The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to terms on a two-year, $8 million contract with former Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Nate Herbig, this according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
Per Garafolo, the deal includes $4 million in guaranteed money.
Shortly after NFL Network reported the signing, Herbig replied with a one-word tweet that simply read: “Thankful.”
As noted by Brooke Pryor of ESPN, Steelers assistant general manager Andy Weidl is familiar with Herbig from his time in Philadelphia. In fact, Herbig originally came into the NFL with the Eagles, signing as a rookie undrafted free agent in 2019 out of Stanford.
Herbig — who stands 6-foot-3 and 334 pounds — is best known for his size and tenacity. He played for the Eagles for three seasons (2019-21), during which time he started 17 of the 33 games in which he appeared. Last year, he started 11 games for the New York Jets, as per Pro Football Reference, having been claimed on waivers from the Eagles in May 2022.
‘Nasty Nate’ is the ‘Anti-Kendrick Green’?
The signing of Nate Herbig could be indicative of the Steelers going in a different direction in terms of offensive line talent.
Mike DeFabo, Steelers beat writer for The Athletic, recalls how the NFL.com scouting report for Herbig describes him as “built like a thick refrigerator with arms on it.” It also notes how he “flashes some nasty at the end of plays.”
On the other hand, Herbig isn’t going to win with speed and raw athleticism. In fact, he ran the slowest time at the 2019 combine, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.
That helps explain why Tommy Jaggi of FanSided called him the “anti-Kendrick Green,” making reference to Pittsburgh’s 3rd-round pick from 2021, who has more than ample speed to get out in space, but struggled with bull rushers when he started at center as a rookie.
According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Herbig played 707 snaps in 2022, while allowing one sack and committing four penalties.
He earned a 58.0 overall grade from PFF in 2022, with a 58.6 pass blocking grade and 55.7 run blocking grade. That’s down from the grades he received while a member of the Eagles. In 2021, he was given a 68.1 overall grade and on 2020 he earned a career high 71.2.
Herbig figures to push left guard Kevin Dotson for playing time, and could conceivably take over for Dotson in 2024, as the former 4th-round pick is entering the final season of his rookie contract.
LB Nick Herbig (Wisconsin) is Available in the 2023 Draft
Also, noteworthy is that Nate Herbig’s brother — a 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker from Wisconsin — is part of this year’s draft class. Considering Pittsburgh’s appreciation for NFL bloodlines, would anyone be surprised if the Steelers selected Nick Herbig in the draft?
For what it’s worth, PFF regards Nick Herbig as a potential “sleeper” pick.
“He boasts some of the best range and change-of-direction ability in the entire draft class but likely isn’t getting buzz at the moment because he was an on-ball linebacker for Wisconsin who will have to play off-ball in the NFL,” writes PFF’s Michael Renner.