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—some already decided, some not.
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 was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
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: Did the Steelers ever offer Tyrann Mathieu a contract?
It should go without saying in the wake of yesterday’s news that the Steelers will not, in fact, be signing veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu, allowing certain veteran beat writers the opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief after consistently denying that the team ever had any interest in him.
This, despite the fact that Mathieu himself said that head coach Mike Tomlin called him, and even Bob Labriola for the team’s website confirmed that the team had interest in him. While they were interested, however, it remains unsurprising that they did not sign him.
The question is, then, how close things ever got. Did the Steelers ever actually offer Mathieu a contract? How much did they even talk about contract beyond general terms to get a sense of whether or not there were grounds for negotiation?
For Mathieu’s part, he certainly appeared to be under the assumption that his market value was in the eight-figure range per season. Pittsburgh was certainly never going to get there. But it would stand to reason that they would have been open to something in the $8 million range, similar to the deal they signed Myles Jack to.
What’s done is done, and the Steelers are going to have Terrell Edmunds at strong safety for at least one more year, but how close did it ever come that Mathieu would be heading to Pittsburgh? He is reportedly not the only outside free agent safety that the team actually pursued before circling back to their own player.