Colts Sign Former Steelers Second-Round Pick


Justin Berl/Getty Images D.K. Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks runs upfield after a catch as Sean Davis #21 of the Pittsburgh Steelers defends during a game in 2019.

Yesterday a report emerged that the Pittsburgh Steelers were planning a visit with former Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns safety Karl Joseph. Now we know why.

That is, the Steelers had already definitively moved on from former second-round pick Sean Davis, who, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is signing a one-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts. The news came just hours after Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Davis, 27, would be visiting with the Colts on Thursday.

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Sean Davis’ Five-Year Career with the Steelers

Sean Davis was a 2016 second-round draft pick of the Steelers out of the University of Maryland, a school that remains well-represented on Pittsburgh’s roster, as safety Antoine Brooks Jr. and running backs Anthony McFarland Jr. and Trey Edmunds were all Terrapins.

Davis’ Steelers career looked promising early on as he started nine games during his rookie year and recorded 69 tackles, good enough for him to win the Joe Greene Great Performance Award, given annually to the team’s top rookie.

Davis went on to start a total of 31 games in 2017/18, but the Steelers moved on from him after he injured his shoulder during the second game of the 2019 season, trading a first-round pick for Miami Dolphins free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick a day later.

Then in March 2020 he inked a one-year, $5 million contract with Washington in free agency, but he failed to make the team. That allowed the Steelers to bring him back for the 2020 season, serving as a backup and special teams contributor.

All told, Davis appeared in 64 games (42 starts) with the Steelers, responsible for 259 tackles (201 solo), along with five interceptions, 11 tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

No One Remains from Pittsburgh’s 2016 Draft Class

But with Davis out the door (again), Pittsburgh no longer employs anyone from its 2016 draft class. That year’s first-round pick, cornerback Artie Burns, is back with Chicago, having recently re-signed with the Bears after missing all of last season with a torn ACL, which he suffered during training camp.

Meanwhile, 2016 third-round draft choice Javon Hargrave is in the midst of a three-year, $39 million contract that he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles last year.

As for 2016 fourth-round selection Jerald Hawkins, he remains an unrestricted free agent. Early last season the Steelers signed him off the practice squad of the Houston Texans after Pittsburgh found itself in desperate need of depth at offensive tackle. Yet he probably isn’t in the team’s plans going forward, considering that he was previously traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with a 2021 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick.

Last but not least, linebacker Tyler Matakevich (seventh round) recently signed a two-year contract extension that figures to keep him with the Buffalo Bills through the 2022 season.

Pittsburgh’s other two 2016 draft picks, outside linebacker Travis Feeney (round six) and wide receiver Demarcus Ayers (round seven) are long since out of the league.

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