The Steelers never thought about releasing wide receiver Martavis Bryant, even as he’s set to miss the 2016 as a result of a yearlong suspension, general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters, including Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune, at a press conference today. Bryant’s absence also won’t overly affect the club’s draft plans, per Colbert, who says Pittsburgh won’t feel the need to draft a replacement pass-catcher.
Let’s dive into the other highlights from Colbert’s presser…
- The Steelers would not have pursued free agent tight Ladarius Green had Heath Miller not retired, according to Colbert, and Kaboly adds (via Twitter) that the team targeted offensive free agents because of the deep defensive draft class. Pittsburgh will “hammer” the defensive side of the ball in the draft, per Colbert.
- Cornerback, specifically, is one area that the Steelers could address through the draft. “We can’t say we’ll take a cornerback first, second or third,” Colbert said, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But there are enough that we should be able to get one.” Pittsburgh will visit with Houston’s William Jackson III this week, tweets Dulac.
- One reason the Steelers will target corners is the underwhelming play of Cortez Allen, who is presumably on the roster bubble — Colbert says the club is still trying to ascertain where Allen is health-wise, per Dulac (Twitter link). Head coach Mike Tomlin said last month that he’s not convinced Allen is an impact player.
- Free agent signee Ryan Harris will battle with incumbent Alejandro Villanueva to act as the Steelers’ starting left tackle, writes Kaboly.
- The Steelers might not be done in free agency, and could still add another player via the open market, per Kaboly.