The Pittsburgh Steelers players might well be taking it easy over the next few weeks but the same can’t be said for the franchise’s decision makers. With their draft class now dealt with, the Steelers will be focusing on their free agents. Currently looking at a sizeable list of players preparing to hit the open market, including a number of marquee names, decisions will need to be taken as to who to keep and who to let enter the free agency.
Both David DeCastro and Le’Veon Bell have proven how important they are to this team and their hopes of challenging for the Super Bowl over the next couple – and the duo are potentially two of the biggest names that could end up leaving Pittsburgh this summer. As well as the in-demand duo, the franchise will also need to decide on the futures of some younger players, all of which are also preparing to enter the free agency.
It’s a similar story to last year for the Steelers, and we could be looking at a similar outcome. In 2015, the franchise made it clear who they were keen on keeping and started negotiations relatively early. While general manager Kevin Colbert managed to agree a new six-year contract with defensive end Cam Heyward worth $59.5 million, left tackle Kelvin Beachum failed to come to terms on a new deal and entered the free agency before signing for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While both Bell and DeCastro are important to the team’s hopes in 2016, it will most likely be the guard will be the main focus of the Steelers in terms of signing their free agents over the next few months. For those heading to the likes of bonus.ca to find the best free bets, Pittsburgh hanging onto their best players will be crucial to whether or not punters feel the Steelers will be able to challenge for the Super Bowl next season.
DeCastro’s impressive form in 2015 was highlighted by his All-Pro status last season, and the guard will be looking at how much other players in his position have been awarded, including Kelechi Osemele’s five-year $58.5 million contract. There isn’t a team in the NFL that wouldn’t want DeCastro in their offensive line, and the 26-year-old is in a strong position in terms of negotiating power this summer with general managers across the country carefully monitoring the situation waiting to pounce.
That’s isn’t quite the case for Bell, who will himself be searching for top running back money. Coming off a knee injury that kept him out of action for much of last season, the Steelers may bide their time before showing their hand to the 24-year-old. Elsewhere on this roster, youngsters Markus Wheaton and Jarvis Jones are waiting to see whether or not they will be offered fresh terms. Both are coming off the back of solid seasons but could still find themselves used in trades as the Steelers look to strengthen other areas of this roster.
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