With free agency set to begin March 1 here’s a quick look at some players the Steelers could be looking at.
Don't expect the Steelers to go wild, particularly since many of the top players have received the franchise tag this year. But Pittsburgh could look at filling some depth at certain positions, particularly on the defensive line, linebacker and running back.
The only place where the Steelers might be willing to pay starter's money is on the offensive line.
Melwelde Moore, Minnesota - a deceptively tough inside runner with good pass-catching skills who also returns punts and kicks.
Musa Smith, Baltimore - a very strong runner who could replace Najeh Davenport as Willie Parker’s backup.
Maurice Hicks, San Francisco - a bigger back who could back up Parker and has also returned kickoffs in his career.
Andre Davis, Houston - an outstanding return man who blossomed as a receiver in Houston.
Antonio Chatman, Cincinnati - has had a couple of injury-plagued seasons, but could solve the Steelers’ return problems.
Jake Scott, Indianapolis - the Colts’ starting right guard could be the perfect replacement for Alan Faneca.
Justin Smiley, San Francisco - suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery in 2007, but should be OK for 2008. Some feel Smiley could play center.
Jason Fabini, Washington - Fabini started at guard for Washington in 2007, but has spent the majority of his career at right tackle. That kind of versatility could be what the Steelers are looking for.
Tommy Kelly, Oakland - is coming off a torn ACL, but like Smiley, should be OK for the start of training camp. Is a solid run defender who could be tired of the losing in Oakland.
Bobby Hamilton, Cleveland - Hamilton has bounced around a little in recent years, but he’s got plenty of 3-4 experience and could slide into a backup role for the Steelers getting a handful of snaps per game.
Chaun Thompson, Cleveland - Thompson has played inside and outside in Cleveland’s 3-4 and is a solid special teams player.
Donotarrious Thomas, Minnesota - started some games in 2006 when Mike Tomlin was the team’s defensive coordinator. Has been Minnesota’s best special teams player since entering the league four years ago.
Rocky Boiman, Indianapolis - the Steelers showed an interest last season, but he re-signed with Indianapolis for a season. But Boiman could play inside or outside for Pittsburgh and is an excellent special teams player.
B.J. Sams, Baltimore - the Steelers wouldn’t be bringing Sams in as a cornerback, but as a return man, where he’s still electrifying despite some injuries.
Jim Leonhard, Buffalo - a special teams ace who ended up starting at free safety this season because of some injuries.