The 2018 edition of the Annual League Meeting got underway yesterday, and that provided us with our first opportunity to really hear extensively from anybody within the Pittsburgh Steelers’ front office since the team made two notable signings in free agency, signing inside linebacker Jon Bostic and safety Morgan Burnett to multi-year contracts.
Bostic, a sixth-year veteran, is a former second-round draft pick that has already spent time with four different teams prior to signing with the Steelers. He saw his most extensive playing time last year in his lone season with the Indianapolis Colts, recording 14 starts in 14 games.
As for Burnett, a ninth-year veteran safety from the Green Bay Packers, he is the most experienced free agent that the Steelers have signed in their modern history. He will turn 30 in January, but he still has the tread on his tires. Bostic received a modest two-year deal, while Burnett was signed for three years at just under $5 million per season.
While at the owners meetings, General Manager Kevin Colbert spoke to Missi Matthews for an interview uploaded to the team’s website, where he discussed a number of wide-ranging topics, some of which were already outlined on here yesterday. The first topic that he addressed, however, was their new additions.
“I think we added two players that are quality players and quality people”, Colbert said of Bostic and Burnett. “Jon Bostic had some injury issues prior to this season but he put together a solid 2017 season. And he’s a young player. We still think he’s ascending”.
Given the lack of stability that Bostic has seen over his career (just look at the number of teams he’s been on, traded twice on his rookie contract alone), it’s more than reasonable on Colbert’s part to hold the belief that he can continue to grow.
As for Burnett, he noted that “Morgan’s a little bit older than Jon”, but added that he “gives us nice versatility at the safety position, having played and started at strong safety [and] free safety, and having even played at the dime linebacker”.
Both players are expected to start for the defense this season, with Bostic replacing the injured Ryan Shazier, while Burnett will be taking over for Mike Mitchell, either directly or indirectly, depending on where exactly he ends up among the safeties.
“the versatility that Morgan brings us, and the potential upside that Jon Bostic gives us, and his versatility as well, I think can only help our defense”, Colbert said in summing up his thoughts on the Steelers’ free agency haul.
It’s likely that Burnett’s versatility was a key part of the attraction in signing him, given Sean Davis’ role. And finding a cheap player with upside at inside linebacker is certainly welcome as well. Importantly, neither signing would prevent the team from looking at those positions in the draft, however.