What he could get in return
What also makes this deal intriguing is Williamson’s returnability for the Steelers. This is a two-way street, as he could play well enough to earn a big enough contract to gain the Steelers a comp pick in 2022 or he could come back cheaply enough that he is still on the roster next year. Looking at the first option, if Williamson balls out and looks like a dynamic player with the Steelers, he may walk as a free agent next year, but earn a big enough of a contract to gain a future draft pick.
That alone would likely wash away the draft compensation the Steelers gave up for him, essentially making this a free trade. As well, if Williamson is here to serve more as depth, he could be a cheap resign option going into next year. Considering the Steelers have a decent sized cap hit from fellow linebacker Vince Williams, the Steelers may offer a similar-sized contract to both and keep the one that decides to take it.
For example, if the Steelers cut Williams but turnaround and offer both him and Williamson a one-year veteran minimum contract or even a cheap two-year deal for around that number, they could keep at least one of them. This would mean the Steelers linebacker depth chart would be Bush, Spillane, and Williams/Williamson. That is a strong trio of players who would likely keep this defense at the elite level it is currently playing at.