The Steelers locked up two of their defensive backs just before the start of free agency. A day after re-signing backup strong safety Miles Killebrew to a two-year deal, Pittsburgh signed backup cornerback Arthur Maulet to a two-year deal, via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Pittsburgh signed both players last offseason. A five-year veteran, Maulet broke into the NFL with the Saints before spending less than half of a season in Indianapolis and two seasons with the Jets. During his first year with the Steelers, Maulet recorded a career-high 47 tackles while also recording his first career fumble. He also started two games for the Steelers, who finished ninth in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Maulet was also a staple on Pittsburgh’s special teams units.
The Steelers are expected to have roughly $30 million in cap space (a number that could go up in the coming days) at the start of free agency. The Steelers may use free agency to strengthen their offensive and defensive lines, receiver and secondary. Pittsburgh may choose to re-sign several other free agents that could include fellow defensive backs Terrell Edmunds, Ahkello Witherspoon and Joe Haden.
Pittsburgh is also in the market for a quarterback who can compete with Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins to be next year’s starting quarterback. The Steelers will also acquire a veteran quarterback in free agency or during next month’s draft. Pittsburgh, who was bounced out of the playoffs in the wild card round following a 9-7-1 regular season, own the 20th overall pick in the draft.