The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of OTAs with minicamp up on deck before having a few weeks off before training camp gets underway in late July. Pittsburgh has brought a bunch of new faces into the fold via the draft and free agency to pair with the holdovers from last year’s team, seeing nearly the full team in action together on the field to get an eye on the players they have acquired this offseason and determine whether to sit pact with what they have in-house or look to continue to add to their roster from the outside before the start of the season.

When it comes to the current state of Pittsburgh’s roster, they do have several notable holes that could be filled by established veterans still left on the free agent market. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, there are several former players that have suited up for the team in the past that could help fill positions of need prior to the start of the 2024 regular season.

One name that has been brought up a lot this offseason is CB Patrick Peterson who was released by the Steelers back in March to clear cap space, but the veteran stated after his release that the door may not be closed regarding a return to Pittsburgh and has welcomed the opportunity to return on serval occasions this offseason. Peterson signed to start as an outside starting cornerback last season, but due to injuries as well as a drop off in his play with his decreasing play speed, Peterson moved around in the secondary, seeing time at safety as well as at slot cornerback. With no clear-cut starting option in the nickel for Pittsburgh at this point in the offseason, there’s a chance that Peterson could be brought back on a team-friendly deal to contribute there as well as continue to provide the leadership presence to the team’s secondary after being a mentor to the likes of CB Joey Porter Jr. last season.

Another name that Pittsburgh could consider bringing back at slot corner is CB Chandon Sullivan who is still a free agent and could be signed to a cheap contract to give the team another slot-capable defender. A wildcard to keep in-mind throughout the offseason is former Steelers CB Cameron Sutton who signed a contract with the Detroit Lions last offseason, but was released by Detroit after getting arrested in March for for aggravated battery-domestic violence. He was later released from jail and had his charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, and is currently in a pre-trial diversion program.

It was reported that HC Mike Tomlin and GM Omar Khan met with Sutton in Pittsburgh back in April, suggesting that the team is monitoring Sutton’s situation. Should he be cleared during the summer, there’s a chance that Pittsburgh may look to reunite with their former defensive back who would give them a versatile cover corner that can start inside with Porter and Donte Jackson manning the outside.

Another name  to consider is EDGE Markus Golden who racked up four sacks and six tackles for loss as a rotational pass rusher last season in Pittsburgh, giving the team a formidable 1-2 punch alongside LB Nick Herbig as backups to T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. With the team’s top options on the depth chart behind their top three being Jeremiah Moon, Kyron Johnson, and David Perales, perhaps bringing back Golden prior to the start of training camp could help round out their pass rush unit.

One name that may be less likely, but still may deserve some consideration is C Mason Cole who was also released by Pittsburgh this offseason in a cap-saving move. Since then, the Steelers drafted C Zach Frazier to be their starting center of the future, but they lack a proven backup behind him as IOL Nate Herbig has seen sparse time at the pivot while rookie fourth-round pick OG Mason McCormick has primarily played guard in college and will be thrown into the fire should he be called into action at center. RG James Daniels has also started games at center, making him an option, but should Pittsburgh want a proven option that could step in, Cole could be a name they call upon should he be willing to sign for close to the veteran minimum.


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