Steelers free agency do-over #2: T.J. Edwards
The Steelers have completely revamped their off-ball linebacker room this offseason, which has seemed to be the trend for this defense as of late. This group has been below average for far too long, and the team made it clear that they wanted to try something new this season.
In total, four new faces that could make the roster and contribute were added to this team. Cole Holcomb highlights the list, while names like Elandon Roberts and Nick Kwiatkoski can step in and play next to him potentially. The only holdover is Mark Robinson, last year’s seventh-round draft pick.
That said, this group is still lackluster, and while Holcomb has flashed good plays at times, he isn’t an elite player by any means. Add in his injury history and there are quite a few question marks surrounding him and this room still.
What is maddening to me is that the linebacker market was deflated this offseason. Outside of Tremaine Edmunds, no one broke the bank. The second-best name on the market, T.J. Edwards, only inked a deal for 500 thousand dollars more a season. He is coming off a pair of great seasons and is a complete three-down linebacker.
It would be one thing if his deal was laced with guaranteed money, but it isn’t. For a player of his caliber, he signed an extremely team-friendly deal. He has become a fine coverage player and is a good run-stopper.
The fact that he barely got more money than Holcomb is astounding to me, and I wish the team would have attacked the linebacker market differently. From going after Edwards or the other names, like David Long, that signed even cheaper deals, the Steelers missed out on truly bettering this room.