The Pittsburgh Steelers have found their starting strong safety.
According to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Friday, April 22, the Steelers are re-signing strong safety Terrell Edmunds to a one-year deal. As stated by Rapoport, Edmunds had two other offers.
“Pittsburgh is giving S Terrell Edmunds a 1-year deal worth $2.5M, source said,” says Rapoport. “He had two other offers, but the former first-rounder elects to stay home.”
As reported by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Edmunds received offers from their AFC North rival, the Cincinnati Bengals, along with the Miami Dolphins.
“This is now done. Dolphins, Bengals were among teams in mix RT @JFowlerESPN: Former first-round pick Terrell Edmunds is expected to re-sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers, per source,” says Fowler. “Barring late change of plan, four-year starter back in the fold as Steelers approach the draft.”
As noted by Alex Kezora of Steelers Depot, Pittsburgh actually saved money on this new deal for Edmunds. Edmunds was due to earn $6.75 million this season before Pittsburgh declined the fifth-year option on his rookie deal last year.
“Steelers declined Terrell Edmunds’ 5th year option last year,” says Kezora. “Would’ve cost $6.75 million. Re-signed him today for $2.5 million instead. That’s good business.”
Edmunds Remains Consistent Starter for Steelers
The former third-round draft pick has served as the Steelers’ starter at strong safety over the past four seasons, starting 60 of his 64 appearances. The 25-year-old has missed just one game during his four seasons in the league and ranked second on the team in tackles (105 tackles) during the 2019 season.
Although he’s not a star, Edmunds is a consistent presence. According to Pro Football Focus, Edmunds posted a 60.1 defensive grade last season and a 70.9 defensive grade during the 2020 season, ranking 22nd among all safeties (with at least 100 snaps).
While his 2021 grade is considered average on a league-wide scale, that number was actually better than any of the Steelers’ projected defensive starters for the upcoming season with the exception of T.J. Watt, Cameron Hayward, Alex Highsmith and Levi Wallace.
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Steelers Appear to Pass on Mathieu
The Steelers had been in the market for a strong safety since the beginning of free agency. They were rumored as a potential landing spot for ex-Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Bob Labriola of Steelers.com even reported on April 12 that the Steelers “have an interest” in signing Mathieu. However, there seemed to be a disconnect regarding what Mathieu believes he’s worth and how the Steelers value the veteran safety.
“The Steelers have an interest in signing Tyrann Mathieu, and they would have enough cap space to sign him to a two-year contract for what they believe he is worth,” said Labriola. “The issue is whether Mathieu agrees with the Steelers’ assessment about what he is worth.”
Instead, it looks like the Steelers are opting to re-sign Edmunds to a bargain deal at $2.5 million this season rather than go for the higher-priced Mathieu.