4 free agent OLB’s Steelers should sign to replace T.J. Watt

Trent Murphy #93 of the Buffalo Bills. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Trent Murphy #93 of the Buffalo Bills. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Trent Murphy #93 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Steelers should sign Murphy

On the flip side of things, if the Steelers wanted to keep Charlton as mostly the backup and find a defender that can play in any situation, Trent Murphy is the best name available. The former Bill and Washington defender is a big-bodied edge rusher that can hold his own against the run and use his power to generate pressure. He is the most complete edge presence still available on the market.

While he is a little bit older, he still showed last year that he can be effective even with a lighter workload. He only started nine games and played roughly fifty percent of the defensive snaps, but he still registered a pair of sacks despite playing injured through most of the season. Again, he isn’t a sack artist, but Murphy can still be effective in a defensive role moving forward.

The best part about Murphy is that he can essentially serve as a traditional starter. While he won’t be playing the number of snaps that a Watt or Highsmith would be, he can still be on the field on any occasion. This keeps Charlton as the rotational option and emergency depth if another injury were to occur. Murphy makes the most sense given what the Steelers need out of their edge group moving forward.

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The Steelers suffered a major blow by losing Watt this past week, and while he shouldn’t end up on the injured reserve, the team will still need to find a way to replace him. Adding a capable veteran makes the most sense at this point. These four edge rushers would all be good fits to help ease the loss of Watt.