Pittsburgh Steelers: Lawrence Timmons provides the perfect waiting time for Ryan Shazier


The future of Ryan Shazier will remain the biggest question mark for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and how to handle the waiting period may be bringing someone back.

2017 was not a memorable year for Lawrence Timmons. The former Steeler headed to Miami with high hopes, and a lot of money, but seemingly turned his tenure into a year he’d like to forget.

It didn’t take long for Timmons’ breakdown the day before the Dolphins’ opening game to circulate through the NFL. Why or how it all happened never seemed to reach the surface, but everyone is aware Timmons left Miami facilities 24 hours before his first game as a Dolphin in some sort of breakdown.

It didn’t falter Timmons’ season, though. The long-time Steeler accumulated 84 tackles in 14 games and showed he’s still a dominant force inside. Despite becoming an impact player for Miami, the Dolphins aren’t likely to bring Timmons back for another season.

So, while Timmons explores his options in free agency, the Pittsburgh Steelers begin to fill their voids left with the 2017 season. With Ryan Shazier’s future nothing more than a waiting game filled with uncertainty, the Steelers need to approach the future of the position carefully.

How long the wait for Shazier is going to be is still unknown. Right now, everyone is hoping the Pro Bowl linebacker can simply walk on his own again, but according to Shazier, his hopes are once again proving he’s the best linebacker in the NFL.

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Maybe that’s optimistic, but for now, Pittsburgh should believe what Shazier is saying. If he plans to return to the game, one would imagine he’s not going to do so unless he’s capable of being a playmaker once again.

How long that timetable for a return is isn’t even a thought, yet. Shazier has a long way to go and it’s likely a few years before he’s able of directing a defense once again. If Pittsburgh is looking to fill his shoes, just for the time being, with a veteran signing, they might have found the perfect candidate in an old friend.

Timmons would provide quality play on the inside, likely for the remainder of his career. The 31-year-old is looking at maybe two or three more years before calling it a career, and is continuing to prove he’s reliable as a starter.

Vince Williams is “the guy” in the middle from here on out, which means the Steelers only need to add someone to support him. Not an L.T. Fort or Sean Spence, but a true run stuffer behind Javon Hargrave that can be just as reliable as him.

After his 2017 opening disaster, the Steelers might be the only team he’d truly consider returning to without being handed a bunch of money. If that’s the case, he’d be the perfect gap tp bridge the time between 2018 and a possible Ryan Shazier return date.

Of course, Shazier may never be able to step on a field again. If that’s the case, the Steelers would be forced to either sign another veteran or draft someone after Timmons’ time is done. But for the time being, it’d solve a major issue this defense faces.

Instead of blowing a boat load of money on a younger vet, Pittsburgh could easily utilize Timmons’ return for the remainder of his career. Then, once No. 94 decided his career is over, they can move forward with the next move.

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For now, though, the return of the beloved inside linebacker would provide the perfect timetable to wait on the future of Shazier.