As I did in my earlier Fanpost with Offensive players, I will list a couple intriguing Defensive players that are playing in the AFC and NFC Championship games and will be Free Agents in March.
Market Values are pulled from Spotrac, any stats come from Pro-Football-Reference, performance grades from PFF (I know, I know but until something better is available that's what I have).
I excluded any player over 30 or with a Market Value over 12mil per year as our defense does not need to get any older or any more expensive.
Starting with the Defensive Line we have 2 players hitting free agency.
Larry Ogunjobi 28yrs old, 79 starts including 16 last year, Market Value 2yrs/7mil, last 3 PFF grades are 61,50,53.
Chris Wormley is 29, played only around 40% of the snaps last year and just tore his ACL. His Market Value is listed as 2yrs/12mil. I don't see him being brought back due to everything I just typed.
Javon Hargrave has a Market Value of 3yrs/60mil, so No.
While I couldn't find a free agent this weekend worth looking at to bolster the DL, I do have a player who only has 1 year left on their contract and could be available via trade.
DT D.J. Reader could save Cincy 7 million on next years cap if they were to trade him. They may be looking for cap savings as they have HUGE upcoming contracts to Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and then Ja'Marr Chase after that.
Reader is 28; 82 starts, 10 last year; PFF 87,81,70; only 1 year left under contract at 11mil. With it only being 1 year left of salary control, he might be available for less than you would think.
An Edge depth upgrade could be had with SF's Samson Ebukam. 27yrs old; 61starts,15LY; PFF 69,67,57; MV 3yrs/23mil.
Cincy's Trey Hendrickson has 1 year left on his contract, but I suppose the Steelers would rather use their money to re-sign Highsmith than to trade for a player who is 3 years older and had 6 less sacks this year.
At LB the Steelers could lose Devin Bush and Robert Spillane.
Cincy LB Germaine Pratt is 26; 54starts, 15LY; PFF 80,47/41; MV 4yrs/29mil. I'm not sure what the gigantic leap in his PFF score is due to, but he is worth at least watching.
Safety has a few players available. The Steelers have Terrell Edmunds and Demontae Kazee as possible free agent losses.
Jimmie Ward of SF is 31, so NO.
CJ Gardner-Johnson of the Eagles has a MV of 5yrs/70mil, so No.
Vonn Bell is 28; 93strats, 16LY; PFF 66,74,71; MV 3yrs/30mil.
Jessie Bates is 25; 79starts,16LY; PFF 77,56,90 MV 4yrs/42mil.
Edmunds is 25; 75starts,15LY, PFF 69,60,71; MV 2yrs/11mil.
Kazee is 29; 53starts,4LY; PFF 81,61,65; no MV is listed but played last year for 1yr/1.18mil.
At Cornerback we could potentially lose Cam Sutton.
James Bradberry has a Market Value of 3yrd/51mil, so No.
Emmanuel Mosely has a MV of 4yrs/66mil, so NO.
Eli Apple is 27; 78starts,15LY; PFF 53,61,55;no MV listed but played this year for 1yr/1.2mil.
Sutton is 27; 39starts,15LY; PFF 72,62,69; MV 3yrs/23mil.
Reader, Ebukam, and Pratt intrigue me the most while I would expect the Steelers to re-sign Ogunjobi, Spillane, Edmunds, Kazee and Sutton if the players in this post were the only options.
If these players were your only options, what would you do?