Now that the NFL is into its second full week of the new league year, free agency has slowly died down as the Pro Day circuit has heated up.
Though the attention and overall focus — for the time being — appears to be on the Pro Day circuit, there are still a number of solid free agents that remain on the market who can step in as a Day 1 starter and contribute to a winning team.
One of those guys is a young player the Steelers are rather familiar with, that being safety Terrell Edmunds.
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) October 13, 2020
Edmunds played more than 4,000 snaps with the Steelers, but did not have his fifth-year option picked up, making him a free agent. While the Steelers let him hit the market, they are still monitoring his market, along with a pair of other veteran free agents.
The longer he is on the market though, the greater potential there is for the Steelers to lose him, which could be a decision they could come to really regret, according to Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton.
Been a pretty quiet – though by no means bad – year for Terrell Edmunds. His breakup on the Colts 2 point conversion was a huge, forgotten play. Steelers take the lead, instead of tying, on their FG, go on to win after Vinateri's miss. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/VXB4LDrDMl
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 4, 2019
“Despite the ups and downs early in his career, specifically in pass coverage, Terrell Edmunds has turned the corner over the past two seasons. Over the past two years, the 6’1″, 217-pound safety has permitted only three touchdown receptions as the primary cover man,” Moton writes. “In 2020, Edmunds surrendered 14.5 yards per completion but allowed a 55.6 percent completion rate and a 70.8 passer rating in coverage. He made strides this past season, giving up only 7.5 yards per reception and a 63.7 passer rating.
“Thus far, Pittsburgh hasn’t filled its void at safety. Edmunds remains available, so the Steelers could still re-sign him before it’s too late,” Moton added. “However, if Edmunds has multiple offers on the table, the Steelers may not want to outbid other suitors for a player at a non-premium position. That’s why they should’ve extended him before he hit the open market.”
Edmunds gets unfairly bashed in Pittsburgh due to his original draft standing. Though he never quite developed into that first-round caliber safety that the Steelers envisioned, he quietly developed into a solid, steady starter next to Minkah Fitzpatrick, allowing the Steelers to take away tight ends in the passing game and provide an extra defender in the box against the run throughout the last few years.
He’s certainly come on strong the last two seasons, but allowing him to test the open market and get a feel for his worth from other teams was certainly not a mistake for the Steelers. It’s not as if Edmunds is irreplaceable.
Progression of Terrell Edmunds. Processing much quicker, able to play to the athleticism and physicality that made him a 1st round pick. Read the route, close the ball, break it up. Steelers notch safety the next play. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/WdS0q82hlJ
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) August 26, 2019
As Moton points out, there’s a good chance the Steelers will be able to re-sign him, which would make this all a moot point. The Steelers still have a hole at strong safety and have options in veterans Tyrann Mathieu and Damontae Kazee still on the market with Edmunds. It’s also a decent draft class overall at the position.
There’s plenty of time, and I don’t believe there will be any sort of bidding war for Edmunds at this point in time. Patience is working out just fine for the Steelers.