One of the Steelers most immediate needs this off-season is at free safety. Ryan Clark, 34, is a free agent and the Steelers are expected to let him test the waters. Clark who is washed up and has a TV career waiting for him, is considered a less than 50-50 bet to return. Will Allen who played well in a depth role last season, is also a free agent.
The Steelers drafted Shamarko Thomas in the 4th round of the 2013 draft but the coaches view Thomas as a strong safety and the potential heir apparent to Troy Polamalu.
Free Safety is an area where the Steelers could go very high in the draft with mid first round prospects Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama, and Calvin Pryor, Louisville, potentially garnering interest.
If Jarvis Jones doesn’t pan out, three to four years from now the Steelers could be second guessing themselves on passing up free safety Eric Reid in the 1st round of 2013 draft. Reid had a strong rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers, collecting 77 tackles, 4 interceptions and made the pro bowl.
Free Safety is not only a spot the Steelers could go high in the draft but it’s maybe the one position the Steelers go out and sign a free agent starter at.
The team is looking at Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas who is in for a visit today. The 26 year old safety was released by the Lions last Thursday due to cap reasons. Delmas, the Lions 2009 2nd round pick, started all 16 games and had 64 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 sacks in 2012. He signed a two year, $9.5 million contract last season and is known as a big hitter.
Delmas would be an upgrade over Clark but has constant knee problems.