There is still a lot of season left to be played, but S Terrell Edmunds has represented himself well at the halfway point for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Edmunds was almost an afterthought when he hit the free agent market last offseason, staying out unsigned until the week before the 2022 NFL Draft. Ultimately, Edmunds re-signed with the Steelers six days before the 2022 NFL Draft, agreeing to a one-year pact worth $2.5 million. According to OverTheCap, Edmunds has a base salary of $2.385 million in 2022 with a prorated bonus of $152,500 and a cap number of $1,187,500.
It was a great deal for the Steelers who managed to retain Edmunds who is in his fifth year as the team’s starting strong safety, having amassed 372 tackles, 13 TFLs, three sacks, five INTs, and 24 PBUs in 71 games played (67 starts). The expectation was for Edmunds to play out this season, provide steady yet unspectacular play next to All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick, and hit the free agent market again.
While Edmunds hasn’t been a world beater this year, he has notably improved his play compared to his previous four seasons, proving that one-year deal that Pittsburgh got him for to be a bargain. He has a career high 73.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, ranking 19th among safeties. He has played and started in seven games in 2022, missing one game due to a concussion. Edmunds 32 total stops, a TFL, and three PBUs. In coverage, Edmunds has allowed nine receptions on 17 targets (52.9%) for 101 yards and two TDs.
Again, these aren’t jaw-dropping numbers, but it’s clear that Edmunds has gotten better each season in the NFL and this season is no exception. Steelers Depot’s very own Tyler Wise did a film room breakdown on Edmunds and his play this season, concluding that the veteran safety is proving it on a “prove-it” deal.
Edmunds will never bring a true excitement factor to his game, but he’s maximizing his game right now. This is truly the best we’ve seen from him and has me already thinking ahead about the Steelers possibly being able to seal him up long(er)-term this off-season at the right price. He and Minkah Fitzpatrick have great chemistry in the backend of the defense and keeping the two soon-to-be 26-year-olds together for the near future will be extremely beneficial to this defense.
With so many other glaring needs on the Steelers’ roster including defensive line, edge rush depth, offensive line, inside linebacker, cornerback, and depth at tight end and wide receiver, Pittsburgh could really benefit by locking up one of their own and signing Edmunds to a multi-year contract before free agency begins this spring. It’s clear that he and Fitzpatrick have chemistry together on the backend of the defense, and while his playmaking ability may never flash, he has become a reliable defender that has the starting experience as well as shown steady improvement in terms of eye discipline, positioning in coverage, and decreased reaction time.
Given the number of names currently scheduled to hit the free agent market at the safety position next spring and the lack of splash plays by Edmunds, I find it hard to imagine he would command more than $4-5 million annually on a new contract. That would be a solid signing by Pittsburgh, locking up a five-year starter and allow them to allocate more resources to the 2023 NFL Draft, specifically to the trenches. It takes two to tango but given how much Edmunds has spoken well about playing for Coach Tomlin and the Steelers, it’s not hard to see the two sides coming to a deal to keep him in Pittsburgh for years to come.
What do you guys think about Terrell Edmunds? Do you think that he has earned a new contract to stay in Pittsburgh? Would you like to see him stay and have the Steelers address other needs via the draft or on the free agent market? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!