2022 Offseason Questions: Who Will Be Starting At Safety Next To Minkah Fitzpatrick?

Minkah Fitzpatrick

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.

This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.

Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.

These are the sorts of topics 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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: Who will be the Steelers’ starting safety next to Minkah Fitzpatrick this season?

The Steelers entered the 2022 offseason with a number of very obvious holes—not just positions at which they have less than ideal starting option, or where there’s some question about a player’s availability. I’m talking specifically about positions where there was not a starter under contract, or one that had earned a starting role yet.

You could talk about quarterback here. You can discuss multiple offensive line positions. Inside linebacker—they had guys, even if they weren’t ideal. Cornerback—all of their starters were hitting free agency.

They’ve addressed all of these spots. Yes, they still need to find a slot receiver, unless they think Steven Sims or Anthony Miller—two veterans who spent most of last season on the practice squad—can be that guy.

But the one starting spot that is truly completely blank is that of strong safety. Not that it won’t inevitably be filled, and I’m betting it still comes via free agency (outside or otherwise). But it’s still a hole, nevertheless, and a glaring one, until it’s filled.

So who will fill it? Will Terrell Edmunds ultimately work his way back? Early reports indicated that he was pretty much their number one option, though some are now wondering if they aren’t going after Tyrann Mathieu after the veteran was somewhat surprisingly not retained by the Kansas City Chiefs.

And there are more than just those two, of course, though the market is dwindling. Keanu Neal is out there. Quandre Diggs just re-signed. Even Jabrill Peppers is available, after missing most of last season after tearing his ACL. And, of course, there’s always the draft, but I strongly believe they want to avoid needing a starting safety by then.

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