The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a very busy offseason under new general manager Omar Khan, but the brain trust isn’t finished remaking the roster. With that in mind, Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently predicted that the Steelers will sign linebacker Kyle Van Noy to provide veteran depth behind starting outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.
“The Steelers are set with their starters at edge and made a shrewd draft selection in Wisconsin’s Nick Herbig, who profiles as a similar player to Van Noy. Still, Van Noy could be a nice rotational piece for the Steelers, as he also has the flexibility to play some off-ball linebacker — which isn’t a super deep position group for Pittsburgh,” writes PFF’s Brad Spielberger.
Kyle Van Noy Won Super Bowls LI and LIII With the Patriots
The 10-year veteran — who was a 2nd-round pick of the Lions in 2014 out of BYU (No. 40 overall) — spent the first three years of his career in Detroit. He went on to toil for the Patriots for four years before joining the Miami Dolphins in 2020 and then returning to New England in 2021.
Last year Van Noy played for the Los Angeles Chargers, recording 46 tackles (30 solo) and five sacks, not to mention three passes defensed, one forced fumble and a pair of fumble recoveries. That made him a cost-effective add for the Chargers, who paid him a $1.5 million salary last year, with a $2.25 million cap hit, as per overthecap.com.
That helps explain why one Los Angeles fan has urged the Chargers to re-sign Van Noy for another year, a pitch that did not go unnoticed by the 10-year veteran.
For what it’s worth, Van Noy has appeared in at least 13 games every season since 2017. To date he has played in 128 regular-season games and has been credited with 470 tackles (318 solo), according to ESPN. He has also recorded 33.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, 9 fumble recoveries, 29 passes defensed and three interceptions. He even offers a certain amount of position flexibility, which could be attractive to the Steelers.
“The savvy veteran has played both as a true off-ball linebacker and more near the line of scrimmage rushing the passer in the past two seasons, offering a unique and valuable skill set to potentially interested teams while earning grades above 60.0 in every facet in 2022,” concludes Spielberger, who also includes former Steelers linebacker Melvin Ingram III among PFF’s top remaining free agents.
PFF has its 2nd-best available free agent — cornerback Rock Ya-Sin — as a good fit for the Baltimore Ravens.
Former Steelers OLB Jamir Jones Was Released in April
If the Steelers do sign Van Noy he would effectively take the spot occupied by Jamir Jones, who appeared in all 17 games last season in a reserve role. Jones who was released on April 12, 2023, in the wake of an off-the-field incident.
Meanwhile, it’s also very possible that the Steelers will sign one or two of the players who have been invited to try out at the team’s upcoming rookie minicamp. Former Clemson and Northwestern quarterback Hunter Johnson is one of the tryout invitees who is expected to attend.