RB Knile Davis, CB Coty Sensabaugh add competition at key spots for Steelers

Knile Davis has a chance to compete for the primary backup role behind Le'Veon Bell. AP Photo/Joe Robbins

PITTSBURGH -- After relative inactivity through the first 10 days of free agency, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed running back Knile Davis and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh on Monday.

Davis, who signed a one-year deal, has 805 career rushing yards after three-plus seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and spot duty last year with the Green Bay Packers. Sensabaugh, who signed a two-year deal, has 179 career tackles in five seasons, including 10 games as a nickel corner for the New York Giants last year.

Grade -- B: These signings aren't earth-shattering but are helpful and add competition. Davis might be most valuable on special teams, where he has averaged 26.8 yards per kickoff return on 73 career attempts. Sensabaugh is a physical nickel corner, a good midtier free-agency option. He turns 29 in November, giving the team flexibility if it eventually moves on from 32-year-old William Gay, who still carries locker room weight as a team captain but might not be a lock for 2017. But Sensabaugh is one free agency removed from a big-money deal with the Los Angeles Rams that went sour quickly. If there's untapped ability here, the Steelers plan to find it.

What it means: The Steelers get some semblance of depth behind Le'Veon Bell and a much-needed fourth cornerback. Rolling into the season with Gay, Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell and Al-Hajj Shabazz isn't quite enough, even if former second-round pick Senquez Golson returns from a two-year injury fog. This is just sensible business. Sensabaugh is the fallback plan after Davon House eschewed the Steelers' two-year offer and signed with the Green Bay Packers last week. They had to get somebody and weren't willing to spend big, letting the top cornerbacks fall off the market nearly two weeks ago. As for Davis, his signing doesn't preclude the Steelers' from re-signing DeAngelo Williams, a Mike Tomlin favorite. But Williams, 33, hasn't indicated whether he'll play in 2017, and there wasn't much traction for a re-sign early in free agency.

What’s the risk: Zero risk, which has been the team's free-agency formula the past two weeks. They won't spend unless forced to, such as when Ladarius Green replaced Heath Miller last year. The signing of Davis and Sensabaugh (and Justin Hunter last week) won't dent the Steelers' salary cap much, and these additions are largely about competition behind starters. Sensabaugh's deal carries the most weight because of its length. The chances of Sensabaugh, Golson and Gay making the 53-man roster together appear slim upon first glance.