With less than a month to the NFL draft, free-agent activity has slowed to a crawl. However, that is not intended to mean that it is over. It's quite the contrary. Between now and the draft, very little will happen. But, once June 1 gets here and the draft is over, the second season of free agency will begin.
This is the time when teams purge salary and players in reaction to the athletes they drafted. This is also the time when those free agents left from before the draft will suddenly find themselves employed again.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in a position where they have very little salary cap, some significant needs and nine draft picks. It would make sense that, moving forward, those remaining needs would be handled via the draft.
Nonetheless, if we have learned anything about the NFL, it is that nothing is certain. The Steelers are going to load up on players as they move forward toward offseason camps and into training camp.
2014 is a pivotal year for the Steelers. After back-to-back 8-8 seasons, they have to find a way to regain control of the AFC North and return to prominence. This could mean that the Steelers will opt more toward finding veterans to fill key spots as opposed to rookies. If that is the case, look for the Steelers to try to trade up for a splash pick or two, rather than go for a volume of young prospects.
However, what happens if they Steelers aren't satisfied with the lot of rookies they bring in? Perhaps they feel a sense of urgency and use the cap space they will have after June 1 to add a piece or two of the puzzle from the available free agents. If so, here are five guys at strategic positions the Steelers could bring in to help fill in those last few spots.