The Pittsburgh Steelers have tendered LB Robert Spillane, according to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. Spillane, a restricted free agent, has been tendered at the right-of-first-refusal level. Here is Pryor’s tweet breaking the news moments ago.
The Steelers have given ILB Robert Spillane a right of first refusal tender, per source.
Means he’d be on the books for about $2.4M in 22. Steelers can match any offer, but they don’t get compensation if they decide not to match.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) March 14, 2022
The right-of-first-refusal tender puts Spillane’s 2022 base salary at $2.433 million. It does not come with any guaranteed money. It is the lowest tender the team could’ve placed on him, but because he was an undrafted player, the original-round tender wouldn’t have brought any compensation.
Spillane once again made the Steelers’ roster in 2021 as a backup behind starting inside linebackers Devin Bush and Joe Schobert. He went on to play 346 total defensive snaps in the regular season in addition to 244 more on special teams. He registered 45 total tackles on defense in 2021 and 11 more on special teams. Two of those tackles resulted in losses.
Spillane played in the Super Wild Card Game as well and registered five total tackles in that road loss. In total and including the one playoff game, Spillane was targeted 26 times and allowed 20 receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown. Spillane missed three games in 2021, with two of them being two to a knee injury. Additionally, he officially started four games in total during the season.
Overall, Spillane is regarded as a quality special-teamer and good run defender, though he’s exposed in man coverage and when asked to play in space. He’ll enter 2022 as a backup linebacker. In front of him sits Joe Schobert and Devin Bush. Both players struggled in 2022 and Schobert is a potential cap casualty, though the team has not made such a decision yet.
The Steelers could look at add to their room this offseason. It’s a crowded one with Ulysees Gilbert III, Buddy Johnson, and Marcus Allen along with Spillane, Bush, and (for now) Schobert.