With the decision to move on from Lawrence Timmons, the Pittsburgh Steelers may be recruiting a new inside linebacker from the free agent market.
Daryl Washington isn’t your typical Pro Bowl linebacker. The 30-year-old inside linebacker only played three seasons in the NFL before missing the last three years due to a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Now, as he tries to make his way back into the NFL, Washington is hoping his level of play before the suspension will be enough to earn him a shot on a team. Considering he was one of the up and coming inside linebacker in 2012, some franchise may be debating the possibility of bringing in the former Arizona Cardinal.
One of those teams is the Pittsburgh Steelers. After parting ways with long time inside linebacker, Lawrence Timmons, the Steelers may be looking to add another star to the mix. Although Vince Williams has been filling the position all summer, he may not be the answer Pittsburgh is looking for.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, Steelers’ linebacker coach, Joey Porter, contacted Washington. As former teammates in Arizona, Porter may see something that other teams aren’t, which could lead to Washington joining Pittsburgh by the end of the summer.
It’s no secret that Pittsburgh’s downfall in 2016 was their defense. Outside of Ryan Shazier, the team didn’t have much firepower. After drafting T.J. Watt and with the hope of Bud Dupree finally breaking out, the Steelers may be considering adding another star inside linebacker to round out their core.
While a phone call isn’t necessarily the best means of predicting a free agent signing, it’s more than most teams out there. Washington has campaigned to join the Dallas Cowboys, and even they haven’t contacted.
As much as Steelers fans respect Williams, maybe the coaching staff isn’t entirely sold. Washington is one of the biggest names on the market, but won’t be looking for much money after the suspension.
This could be a bargain deal for Pittsburgh, who could just be looking to add Washington simply to bulk the linebacker core.
Either way, the considering of Washington isn’t a bad idea. He’s a dynamic player who has the potential to bring Pro Bowl talent for little cost. 2017 is the year Pittsburgh wants a Super Bowl. Maybe adding a troubled star is the final piece of the puzzle to get there.