The Pittsburgh Steelers oddly find themselves in prime position to make a potential splash signing currently sitting with just over $13 million in cap space remaining this late into the offseason.
There are several people speculating on who the Steelers could have their eyes on, as they could look to add depth, or perhaps even starters, to several positions. A list that includes the offensive line, their defensive backfield, and their linebacking core.
Bleacher Report is predicting the Steelers to add to the last group on that list by signing veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston. This would be a great signing for the Steelers as they have very little proven depth at the position, and there are questions about Alex Highsmith’s ability to handle and be effective with a full-time workload in only his second pro season.
The excerpt from the article written by Maurice Moton is below.
“The Steelers can use their financial resources to acquire arguably the best pass-rusher on the market in Justin Houston. Pittsburgh wouldn’t have to place immense pressure on second-year veteran Alex Highsmith to become a high-quality starter opposite T.J. Watt.
Houston and Highsmith would compensate for the loss of Bud Dupree, who signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason.
Secondly, the Steelers would keep Houston away from the Baltimore Ravens, who hosted him for a visit in April, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Pittsburgh has more cap space than Baltimore, which would allow general manager Kevin Colbert to outbid a division rival if necessary.
The Steelers cannot have enough pass-rushers in the AFC North. Houston could help chase down Lamar Jackson, break through Baker Mayfield’s stout offensive line and lessen Joe Burrow’s time to scan the field for his solid trio of Cincinnati wideouts in Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase.
Houston recorded 19 sacks over the last two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. With him and Watt, the Steelers would have one of the top edge-rushing duos in the league.”
There are definitely some good points that Moton made. However, this would be a highly uncharacteristic signing for the Steelers and General Manager, Kevin Colbert.
Houston is entering his age 32 season, and the Steelers have a well known history of rarely signing free agents from outside the organization who have eclipsed the magic number 30. Also, there has been no reported contact between the two sides to this point in the offseason.
While the signing of Houston would be a big improvement to their front seven, and likely still leave the team with cap space to add more depth elsewhere, there are just too many things pointing against it to make it a realistic option right now.
Let us know below what you think about the potential for the Steelers to sign Houston, and your thoughts on the likelihood of it happening!