According to radio host Andrew Fillipponi on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have their eyes on two pending Bucs free agents. Cornerback Carlton Davis and safety Jordan Whitehead will both be on Pittsburgh’s radar next week, per Fillipponi. The Bucs have yet to give any of their key secondary pieces a second contract. Both Davis and Whitehead should be high on Tampa Bay’s free agency priority list next week.
In his report, Fillipponi writes that the Steelers will make a “serious offer” to Davis. We already know the Bucs were not going to use the franchise tag on Davis, even if Chris Godwin had been re-signed already. That likely means Tampa Bay considers Davis’ market at less than $17 million per year. That’s what the stud cornerback would have received on the tag.
Pittsburgh rarely makes major splashes in free agency, but they need cornerbacks desperately, and have far more cap space than they typically do. Davis’ scheme versatility and press man ability would be a perfect fit in the Steelers defense. However, the Bucs will compete to re-sign Davis. The price tag will be the main issue. If Davis commands north of $17 million per year, Tampa Bay will likely let him move on.
As for Whitehead, I said on the Pewter Report Podcast months ago that the Steelers would target him in free agency. Pittsburgh is likely to let Terrell Edmunds leave, and Whitehead could be a prime candidate to replace him. The Bucs strong safety grew up outside of Pittsburgh, and has family ties to Mike Tomlin. He’s the exact mold of safety the Steelers would like to pair with Minkah Fitzpatrick. But, with a massive pay day looming for Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh may not want to commit significant money to two safeties.