Proposed Dream Move Sends Steelers $80 Million Star Making ‘For the Ages’ Defense - Sport News

Proposed Dream Move Sends Steelers $80 Million Star Making ‘For the Ages’ Defense

The Pittsburgh Steelers already have more than 30 percentage of the team’s available cap space for the 2024 season dedicated to three defensive players. That makes it rather unlikely the Steelers sign a big-named free agent on defense.

Mike Tomlin Chris Jones

But when asked about the hypothetical where the Steelers do sign a defensive star, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac named Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones as the target.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise was a big fan of that suggestion.

“Obviously, Chris Jones would be a really good addition to the Steelers,” Zeise said on The Post-Gazette Sports YouTube channel. “Can you imagine if they had him and [T.J.] Watt and [Alex] Highsmith? I guess technically you’d probably still have Cam Heyward too.

“That would be a front-seven for the ages in many, many ways.”

Jones posted 10.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and 29 quarterback hits in 16 regular season games for the Chiefs during 2023. He earned first-team All-Pro nominations each of the past two seasons.

Jones was also a second-team All-Pro member in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

His 4-year, $80 million deal with the Chiefs is expiring. Jones will be an unrestricted free agent in March if Kansas City doesn’t place the franchise tag on him.

Steelers Landing DT Chris Jones is a Pipe Dream

There’s a reason The Post-Gazette’s YouTube channel’s host Adam Bittner labeled his segment with Zeise “dream Steelers free agents.” The likelihood Pittsburgh signs any of the players they suggested is very slim.

Dulac said as much when he floated Jones as a possibility for the Steelers.

“For starters, they are NEVER going to do that,” Dulac wrote in response to a question about the team going all in on one player in free agency. “But, because you want to play that game, I’d say the best bet is Chris Jones.”

Jones is a terrific player who, like Cameron Heyward has done during his career, continues to get better with age.

He posted back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks for the first time in his career during 2022 and 2023. That helped the Chiefs win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Jones is now going to get rewarded for that production. Spotrac projected him to be worth $85.4 million on a 3-year contract this offseason. That would pay Jones an average annual salary of $28.4 million.

The Steelers would need to do salary cap gymnastics to be able to fit Jones on the roster. Even then, signing him would then severely restrict what else they could do in free agency.

General manager Omar Khan isn’t likely to go all-in on one free agent in any scenario. But he could if the team was one defensive tackle away from seriously competing for the Super Bowl.

But that’s not the case for the Steelers. They have needs at quarterback, offensive tackle, linebacker and cornerback to address in the draft and free agency.

More Realistic Free Agent Targets for Steelers

Dulac didn’t elaborate why his pick of dream free agents for the Steelers was Jones. But Dulac has advocated the Steelers replenishing their defensive line with more talent and depth for the past year.

There’s still two months before the NFL draft. But early indications are that the 2024 class isn’t strong along the defensive line.

If that proves to be the case, the Steelers are likely to dip into free agency for defensive line depth. However, it will probably be for cheaper options than Jones or even Justin Madubuike, who the Steelers have also loosely been linked to this offseason.

How much Khan has to spend on the defensive line, though, could depend on what else the team plans to do in free agency.

The top priority for the Steelers in free agency is to sign a quarterback to compete with Kenny Pickett. Cornerback and offensive tackle are likely the next biggest needs.

That could mean the Steelers search the bargain bin a little later in free agency for defensive line depth.

Until then, though, one can dream about Jones coming to Pittsburgh.

Related Posts

Packers Meeting With First-Round Pass Rusher

The Green Bay Packers have some options with the 25th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and they’re even doing their homework on potential pass rushers like Marshawn Kneeland…

Packers’ $18 Million All-Pro Named One of ‘Worst’ Signings of Free Agency

The Green Bay Packers made some splashier signings this offseason than fans are accustomed to seeing, though one is catching some early criticism. Ryan Fowler of Bleacher Report on Monday,…

Packers Predicted to Land ‘No. 1 Cornerback’ with ‘Twitch and Explosiveness’

The Green Packers have built a young and exciting offense around emerging quarterback Jordan Love and now might aim to replicate that playbook on defense. General manager Brian Gutekunst and the Packers took a…

Packers Predicted to Land Home-Run Threat at Running Back

The Green Bay Packers may not be done shuffling their backfield, and former Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright could be an ideal fit for what they need in the…

Malachi Corley named the best Day 2 fit for Eagles in 2024 NFL Draft

NFL teаmѕ covet аthleteѕ who cаn turn potentіаl ѕmаll ɡаіnѕ іnto exploѕіve, ɡаme-chаnɡіnɡ yаrdѕ аfter the cаtch. The 2024 NFL drаft іѕ here, leѕѕ thаn two weekѕ…

Vikings ‘Most Underpaid Player’ Poised to Sign Monster Extension

The Mіnneѕotа Vіkіnɡѕ ɡot off theіr moѕt expenѕіve contrаct when Kіrk Couѕіnѕ left for the Atlаntа Fаlconѕ, leаvіnɡ hіѕ top tаrɡet Juѕtіn Jefferѕon аѕ the prіme cаndіdаte…