During Thursday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, there emerged rumors of a trade between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars, with the first hint of a deal coming from the wife of the player in question.
Shortly afterwards, NFL reporter Tom Pelissero indicated that the Jaguars have in fact agreed to trade inside linebacker Joe Schobert to the Steelers.
No news yet as to what the Steelers are sending to Jacksonville in exchange, but Field Yates of ESPN notes that Schobert—who is 27 years old—has four years left on his contract with sizable salaries coming due.
ESPN’s senior NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler indicates that Schobert has told ESPN that the trade is still being processed but that it would be “great” to play behind Pittsburgh’s top tier defensive line.
Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus adds that the Jaguars will be retaining “some” of Schobert’s salary.
Schobert is a Former Fourth-Round Pick of the Browns
Joe Schobert—6-foot-1 and 245 pounds—came into the NFL in 2016, when the Cleveland Browns selected him in the fourth round (No. 99 overall) out of the University of Wisconsin, where he was a teammate of Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt.
In his first four years in the league, he started 49 of 61 games, recording 408 total tackles (252 solo), with 8.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits and 15 tackles for loss, not to mention six interceptions, 20 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
In March 2020, he moved on to Jacksonville in free agency, signing a five-year, $53.75 million contract, which included a $12 million signing bonus and $21.5 million guaranteed.
Schobert started all 16 games for the Jaguars last year, recording 141 tackles (84 solo), with six tackles for loss, six quarterback hits, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles, but with a new coaching staff and defensive scheme (in the wake of a 1-15 season) the Jags have apparently decided to go in another direction.
Ex-Steelers RB James Conner Placed on COVID-19 Reserve
Meanwhile, former Steelers running back James Conner is going to miss his new team’s preseason opener (vs. the Dallas Cowboys) on Friday. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Conner has been placed on Arizona’s Reserve/COVID-19 list because of “high-risk close contacts with a positive individual.”
This would seem to confirm that Conner has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, as vaccinated players do not need to go on COVID reserve for being in contact with an individual who has tested positive.
Conner signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals in April, re-uniting with former Steelers running backs coach James Saxon. Conner went on to boldly predict that he and Chase Edmonds would be “one of the best” running back tandems in the league.
Despite being a cancer survivor, Conner decided not to opt out from playing in 2020. He went on to appear in 13 games (with 11 starts), with 169 rushes, 721 yards and six touchdowns. But he missed time in November when he tested positive for COVID-19.
In an interview with Heavy.com last July, Conner indicated that he didn’t feel any extra vulnerability to the virus.
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