The Pittsburgh Steelers have a desperate need at linebacker, and Tremaine Edmunds simply makes too much sense to ignore in free agency.
As Pittsburgh Steelers fans kicked up their feet for the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, many took notice of Buffalo Bills linebacker, Tremaine Edmunds. In his fifth season, Edmunds had a breakout year as he improved in his coverage ability and all-around play.
Recently, Edmunds has become a big topic for the Steelers media, and it’s not hard to see why. For the past several years, Pittsburgh has had a glaring need at the linebacker position, and Devin Bush came up well short of filling the void left by a career-ending injury to Ryan Shazier. Meanwhile, Edmunds is set to be a free agent in 2023.
The Bills linebacker was exceptional in 2023 — earning remarkable grades from Pro Football Focus and allowing just a 71.2 passer rating in coverage. With Buffalo recently signing LB Matt Milano to a $41.6 million contract extension, they may not be able to afford both players.
Because of this, Steelers fans are already banging the drum for Edmunds to come to Pittsburgh. While some are brushing this away as an impossibility, I wouldn’t be too sure about that. There’s plenty of reason to believe that the ‘Edmunds to Steelers’ buzz is real.
Steelers could realistically sign Tremaine Edmunds in 2023
It’s true that the Pittsburgh Steelers almost never make free-agent signings of this magnitude (which is the main reason some fans believe it won’t happen). However, it’s important to remember that Kevin Colbert is no longer the general manager as well. Omar Khan and Andy Weidl might have a very different way of looking at things.
Even if the new GMs are similar to Colbert in their free-agency approach, Edmunds still isn’t off the table. We know the lengths this team has gone to in order to fill big positions of need in the past, and none is bigger than the off-ball linebacker position in Pittsburgh. Nobody was noteworthy from this group in 2022, while Devin Bush and Robert Spillane are set to be unrestricted free agents. Bush will almost certainly sign elsewhere.
Though Pittsburgh doesn’t currently have a lot of salary cap space to work with, that could soon change. The Steelers do have a plethora of pending free agents this year, but Pittsburgh could save a ton of money by cutting players like Mitch Trubisky, Myles Jack, and William Jackson.
One thing that the Steelers value more than anything is strong family bloodlines. The Edmunds family has an impressive lineage when it comes to professional sports, and Mike Tomlin already had two of the Edmunds brothers on his team. Much like pairing Derek Watt with T.J. and Connor Heyward with Cameron, Tomlin could pursue Tremaine to be a staple to the middle of their defense.
Edmunds won’t come cheap, and it’s worth noting that Steelers safety, Terrell Edmunds, is currently an unrestricted free agent (though many expect him to be re-signed). However, don’t be surprised if this team makes an exception for a big free agent signing who fills a massive hole and is a player Mike Tomlin will love.