The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping that linebacker Ryan Shazier will eventually make a full recovery from the back injury that suffered last season but in the meantime, general manager Kevin Colbert said on Thursday that there’s a chance the team will still address his position at some point during free agency.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Colbert told a large group of local media on Thursday that signing an inside linebacker during the upcoming free agent period is a possibility. Additionally, Colbert said that the team will likely continue to restructure a few more contracts soon in order to free up additional salary cap space for the offseason.
Steelers Colbert said signing an ILB in free agency is "a potential" and that they likely will continue to restructure contracts to make salary cap room
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) February 15, 2018
Colbert’s Thursday declaration about the Steelers possibly signing a free agent inside linebacker during the offseason shouldn’t come as a big surprise and I noted not long ago in a post dedicated to the topic that that is likely to happen in addition to the team selecting another inside linebacker early in this year’s draft.
While the Steelers are reportedly just now starting to go over the free agents they might want to go after, there are a few inside linebackers from around the league that might interest them. As I pointed out last month, Zach Brown, Avery Williamson, Demario Davis and Tahir Whitehead are just a few inside linebackers set to become free agents in March that would seemingly make good targets for the Steelers. Christian Jones can probably be added to that list as well.
Adding a free agent inside linebacker ahead of the draft certainly wouldn’t prevent an early-round selection of an inside linebacker in a few months from now, either.
As for Colbert’s statement about more contract restructures possibly being forthcoming, that has long been expected as well. As I wrote just the other day, wide receiver Antonio Brown and tackle Alejandro Villanueva are just a few other Steelers players primed for contract restructures ahead of the start of the new league year in March now that defensive end Stephon Tuitt and guard David DeCastro have both had their deals reworked.