The Steelers have a tendency to sign players that have some experience with the team. We’ve seen players like Will Gay, Larry Foote, and Matt Spaeth get second stints with the team. We also saw this with Ross Cockrell, who the Steelers showed pre-draft interest in and later signed once he was released by the Bills. Most recently we saw this happen when the Steelers signed tight end David Johnson the other day, who was with the team from 2009-2013.
This got me thinking, what are some other available free agents that have some experience with the Steelers…
Will Allen (S)
The most obvious candidate on the list, as well as another player who received a second stint with the team. Allen may not be as quick as he used to be, but he is still a smart player who’s veteran experience would benefit the Steelers young secondary. He is a reliable player that Tomlin trusts.
Similar to how the Steelers have handled veterans in the past, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Steelers give Allen a call during or following training camp pending on injuries as well as how comfortable Tomlin is with his group of safeties.
Lance Moore (WR)
Remember this guy? It’s okay, most people forgot he was on our team. Many expected Moore to have at least a modest role in our offense when he was signed for the 2014, being signed to be a veteran replacement for Jericho Cotchery, but Moore but ended the season with a measly 14 receptions for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns. The emergence of Martavis Bryant certainly didn’t help his case either.
This is a signing that would certainly surprise me, but if the Steelers have interest in bringing in a veteran wide receiver, Moore is a guy that certainly could be on Tomlin’s list. The two didn’t end on great terms with Moore requesting to be cut, but maybe he doesn’t hold grudges.
Sean Hickey (G)
The first player on the list who has never worn black and gold. Hickey is a player that the Steelers showed interest in prior to the 2015 draft. He was signed by the Patriots, but was released this offseason. Although the Steelers have guard depth in BJ Finney & Chris Hubbard, both players the team seems to be fond of, Hickey is another player who would be brought in pending on injuries and if Tomlin is unhappy with his group of guards.
Alex Carrington (DE)
A stretch, but hey, you never know. The Steelers showed interest in Carrington last offseason, bringing him in for a visit. He was ultimately resigned by the Rams. The Steelers have depth at DT, but their DE depth is lacking. Behind Heyward & Tuitt, the team only has L.T. Walton & Cashaud Lyons. Although unlikely to be signed, Carrington is a candidate if the Steelers feel the need to bring in a veteran defensive end.
Brandon Boykin (CB)
Last but not least… Boykin is an enigma. Traded for a 5th round pick, benched for the majority of the season, signed by the Panthers 2 weeks after free agency started, then couldn’t even make the 90 man roster and was cut. Pretty odd.
Boykin wasn’t the star many hoped he would be when we traded for him, but he did show in his limited playing time that he is a solid football player. With the Steelers secondary being young, a veteran like Boykin would help in theory. However though, I would put my money on Boykin not be resigned. Considering Boykin is viewed exclusively as a slot cb, the fact that the Steelers have 2 slot-flexible cornerbacks with Gay & Golson, and the Steelers selecting Artie Burns with their first overall pick this year, it appears there is no role for Boykin on this roster.
To be clear, I’m not advocating for the Steelers to sign any of these players. However if at any point the Steelers decide to look for more depth to add to the team, I feel all of these players have the potential to get a call. Some are more likely than others, but as we’ve seen in the past and even just recently, the Steelers like to sign players who have some experience with the team.