The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: If affordable, Sean Davis should be kept and moved to strong safety to start over Terrell Edmunds.
Explanation: As we sit here right now, the Steelers technically have on their roster three safeties with whom they are comfortable starting. After all, Davis was a starter for about two and a half years until his 2019 season ended early due to injury. The team went out and traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick once he went down, however, knowing that he was in the final year of his contract. But without significant development from Edmunds, and the potential for Davis’ market to be low, re-signing him might not be the worst idea.
Davis actually has more playing time at strong safety than free safety. We have also seen him function as a playmaker. He intercepted three passes and forced a fumble in 2017, for example. He has improved his tackling over the course of his career, no worse than Edmunds, and he tends to be around the ball more often.
A secondary factor here is positional depth. Re-signing Davis allows Edmunds to be a backup, where they currently have just Marcus Allen and Jordan Dangerfield. He could also be broken into sub-packages, which is what was supposed to happen during his rookie season. They could even work on some sort of situationally-based rotation of playing time. It never hurts to have more talent.
While Edmunds hasn’t produced the sort of splash plays you would like to see, it would be foolish to give up on his development so soon. After all, he has already had to work with three different starters at safety alongside him during his young career, with some coaching variability thrown in for good measure. Give him a chance to develop with Fitzpatrick.
It’s important to remember that Edmunds was not only a true junior but also played through injury during his final season. He obviously still has a much higher ceiling, and it would be foolish to essentially give up on that for the time being, which is what re-signing Davis would signal, whose ceiling we already know, more or less. At least more than Edmunds’.