The Pittsburgh Steelers apparently have a thing for former Philadelphia Eagles offensive linemen.
The Score’s Jordan Schultz reported on March 24 that the Steelers are signing backup offensive tackle Le’Raven Clark.
The financial details of Clark’s deal have yet to be disclosed. He had a base salary of $1.04 million in 2022.
Last season, Clark played for the Tennessee Titans, and the Indianapolis Colts drafted Clark in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. But Clark also played for the Eagles during the 2021 season.
Clark is the third former Philadelphia offensive lineman the Steelers have signed in free agency this year.
How Le’Raven Clark Fits With the Steelers
The Steelers were much improved along the offensive line during the 2022 season, but a large part of why was the lack of injuries.
All five of Pittsburgh’s starters on the offensive line played at least 96% of the team’s offensive snaps last season. Three of those starters — guards Kevin Dotson and James Daniels along with tackle Dan Moore — didn’t miss a single snap.
It’s unlikely that the Steelers will experience that kind of health along the offensive line again in 2023. So the team entered this offseason with the goal of addressing its offensive line depth.
The addition of Clark clearly does that.
The 29-year-old tackle has started at least one game every season, but he’s always been a reserve offensive lineman. He can play both tackle spots and has experience at right guard.
In four seasons with the Colts, Clark started 15 games, including a career-high 5 contests in 2017. He started one game for the Eagles during 2021 and then two contests with the Titans last season.
Clark has never played more than 365 snaps on offense in a season. Hopefully, he won’t break that mark with the Steelers this fall, but he’s a guy who can play at multiple positions if needed.
Steelers Offensive Line Depth Heading into the 2023 NFL Draft
In addition to Clark, the Steelers have signed guards Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig. Like Clark, both previously played for the Eagles.
Pittsburgh assistant general manager Andy Weidl worked in the Eagles front office from 2016-21, so it’s not surprising to see the team targeting former Philadelphia players in free agency.
What adding all three former Eagles offensive linemen means, though, is the Steelers will likely be faced with tough choices up front this summer.
With Clark, the Steelers have 11 offensive linemen signed on their roster. Eight of those players made at least one start last season.
It’s also still very possible that the Steelers add an offensive tackle early in the 2023 NFL draft.
Should that happen, Steelers Depot’s Alex Kozora predicted Pittsburgh to carry nine offensive linemen on the 53-man roster.
If Kozora’s other projections come to fruition, then Dotson will not only lose his starting left guard job but his roster spot. Former 2023 third-round pick Kendrick Green may not have a roster spot either.
Furthermore, Clark may not even be active on game days.
Those are tough decisions to make, but clearly, the Steelers now have depth up front on offense.