Ex-Steelers LB Joe Schobert Seen as ‘Ideal’ Fit for Chargers

Joe Schobert Steelers

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

Two months ago, linebacker Joe Schobert was viewed as the Pittsburgh Steelerstop cut candidate, thanks to a contract that called for him to be paid a salary of $8.75 million in 2022. So it was no surprise when the Steelers released Schobert on March 17, 2022, having added another ex-Jaguars linebacker, Myles Jack, to take his place on the roster.

A month later, Schobert is still looking for a new NFL home. But in the mind of Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, the Los Angeles Chargers would be “an ideal landing spot” for the former fourth-round pick, who was drafted into the league by the Cleveland Browns in 2016.

“Los Angeles was terrible against the run in 2021, ranking 30th in yards allowed and 28th in yards surrendered per carry,” notes Knox, explaining the rationale for the proposed addition.

“With Pittsburgh last season, Schobert tallied 112 tackles, 70 solo stops, six passes defended, one forced fumble and one interception. He’s not the strongest coverage linebacker — he allowed an opposing passer rating of 90.0 in 2021 (per Pro Football Reference) — but he’s a tremendous chase-and-tackle run-stopper,” continues Knox, who also notes that Schobert has recorded at least 100 tackles in every season in which he has been a full-time starter.

“At just 28 years old, he can still be a long-term addition for contenders and rebuilding franchises alike,” concludes Knox.

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Pittsburgh’s New Inside Linebacker Tandem

As for the Steelers, they will be moving forward with Myles Jack, while also hoping that former Top 10 overall pick Devin Bush Jr can reach the potential the Steelers envisioned when they moved up ten spots to select him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. At least one Jaguars insider feels the Steelers are much better off with Jack, at least as compared to Schobert. As for Bush, the hope is that he’ll be much improved in 2022, being almost two years removed from the torn ACL he suffered against the Cleveland Browns in October 2020.

Steelers’ Dead Money Cap Charge Update

Of course, the legacy of the Joe Schobert trade is not yet completely in Pittsburgh’s rear view mirror. The Jaguars will be utilizing the 2022 sixth-round pick that the Steelers sent to Jacksonville to acquire Schobert. The Steelers have also incurred a $1.888 million dead money cap charge for terminating Schobert’s contract, which had three years remaining.

That’s the fifth-largest dead money charge the Steelers are taking in 2022, at least so far. According to overthecap.com, Pittsburgh’s single-largest dead money cap hit is for recently-retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ($10.34 million), followed by JuJu Smith-Schuster, Eric Ebron, Melvin Ingram and Schobert.

The Steelers also have dead money on the books courtesy of the recent release of offensive tackle Zach Banner, as well as 2021 sixth-round pick Quincy Roche, who was waived by the Steelers in August 2021 and subsequently claimed by the New York Giants. Roche went on to appear in 14 games for the Giants, recording 38 tackles (23 solo), including five tackles for loss, five quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks.

At the moment, the Steelers have $25,927,424 in dead money on the books in 2022, per overthecap.com, though that number is certain to rise before next season gets underway.

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