Just in:4 former Steelers who are shockingly still not signed…Read more.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ front office has overhauled the roster this offseason, even though they finished .500 or better for the 17th straight season under head coach Mike Tomlin.


All three quarterbacks who started in 2023 (Kenny Pickett, Mitchell Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph) were replaced with veterans Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. Additionally, the Steelers strengthened their secondary by acquiring safety Deshon Elliot and cornerback Donte Jackson. However, the most notable offseason move was signing former divisional rival and Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Queen in free agency.

However, Pittsburgh’s payroll situation following the moves they made this offseason puts them in a difficult position to retain valuable players from last year’s team. Regardless, it is shocking to see these four members of the 2023 Steelers still unsigned.

4. Patrick Peterson, CB

Patrick Peterson may not be the eight-time Pro Bowl and three-time All-Pro caliber cornerback he once was in his prime. But he can certainly be a positive addition to any team, if not the Steelers.

In his only season with Pittsburgh, Peterson participated in all 17 regular-season games, starting in 16 of them. He amassed 42 combined tackles, 11 pass deflections, and two interceptions, while playing 97 percent of the defensive snaps.

According to Pro Football Focus, Peterson was one of the top pass-rushing cornerbacks in 2023, earning a grade of 75.3, although his coverage grade was an average 61.4. His extensive experience and achievements suggest he could be a valuable veteran presence and mentor at this stage of his career.

Though Peterson hasn’t played special teams since 2018, he was once one of the most exciting special teams players in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. As a rookie, he led the league with 699 punt return yards and four touchdowns, showcasing his explosiveness and field vision. As he approaches 34 in July, he could potentially return to a special teams role if his defensive contributions decline.

3. Kwon Alexander, LB

For veteran linebacker Kwon Alexander, the issue has never been his talent, but rather his injury history. Throughout his nine-year career, including 2023, his first and possibly only season with Pittsburgh, he has been frequently sidelined by injuries.

Alexander was limited to nine games this past season due to a torn Achilles suffered in Week 10 against the Green Bay Packers. Before being placed on injured reserve, he recorded 41 combined tackles, one pass deflection, one forced fumble, an interception, and a sack. Despite his limited playing time, he made a significant impact on the Steelers’ defense, particularly in coverage and pass-rushing situations. Pro Football Focus rated him highly in these areas, with grades of 74.3 and 79.9, respectively.

Coming off the Achilles injury as he enters his age-30 campaign, it is understandable why teams (including the Steelers) are wary of Alexander. Alternatively, it could be an opportunity to buy low on a former Pro Bowler who continues to show flashes of that player when healthy.

A versatile, capable, experienced linebacker, Alexander offers plenty of intrigue for any team looking to address the middle of their defense.

2. Keanu Neal LB/S

The Steelers have arguably one of the most crowded defenses in football, especially at the safety and linebacker positions, where Keanu Neal operates.

Neal started his career as a defensive back but has transitioned to more of a hybrid safety/linebacker role as time has passed. He logged 64 combined tackles and three pass deflections in 2023, earning an average overall Pro Football Focus grade of 59.6.

While Neal is not the high-end player he once was, he still carved out a role on the Steelers this past season. But they boast an elite linebacking corps and already have their starting safety tandem on the roster.

Between All-Pro T.J. Watt, Patrick Queen, Alex Highsmith, Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts and rookie Payton Wilson, where is there room for him? Moreover, Pittsburgh already has Pro Bowl defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and Deshon Elliot in the secondary.

Simply put, it is hard to find a spot for Neal on the depth chart in Pittsburgh. So, it is easy to see why the Steelers haven’t re-signed him, but he can be a solid depth piece for another franchise.

1. Mason Cole, C

Mason Cole started every game for the Steelers in 2022 and 2023. But the team released him as a cap casualty earlier this offseason before investing a second-round pick in former West Virginia center Zach Frazier. So, the writing is on the wall regarding his time in Pittsburgh.

However, Cole can be a serviceable upgrade to a team needing to address one of the most integral positions in football. He allowed only two sacks this past season and earned a solid Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade to pair with it (65.7).

Cole has been as dependable and available as they come in his two seasons with the Steelers, evidenced by his clean bill of health. Moreover, he has logged a 98 percent snap rate in that span.

While Cole may not be as flashy of a name as those mentioned before him on this list, he is the most intriguing of the bunch. He immediately helps a team in need of help along the trenches, plus he offers long-term potential as a player entering his age-28 season. It is surprising to see a player of his pedigree, age and position still on the market despite being cut over two months ago.


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