Steelers GM Kevin Colbert works his magic with Terrell Edmunds signing

Terrell Edmunds #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Terrell Edmunds #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed Terrell Edmunds just days before the 2022 NFL Draft. Here’s why this was a brilliant move by GM, Kevin Colbert.

I’m a little bit frustrated with Kevin Colbert at the moment. I wasn’t a fan of how much information he was willing to give up during his pre-draft press conference, and he might as well have come right out and said that they are taking a quarterback in the first round.

Still, two decades into his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers, there are some things I love about Colbert. The Steelers general manager worked his free-agent magic again recently when he signed Terrell Edmunds for pennies on the dollar.

Colbert was criticized by many last offseason when the Steelers opted to forgo the fifth-year option for the former first-round pick. This was despite Edmunds coming off a bounce-back season from a disastrous 2019 campaign.

It turns out Colbert knew exactly what he was doing. If the Steelers would have picked up Edmunds’s option, it would have cost them $6.75 million in 2022, according to Over the Cap. Instead, Pittsburgh was able to re-sign him for just $2.5 million this season

This is a brilliant, low-risk move that no fan should oppose. While Edmunds may prove to be unspectacular in 2022, the Steelers are essentially paying him like a backup.

What this move does, however, is gives them an athletic, 25-year-old safety who already has 60 NFL starts under his belt. Edmunds is also coming off the best season of his NFL career in which he allowed just a 63.7 passer rating — top five among all qualifying safeties last year, according to advanced stats from Pro Football Reference.

In addition, Edmunds allowed an astonishingly low 7.5 yards per completion in his coverage last year and just 4.2 yards per target. In all, Edmunds was credited with allowing just 224 passing yards and 56.6 percent completion in 17 games last season.

Steelers signing Edmund offers draft flexibility

Perhaps the most enticing reason to re-sign Terrell Edmunds prior to the start of the 2022 NFL Draft was that it gives the Pittsburgh Steelers excellent flexibility when they are on the clock.

Before Edmunds was signed, NFL analysts were frequently mocking safeties to the Steelers somewhere in the first two rounds of the draft. While Pittsburgh could still opt for a safety early (as Edmunds is on just a one-year deal), they won’t be forced into making that decision out of necessity.

With special-teamer Miles Killebrew as the only option on the team to step into the starting strong safety role, the Steelers got a massive upgrade at the position from what they would have had with Edmunds’s return.

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I don’t believe that Terrell Edmunds was worth the first-round pick the Steelers spent to acquire him back in 2018, and I don’t foresee him making the Pro Bowl anytime soon. However, this was certainly a brilliant move by Kevin Colbert to bring him back for much less than he was expected to make.