Steelers need to hurry up and sign Terrell Edmunds already
By Tommy Jaggi
The Pittsburgh Steelers can’t enter the NFL Draft with a huge need at strong safety. Here’s why they need to get a deal done with Terrell Edmunds.
It’s possible that Terrell Edmunds got his feeling hurt when the Pittsburgh Steelers elected not to pick up his fifth-year option last season. Edmunds was coming off a bounce-back year and really stepped up his game. However, Mike Tomlin’s team was starving for funds in 2021 and it just wasn’t in the cards.
Edmunds elected to test the free-agent market this offseason, but with no such luck so far. After the safety market dried up early in the process, Edmunds is left without a suitor and the Steelers are left without a starting strong safety.
It’s time to let bygones be bygones and make amends. Could the Steelers find an upgrade over Edmunds eventually? Sure. But I don’t want Pittsburgh to head into the 2022 NFL Draft with a massive need at safety.
Signing Edmunds would give Steelers flexibility
I’m not down on Edmunds like some fans are. Entering his fifth NFL season, it’s probably pretty safe to say that he wasn’t worth the first-round pick that Pittsburgh spent on him back in 2018. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s a bad football player.
Though Edmunds doesn’t offer a lot of splash in the secondary (just 5 interceptions in 60 career starts) he has become a more consistent player over the years and has really cleaned up his tackling and pursuit angles.
While I wouldn’t want to overpay for Edmunds, I would love to have him back under contract prior to the 2022 NFL Draft. In years past, when the Steelers entered the draft with a major need, all reasoning seems to go out the window as they fixate on filling a hole. Pittsburgh did this in 2016 when they were desperate for a CB (they selected Artie Burns).
I don’t want the Steelers to be in a position where they overextend and reach for a safety early in the NFL Draft simply because they failed to fill this need in free agency.
Though I don’t necessarily think that Terrell Edmunds is the long-term answer at strong safety, there’s something to be said for continuity in the secondary. He and Minkah Fitzpatrick already have two full years of experience starting next to each other in Pittsburgh’s secondary, and this chemistry can go a long way (as we saw in the past with Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu).
At this point, I don’t know if the Steelers can afford to be patient enough to hold out for a chance at Tyrann Mathieu. To be honest, Edmunds might be the better long-term option anyway as the 25-year-old has a lot left in the tank. Either way, I wish Pittsburgh would get an extension worked out so that we don’t have to worry about them reaching on a safety in the 2022 NFL Draft.