Broncos Terminate Ex-Steelers Linebacker: ‘A Short Stay in Denver’

Joe Schobert Steelers

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images Joe Schobert of the Pittsburgh Steelers tackles Kalif Raymond of the Detroit Lions on November 14, 2021.

On Tuesday the Denver Broncos terminated the contract of former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joe Schobert a little more than a week after signing him. “A short stay in Denver,” quipped Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus in the wake of the news, which was first reported by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network and subsequently confirmed on the team’s official website.

2 Years Ago Joe Schobert Was a Prized UFA

It’s a little strange that the former Pro Bowler has had trouble sticking with a new team. Two years ago Schobert received a $53.75 million contract from the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, yet he lasted just one year with the Jags before being traded to the Steelers on August 21, 2021, in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick.

As expected, he started at inside linebacker for the Steelers in 2021, but Pittsburgh released him on March 17, which was no surprise, as his contract called for a salary of $8.75 million for 2022. And though he’s five seasons removed from the Pro Bowl season he authored in 2018 while a member of the Cleveland Browns, he was responsible for 112 total tackles (70 solo) in 2021, along with six passes defensed, an interception and a forced fumble, as per Pro Football Reference.

Yet NFL teams expressed relatively little interest in his services though much of the past offseason, though the New Orleans Saints had him in for a visit in mid-June. But it was only after he worked out for the Broncos in late July that he was offered a contract, with the opportunity coming open after an injury to Jonas Griffith (dislocated elbow).

If Schobert is unable to catch on with a new team he will have authored a solid NFL career. He has played for three teams since being a fourth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 Draft (No. 99 overall). Over the course of 93 regular-season games he has made a total of 80 starts and been responsible for 661 tackles (406 solo), including 23 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 26 quarterback hits, 10 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

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Titans Waive-Injured CB Shakur Brown

Of course, Schobert isn’t the only ex-Steeler to have been cut in recent hours and days. On Monday the Tennessee Titans waived cornerback Shakur Brown injured. Brown signed with the Steelers as a rookie undrafted free agent in May 2021, having been seen as a possible successor to former slot corner Mike Hilton, who had signed a four-year contract with the Bengals. But he failed to make the team out of training camp and has yet to play in a regular-season game, though he did spend much of the 2021 season on the practice squads of the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs.

Then on Tuesday the Falcons released cornerback Lafayette Pitts, who spent time with the Steelers in 2021.

Finally, Tampa Bay Buccaneers jettisoned former Steelers cornerback Ross Cockrell on August 16 as part of its first round of roster cuts. Cockrell, who played for the Steelers in 2015-16 won a Super Bowl with the 2020 Buccaneers.

Last but not least, there’s former Steelers cornerback Breon Borders was released by the Arizona Cardinals last week. Borders spent time with the Steelers in 2020; he has played in 31 career regular-season games, mostly with Tennessee and Jacksonville.

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