Now that the 2021 season is over, bringing yet another year of disappointment, a fifth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the season and into the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: S Terrell Edmunds
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: It was announced yesterday that veteran free agent safety Terrell Edmunds would be finding his way back to Pittsburgh, reportedly agreeing to terms on a one-year contract worth $2.5 million. The team has not yet announced the move.
Because Terrell Edmunds hit unrestricted free agency—and remained there for over a month, I am classifying him as stock purchased as though he is a new acquisition. He was not retained on an extension—indeed, he reportedly fielded offers from multiple other teams before accepting Pittsburgh’s.
With the former first-round draft pick back in the fold, the Steelers have now plugged their last glaring hole in the starting lineup ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. Pursuing veteran free agents to fill the strong safety role was seemingly a priority, having also had discussions with a couple of other veteran players from outside the organization.
The fact that Pittsburgh only offered Edmunds $2.5 million, and that it took him so long to agree to it, strongly indicates that they were quite prepared to move on from him had the circumstances dictated that. They were only willing to pay a certain price to move forward with him.
At least for one more year, anyway. They’ll be back in the same position at this time in 2023, given his free-agency status, and at this point in his career, it’s not profoundly likely that he is going to show some significant rise or fall in his play that would make it clear whether they want to sign him long-term or move on from him for good.
But in the interim, they do keep their safety pairing intact. Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick have worked together for going on four years now, and Fitzpatrick is expected to sign a long-term contract extension later this summer. He has gone on record as advocating for the team to keep his partner in the back end around. They have now done that, at least for one more year.