Steelers missed out on major free agency target

The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly were interested in a free agent that could have been beneficial to quarterback Kenny Pickett, but they lost out.

The Pittsburgh Steelers once again had a winning season under head coach Mike Tomlin. They showed promise down the stretch, especially quarterback Kenny Pickett. This offseason, they were in a position to bolster their roster. They did make one big move, bringing in former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson As it turns out, they also had their eyes set on one of the top free agents available.

On Wednesday night, it was reported that former Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. signed a four-year, $64.1 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown’s agent, Michael Portner, said via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the Steelers were among the teams interested in the offensive tackle, along with the New York Jets.

NFL rumors: Steelers express interest in, but lose out on Orlando Brown Jr.

That certainly has to sting for the Steelers fans who have been clamoring for the team to improve the offensive line.

As Fowler points out, the Bengals were able to give Brown strong guarantees long-term. Specifically, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, a front-loaded deal that includes a $31 million signing bonus, which is largest ever for an offensive lineman.

The Steelers did make an addition to their offensive line early on in free agency, signing former New York Jets guard Nate Herbig to a two-year, $8 million contract.

With Brown officially off the board and landing on the division rival Bengals to protect Burrow, fans have to be wondering how they pivot. Finding a player of Brown’s caliber at this juncture will not be easy, considering Mike McGlinchey and Jawaan Taylor are off the board as well. Among the top offensive tackle options available in free agency are Isaiah Wynn, Donovan Smith, and Taylor Lewan.

The Steelers could opt to find an offensive tackle in the NFL Draft. Options in the first-round include Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, Tennessee’s Darnell Wright, Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr., and Georgia’s Broderick Jones.

Pittsburgh tried to land Brown to protect Pickett, but they lost out to Cincinnati.

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