The Pittsburgh Steelers will inevitably head into the 2022 NFL Draft with some needs left to be addressed—like, say, quarterback—it is rather apparent that they are still hoping to fill at least one more major hole before that process kicks off. They are still searching for their strong safety, with their starter for the past four years, Terrell Edmunds, still in consideration.
But not their first option, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. In response to a question posed by a reader about what the money range would potentially be for the Steelers to be able to re-sign their former first-round draft pick, the reporter said that he doesn’t believe that is the primary concern.
“I don’t think it is money right now. I think it is waiting to see what Tyrann Mathieu decides to do”, Kaboly wrote. “The last thing you want to do is sign Edmunds then have to tell the Honey Badger no thanks. Now, I am not criticizing Edmunds. I think he has continued to get better, but we are talking about a different level with Mathieu”.
I don’t think many would argue that Terrell Edmunds is better than Tyrann Mathieu, but they are certainly operating at different price ranges. Mathieu may be a bit past his prime at this point in his career, but he is certainly still very talented, and with better ball skills.
The thing is, we have been reading a lot of reports, and it’s hard to know what is true, what conflicts with others, etc. Aditi Kinkhabwala recently suggested that the Steelers have a standing offer on the table for Edmunds. So if that were true, what if he says he’ll take it?
This is, of course, the problem with not having access to first-hand information. We can only pass on what we receive and try to vet it and contextualize it to the best of our abilities. What Kaboly says certainly feels plausible, and the reality is that Mathieu is taking his time, and has stated that he intends to take his time.
The 29-year-old was recently on an in-person free agency visit with the New Orleans Saints, his hometown team, but their cap resources are limited this year, and reportedly, their offer didn’t sound overly robust. He said he would like to play for them, but that it didn’t sound like they needed him.
Mathieu also ‘visited’ with the Philadelphia Eagles, another safety-needy team, over Zoom yesterday, but that is another situation where there doesn’t appear to be imminent. It remains to be seen if he has any other suitors to be made public.
We do know that the Steelers have expressed interest in him, because he has talked about getting a phone call from Mike Tomlin recruiting him. We don’t know any details beyond that. Did they have a Zoom meeting? There certainly have been no indications of an in-person visit, but that is certainly not necessary in this age of free agency.