The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will the Steelers look to add a safety now that they have officially released Morgan Burnett?
This is a subject that we have addressed a time or two over the course of the past month, but now that the Steelers have made the release of Morgan Burnett official, it’s worth discussing again. While the team is carrying over four safeties from the 53-man roster from a year ago, it wouldn’t be surprising if they look to address the position again in the near future.
It could come in the draft, of course, but there are also options in free agency. Obviously they will want to protect their compensatory draft pick for Le’Veon Bell, but if it is a modest enough signing, or a player who has been released, then it would not be a problem.
The two starters, of course, are Sean Davis and last year’s first-round draft pick, Terrell Edmunds. Perhaps it might be worth noting that Davis is entering the final year of his contract, and he has just hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent. It’s not clear if the Steelers have immediate plans to try to sign him to an extension later this offseason.
The other two safeties on the roster are Jordan Dangerfield and Marcus Allen. Dangerfield is a veteran heading into his third season who has been with the team since the Clinton administration, or so it seems, while Allen was a fifth-round pick a year ago.
While they might have plans for Allen in the future, one obvious reality is that neither of them ideally profile as a free safety. At the moment, it’s likely that Edmunds would be the backup free safety if Davis were injured, with Dangerfield or Allen stepping in at strong safety.
At the moment, the lowest-value contract slated to earn a compensatory pick is worth $1.3 million, so any player signed to an amount below that would be safe. But that number figures to rise when Ndamukong Suh and Ziggy Ansah finally sign with teams, assuming it happens before May 8 and with a team other than their previous.