On Thursday evening, reports emerged that the Pittsburgh Steelers were in the process of consummating a trade to acquire linebacker Joe Schobert from the Jacksonville Jaguars. On Friday afternoon, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the Steelers would be sending a 2022 sixth-round pick to the Jags in exchange for the sixth-year veteran. Finally, on Saturday the organization confirmed the trade via the team’s website.
The move is an indictment of Pittsburgh’s inside linebacker group as a whole, which was weakened when Vince Williams retired on the eve of training camp. Sure, the Steelers have former Top 10 overall pick Devin Bush, but he’s still in the process of working his way back from a torn ACL suffered against the Browns last October. Meanwhile, Robert Spillane has been getting picked on in pass coverage, Ulysees Gilbert and Marcus Allen haven’t looked the part, and rookie fourth-round pick Buddy Johnson (Texas A&M) isn’t ready to be a contributor.
Schobert Will Earn $7 Million-Plus This Season
While a sixth-round pick seems like a bargain in terms of getting a starting-caliber linebacker, the Steelers are taking on a lot of salary—$7 million this season, plus up to $300,000 in per-game roster bonuses.
The good news is that the Jags paid out 28% of his $53.5 million contract last season, and according to overthecap.com, Schobert’s salaries—$8.75 million in 2022, $10.25 million in 2023 and $10.75 million in 2024—are not guaranteed. Prior to the Steelers announcing the trade there were rumors that the Jaguars would be responsible for some of Schobert’s salary, but there has been no confirmation that that is the case.
The Steelers are certainly familiar with what they are getting in Schobert, as they saw him twice per year when he was with the Cleveland Browns between 2016-19. They also went against him once last season, during a 27-3 win at Jacksonville, when Schobert was part of a team-leading eight tackles.
For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus likes Schobert, but not as much as it used to, noting that his “career-best season was in 2018. He earned a 76.8 PFF grade and an 87.7 coverage grade that ranked second only to Seattle Seahawks veteran Bobby Wagner. Since that banner year, Schobert has played 1,000 snaps for two different teams but failed to recapture that magic.”
The Steelers Have Traded Two 2022 Draft Choices
It’s also worth noting that Pittsburgh has already traded away two of its 2022 draft picks. During the 2021 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh sent its 2022 fourth-rounder to the Miami Dolphins, which enabled them to select Wisconsin defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk No. 156 overall.
Making it somewhat easier to part with those two picks is the expectation that the Steelers will receive two compensatory draft choices in the 2022 Draft. One of those picks is expected to be at the end of the third round, compensation for Bud Dupree signing a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Tennessee Titans.
The Steelers are also projected to receive a pick at the end of the fifth round in 2022—compensation for losing offensive lineman Matt Feiler, who signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Los Angeles Chargers in March.
Megan Schobert is a TikTok Star
Last but not least, you may also be interested to learn that Joe Schobert’s wife Megan is very active on social media—especially TikTok.
Here’s how she announced the trade to her more than 328,000 followers:
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