Dwight Freeney rumors: Steelers among interested teams

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in free agent Dwight Freeney, as they search to improve a lagging pass rush.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a quiet offseason thus far, but they do remain interested in one big-name player: defensive end/linebacker Dwight Freeney. According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers remain one of two teams interested in acquiring the services of Freeney, along with the Denver Broncos.

Until recently, Elvis Dumervil was the top pass rusher on the open market, but he signed with the Baltimore Ravens. This means that Freeney is now the top guy to get after quarterbacks, and it's easy to see why both the Broncos and Steelers are in on his services. Denver is the team that lost out on the Dumervil signing, so it may be exceptionally desperate. It is also targeting John Abraham.

Freeney has struggled recently, being unable to adapt to the 3-4 defense the Indianapolis Colts switched to last season. That said, the Steelers' pass rush has been getting worse and worse as James Harrison, who is now a free agent, ages. Freeney doesn't have the size to be a 3-4 end and doesn't fit the mold of a run-stopper that the Steelers like up front.

That said, he would contribute positively to the pass rush. It's more likely that the Steelers would sign him and utilize him with more nickel pass rush scenarios, limiting Freeney's actual time as a standing outside linebacker. It would be a good way to get him after quarterbacks while still preserving him, at 33 years old, to keep him fresh for the entirety of a season.

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