris Hope? Pittsburgh's third-round draft pick in 2002, he went to greener pastures with the Tennessee Titans after the 2005 season. He now finds himself unemployed. Fortunately for him, the Steelers love their reunion tours, and Hope fits the bill. His only drawback is that he's not coming from the Arizona Cardinals.
At 32, Hope is no long-term solution to anything. But he is an insurance policy in case Ryan Clark, the man who replaced him, goes down. Sure, if Shamarko Thomas develops quickly, Hope won't be needed. However, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's scheme is unforgiving for rookies, so odds are that Thomas won't be ready.
That's where Hope shows his value. He played under LeBeau's scheme for two years while in Pittsburgh and has 11 years experience in the NFL. And he still speaks fondly of his time with the Steelers, so he should have no problem coming back for one season.