The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Would you start Lawrence Timmons over Vince Williams?
Ever since it was reported on Thursday that the Miami Dolphins are planning to release former Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, it has drawn quite a bit of discussion for understandable reasons about a potential reunion with the team that drafted him in 2007, and where he played for a decade.
Timmons signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Dolphins last year that had $11 million guaranteed at signing, but his suspension voided the guaranteed portion of his 2018 salary, which makes his release (with cap savings) a possibility for Miami. And given the fact that the inside linebacker position is arguably the team’s top priority, it is understandable that Timmons’ name would come up as they look for a new starter.
Hypothetically, right now the starting linebackers would be Vince Williams and Tyler Matakevich. It should go without saying that the Steelers are more on the lookout for a mack than a buck, and while Timmons used to play there, he doesn’t quite fit that profile perfectly any longer.
Beggars can’t be choosers though, and Timmons and Williams have logged a lot of snaps on the field together from 2013 to 2016. That is a possibility. But they could also sign a more athletic linebacker in free agency, or get one in the first round, who would start instantly.
Let’s say the latter happens. And let’s say they get Timmons back on the cheap, too. Would you start him over Williams? The latter had eight sacks last season, but he did have his issues in other facets of the game. He was inconsistent in getting off blocks, for one thing, and it goes without saying that he was often taken off the field in passing situations.
It’s not unimaginable that the Steelers could have two different starting inside linebackers in 2018. Remember, they tried to sign Dont’a Hightower last year (fortunately they didn’t). This is in no way intended to be a disparagement of Williams. Just a hypothetical question on a player it’s not even clear the team will want to pursue, assuming he indeed does become available.