The Steelers still have a roster capable of making the playoffs this season, but these three offseason mistakes could really haunt Pittsburgh.
The success or failure of Kenny Pickett is going to ultimately define this offseason for the Steelers. That doesn’t mean Pittsburgh didn’t do a lot more roster work. Quietly, Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh brain trust did a lot of heavy lifting.
The team still wants to be a meaningful playoff contender in 2023, but it’s hard to see a path to Super Bowl contention unless Pickett wildly exceeds expectations. The offense was very limited under an aging Ben Roethlisberger last year. The hope is that by loosening things up Pittsburgh can score more points.
That’s why the offense was a major focus of the draft and free agency. All three of the team’s worst offseason moves occurred on that side of the ball.
3. Letting Trai Turner walk
Turner wasn’t a star offensive guard by any stretch of the imagination, but he was a solid starter for the Steelers last year. The one-year, $3 million deal he signed with Washington as a free agent would have been a bargain for Pittsburgh.
The Steelers front office let Turner walk in an effort to get younger and more dynamic up front. That sounds good in theory but Turner’s price tag should have seen him stay in Pittsburgh as a starter. At the very last, $3 million or a backup with his experience would have been a tremendous asset for Tomlin and his offensive coaching staff. The team shouldn’t have committed long-term money to Turner, but they will regret letting a solid player leave for such a modest price.