Terrell Edmunds has been better than anyone could have expected this year. Here’s why the Pittsburgh Steelers should offer him a contract extension now.
When the Pittsburgh Steelers spent the 28th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Terrell Edmunds, I was sick to my stomach. Though I liked his size, athletic traits, and potential, the Virginia Tech safety wasn’t NFL-ready and had some holes in his game that made him inconsistent as a college player. As a result, I had a third-round grade on him coming out.
Edmunds was asked to jump into a starting role from the gate, and it wasn’t always pretty. As a rookie, he showed some promise, but still had a long way to go. In his second season, Edmunds took a step in the wrong direction as he allowed 514 yards and 4 touchdowns in his coverage for a 131.6 passer rating, according to advanced stats from Pro Football Reference.
Quite frankly, we had every right to believe that the Steelers made a horrible mistake drafting him. Fortunately, the young safety would really start to turn things around in year three.
Because of the negative connotation surrounding him since being ‘over-drafted,’ Steelers fans have been very critical of Terrell Edmunds. Even this year, fans have taken to social media to share their thoughts on why they believe he’s a bad football player. I’m here to tell you that nothing has been further from the truth so far this year.
Steelers should give Edmunds a contract extension right away
At this point, the draft capital the Steelers used to acquire Edmunds doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that he’s playing the best football of his career and has taken steps forward each of the past three seasons.
Early in the 2022 season, Edmunds has been better than I thought he ever could be. While splash plays and takeaways are still few and far between, he has been remarkably well-rounded and consistent. Outside of a few rough plays in coverage against the Browns earlier this year (which was a bad defensive performance all around as a team), I would go as far as to say that Edmunds has been one of the best safeties in the league in 2022.
With no Minkah Fitzpatrick alongside him against the Buccaneers in Week 6 and without the aid of Pittsburgh’s top three cornerbacks, Edmunds was making plays all over the field and really stepped up to the plate as a leader of the team.
The former first-round pick has started 69 of a possible 71 games. Not only has he been remarkably durable, but there’s something to be said for continuity and chemistry in the safety position. Because o this, the Pittsburgh Steelers should break tradition and negotiate a contract extension in-season.
Obviously, with the way he has been playing, there isn’t a lot of incentive for Terrell Edmunds to do this. If the Steelers don’t franchise tag him, he will have the ability to test the market once again next year… and I can assure you that he will make more money than he did as a free agent in 2022.
Even though he is going to enter his 6th NFL season after this year, Edmunds is still just 25 years old and should have his best years ahead of him. He is really starting to become the total package as his instincts and awareness continue to improve. Because of these improvements, he has earned an overall grade of 79.2, via Pro Football Focus — good for 6th-best in the league. This puts him ahead of impressive players like Derwin James, Eddie Jackson, Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Simmons, Talanoa Hufanga, and even Minkah Fitzpatrick.
With already being a 98th percentile athlete, Edmunds is truly developing into the player the Steelers hoped they were getting when they took him in the first round of the draft back in 2018. They have been patient with him for this long, and he has really developed into a very good safety. I would hate for him to walk away after the season at this point.