NFL rumors: Steelers missed out on major free agency target

The Pittsburgh Steelers were reportedly interested in a free agent who could be useful to quarterback Kenny Pickett, but they lost.

The Pittsburgh Steelers once again had a successful season under head coach Mike Tomlin. They’ve shown promise down the stretch, especially quarterback Kenny Pickett. This off-season, they were in a position to bolster their roster. They made one big move, bringing in Patrick Peterson from the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals and, it turns out, set their eyes on one of the best free agents available.

On Wednesday night, it was reported that former Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. signed a four-year, $64.1 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns’ agent, Michael Portner, said via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the Steelers were among the teams interested in an offensive tackle, along with the New York Jets.

Among the teams that have expressed interest in the Orlando Browns, per Michael Portner’s agent: The #Steelers and the #Jets. The Bengals put the deal over the top with solid long-term guarantees. TomPelissero first on the bargain.

– Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 16, 2023

NFL rumour: Steelers express interest, but lose out to Orlando Brown Jr.

This is sure to sway Steelers fans who have been clamoring for the team to improve their offensive line.

As Fowler points out, the Bengals were able to give the Browns solid guarantees in the long run. Specifically, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, a preloaded deal includes a $31 million signing bonus, the largest ever for an offensive lineman.

The Steelers made an addition to their offensive line early in free agency, signing former New York Jets guard Nate Herbig to a two-year, $8 million contract.

With the Browns officially off the board and landing on the rival Bengals to protect Burrow, fans have to wonder how they pivoted. Finding a player of Browns’ caliber at this juncture won’t be easy, considering Mike McClinchey and Joanne Taylor are also off the plate. Among the top offensive tackle options available in free agency are Isaiah Wynn, Donovan Smith and Taylor Lewan.

The Steelers can choose to find an offensive tackle in the NFL Draft. First-round choices include Northwestern’s Peter Skowronski, Tennessee’s Darnell Wright, Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. and Ohio State’s Broderick Jones.

Pittsburgh tried to take down the Browns to protect Pickett, but they lost to Cincinnati.

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