Inside linebacker is on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ to-do list, and signing a divisional star would not only help their chances but hurt their biggest rival’s.
The Baltimore Ravens will concentrate on keeping their league-leading defense together, but not every piece of the puzzle will return. If the Pittsburgh Steelers can do anything about it, they’ll stop one Pro Bowler from heading back to Baltimore.
The Steelers have plenty of positions to address this offseason, but hunting for Mosley can certainly improve their roster.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are desperately in need of an inside linebacker to pair with seven-year veteran Vince Williams. As much as I want to see Ryan Shazier make a miraculous comeback, I don’t see that happening anytime soon, making the position a glaring need.
The Steelers currently hold the 20th overall selection in the upcoming NFL draft, but the talent at inside linebacker wears thin. Outside of LSU’s Devin White, I don’t see an inside linebacker worthy of a first-round grade. The team may be wise to upgrade via free-agency as an alternative. If this happens look for them to create cap space by letting RB Le’Veon Bell walk while using the remaining capital gained to target Baltimore Ravens four-time Pro Bowl ILB C.J. Mosley.
Crazy prediction, right? To think that a hated rival from Baltimore would join the Steel Curtain, but it could happen, especially if the price is right.
Mosley was almost selected by the Steelers back in 2014, as they were in the market for an inside linebacker. The team opted to select Shazier instead and Mosley would go to Baltimore two picks later.
But that was then, and now that Mosley is an unrestricted free-agent, it remains to be seen if the two sides will strike a long-term contract. If talks with Baltimore go sour, look for Mosley to hit the open market while demanding a king’s ransom.
As I stated earlier, the Steelers have a huge need at inside linebacker with the loss of Shazier. Mosley would instantly fill that void. A player with exceptional instincts, fast-twitch explosiveness, and a relentless sideline-to-sideline motor, Mosley would immediately ease the loss of Shazier while bringing in a leadership presence.
In five seasons in Baltimore, Mosley recorded 579 tackles, while registering at least 100 tackles in all but one season. Talk about a tough, physical, sure-tackler. A fundamentally sound football player who doubles up as a film-junkie, rarely will you see Mosley take false steps or bad angles to the ball carrier. Whether dropping back in coverage or shooting the gaps, Mosley is at the top of his game when it comes to making explosive plays at or near the line of scrimmage. A perfect scheme fit for DC Keith Butler.
But what’s Mosley’s asking price? Last year, Minnesota Vikings ILB Eric Kendricks earned himself a paycheck worthy of $50 million over the next five years including $25 million guaranteed, while Houston Texans’ Bednardrick McKinney also inked a five-year deal worth $50 million but with $21 million guaranteed.
Look for Mosley to set a new NFL record by landing the richest contract ever by a middle linebacker in terms of average annual salary. Carolina Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly currently holds those bragging rights, but I’m banking on Mosley cashing in on even a bigger payday. Look for the Alabama product to strike a deal similar to a five-year contract worth close to $65 million.
If the Steelers want to deliver a divisional blow while gaining Pro Bowl talent in the process, Mosley is the guy.