Steelers, Dynamic Safety Share ‘Mutual Interest’ in New Deal: Report

Mike Tomlin

Getty Mike Tomlin on the sideline.

The NFL Scouting Combine is heading into its final days, signaling one of the most exciting times in all sports: Free agency. The Pittsburgh Steelers‘ secondary is the unit with the most free agents, including starters Cam Sutton and Terrell Edmunds. While conversations have commenced on Sutton, there’s been no official word about Edmunds. Since there’s more at stake, their processes could take longer.

Heavy on Steelers is hearing that talks with safety Damontae Kazee are also underway. Heavy’s NFL Insider Matt Lombardo was the first to report that the two parties have a mutual interest in getting a new deal done. Free agency kicks off with the start of the new NFL league year on March 15.

Per Sources, there is mutual interest between the Steelers and free agent safety Damontae Kazee in reaching a new deal,” Lombardo tweeted. “Expect a strong market for the 29-year-old. Kazee is coming off a strong finish in 2022, intercepting 2 passes with 20 tackles in 9 games.”

As a second-year safety, Kazee led the NFL in interceptions with seven in 2018.

Damontae Kazee’s Career With Steelers Got Off to Rough Start

Though a veteran, much like rookie receiver Calvin Austin III, the Pittsburgh Steelers got a new toy they had to leave in the box. Kazee sustained a broken forearm in the team’s final preseason game on August 28 and was placed on injured reserve.

It was a tough blow for a team that worked all offseason on three-safety sets that would make their secondary more dynamic and tweak how they used Minkah Fitzpatrick.

After Kazee returned after the Steelers’ Week 9 bye, he showed what they’d been missing. In his first game back, he pulled down an interception versus the New Orleans Saints and had another on a critical third-quarter drive against the Cleveland Browns on January 8.

Damontae Kazee’s Career with Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys

Drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft, Damontae Kazee has had an up-and-down career. As a second-year safety, Kazee led the NFL in interceptions with seven in 2018 and three the following season. In his fourth and final year in Atlanta, Kazee suffered a torn Achilles tendon four weeks into 2020.

Before signing as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers in May 2022, he made a pitstop in Dallas, where he logged two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 52 total tackles.

In Other Steelers Secondary News: Cam Sutton, Terrell Edmunds, Rookies

What the Pittsburgh Steelers plan to do with their secondary is anybody’s guess. Cam Sutton, Terrell Edmunds, Damontae Kazee, Karl Joseph, Marcus Allen, James Pierre and Elijah Riley are all set to become free agents on March 15.

Steelers general manager Omar Khan spoke candidly about their thoughts on veteran cornerback Cam Sutton from the NFL Combine on February 28.

“We love and think very highly of Cam,” Khan said. “Conversations (on an extension) have commenced, and we will see where it goes. Just like all our other free agents, everything is on the table.”

But Pittsburgh could be preparing for life without Sutton. According to Pittsburgh Sports Now’s Nick Farabaugh, “the Steelers have met formally with a stupid amount of CBs,” at the bowl games and the NFL Combine.

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