The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to need linebacker help next season, and Tremaine Edmunds would be a perfect fit for several reasons.
We know full well how much the Pittsburgh Steelers adore strong family bloodlines and brother pairings. In 2021, this franchise broke a record by being the only team in NFL history with three different sets of brothers on the team at the same time. Now I want to make a hard case for Tremaine Edmunds, but the reason the Steelers should go after him stretches far beyond his family connections.
Obviously, Tremaine is the brother of Steelers starting strong safety and former first-round pick, Terrell Edmunds. In 2018, these two made history by becoming the first-ever set of brothers to be drafted in the first round in the same year. Tremaine is a starting linebacker for the Buffalo Bills, but that could change during the 2023 offseason.
Tremaine is currently playing the fifth-year option but is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the season. Though the Steelers have already made heavy investments on the defensive side of the ball over the past few years, this is a player who is really worth pursuing during the 2023 free-agency period.
Steelers should go after Tremaine Edmunds in 2023
Let’s start with the linebacker currently on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Devin Bush will be an unrestricted free agent, and with the criticism, he has received and the lackluster play we have witnessed for much of his early career, he could be looking for a fresh start. It also stands to reason that other teams out there might be much more willing to gamble with him on a sizable contract. I would not expect him to return.
Currently, Myles Jack is under contract for the 2023 season. However, Jack will be 28 years old next season and he has a cap number of $11.25 million next year. The Steelers can technically cut him to save $8 million — money they could put toward a younger, better linebacker.
Even if Omar Khan reworks Jack’s contract to stick around, Pittsburgh is still going to need another starting off-ball linebacker, and Edmunds certainly fits the bill. Currently, Edmunds has a top-10 coverage grade at the position, via Pro Football Focus, despite his 6′ 4 1/2”, 253-pound frame. He has also been excellent when used as a blitzer and pass-rusher, so his versatility would be a welcome trait.
Like his brother Terrell, Tremaine had a bit of a slow start to his NFL career, but he has really kicked things into gear recently. The best part about all of this is that — despite entering his 6th NFL season next year — Tremaine is still just 24 years old. At age 19, he was one of the youngest players to ever enter the NFL Draft back in 2018.
Admittedly, however, Edmunds won’t come cheap in free agency. Because of his age, size, athletic traits, former draft status, and current performance, we can probably expect him to become one of the most expensive linebackers in the league. Though the Steelers have already spent a lot on this side of the ball, Edmunds could give their defense a big boost and would allow them to avoid spending a top pick at the LB position next April.
It certainly seems like Tremaine Edmunds is going to have some excellent years with his best football ahead of him. He could be the long-term answer at the linebacker position this team has been searching for since Ryan Shazier. I would love for the Pittsburgh Steelers to go after him early in the 2023 free agency period — assuming he doesn’t receive a franchise tag by the Bills.