Steelers GM Hints at Decision on Potential Tyrann Mathieu Signing

Tyrann Mathieu

Getty The Steelers don't be interested in signing Tyrann Mathieu.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are still on the hunt for a strong safety.

On Sunday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert addressed the team’s current roster situation. The longtime Steelers general manager believes Pittsburgh has starting-caliber players at 24 of 25 positions — with the exception of strong safety. With 2021 starting strong safety Terrell Edmunds still unsigned, free agent Tyrann Mathieu has become a popular name linked to the Steelers.

However, Colbert essentially shut down the idea of adding the three-time Pro Bowl safety. Colbert says the Steelers’ preference is to sign players coming off of their first contracts. Mathieu — who is entering his 10th season in the NFL — is coming off of his second stint with a team (Kansas City Chiefs) after beginning his career with the Arizona Cardinals.

Via Brooke Pryor of ESPN:

“Our preference is always to add players coming off of their first contract or as close to their first contract as they can be,” said Colbert.


Mathieu’s Extensive Resume

According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, Mathieu is the top remaining player on the free agent market. Entering free agency, Mathieu was the sixth top-rated player on the market.

“It’s hard to put a price on the intelligence, competitiveness and coverage ability Honey Badger brings, but those traits explain how he’s set to get the third big, long-term deal of his career, despite being an undersized safety drafted in the third round,” explains Rosenthal.

Despite the fact Mathieu is on the verge of turning 30 years old as a defensive back with nine years of experience, he still remains one of the top players at his position.

According to Pro Football Focus, Mathieu posted a 76.6 grade in coverage, ranking 16th among all safeties last season. Two years prior, Mathieu posted an 81.6 grade in coverage — ranking 11th among all qualifying safeties.

However, despite all of his accolades and experience, it looks like the Steelers will not pursue the “Honey Badger.”

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Steelers Sign Eagles Starting Linebacker

Pittsburgh is signing one of their cross-state rivals’ starting linebackers.

As reported by SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Adam Caplan, former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Genard Avery is signing with the Steelers.

“Former #Eagles LB Genard Avery is expected to sign with the #Steelers on a one-year deal, source said,” said Caplan.

The 26-year-old Avery started 12 of his 16 appearances last season, posting 43 tackles and a sack. According to Pro Football Focus, Avery posted a 47.4 defensive grade last season, ranking as one of the lowest-rated linebackers in the league. However, Avery still ranked higher than most of the Steelers’ returning linebackers along with free agent signee Myles Jack (37.7 grade).

Avery will add depth to a Steelers linebacker core desperately lacking it. Avery will compete with Derrek Tuszka to be the top backup at outside linebacker behind holdovers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.

The four-year veteran was initially a fifth-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns during the 2018 NFL draft. Avery has 7.5 career sacks across 17 starts and 53 appearances.

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