Terrell Edmunds is a family man. He just wants to make life easy on mom and dad. Instead of them choosing between going to his games in Pittsburgh or Tremaine Edmunds’ in Buffalo, Tremaine will just have to sign with the Steelers instead.
That was the joke, anyway.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Edmunds laughed about convincing his brother to join him on the team that loves sibling connections.
“I think I can make a package deal just for my family because they split up for games and everything like that,” Edmunds said via Steelers Live. “So to get my mom and dad to come to one home base every week, I’ll do that just to get the package deal.”
While it’s all smiles in the locker room, bringing Tremaine to Pittsburgh should be something of a serious conversation. A great athlete with a first-round pedigree, he checks the boxes of what the Steelers want. And also what they need. Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, and Marcus Allen are slated to hit free agency. Spillane is likely to be retained, perhaps Allen too (though he’s just a special teamer), but the Steelers still lack long-term options at the position. To his credit, Spillane has always wiggled way his into the starting lineup, Myles Jack is under contract through 2023, and Mark Robinson’s early returns looked promising. But Edmunds is a different caliber of player. The Steelers were at his and Terrell’s Virginia Tech Pro Day in 2018, with Mike Tomlin and ILBs Coach Jerry Olsavsky attending. NFL bloodlines run deep in the Edmunds’ household with three brothers and their father Ferrell playing in the league.
The 16th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Edmunds has started 74 games, recording 100+ tackles each year. He also has 6.5 sacks and five interceptions, including a pick in each of the last two years. His play hasn’t been quite as good as expected as a former first-rounder and Edmunds has been overshadowed by Matt Milano’s stellar play but he’d still be the most athletic and best off-ball linebacker on the team. Buffalo picked up his 5th-year option prior to the season and he’s been a starter who has rarely left the field when healthy, 90%+ of the snaps every year since entering the league.
An unusually young player who won’t turn 25 until May, he seemingly checks every single box. Determining his market value is difficult and Edmunds won’t be cheap but Pittsburgh will have the cap space to sign him if they wanted to. For a time, the Steelers had a pair of Edmunds’ brothers on the team when Terrell and Trey were Steelers. Now, they could get Tremaine, too, and complete the trifecta, though Trey is no longer with the team.
There are elements working against the idea. Buffalo may re-sign Edmunds and keep their stout defense together. A Super Bowl contender now and probably for the next five years, Edmunds has plenty of reasons to stay with the Bills, a strong organization and close-knit team. For Pittsburgh, they’ve been down the “spend capital on inside linebackers” road before. They traded up for Devin Bush, traded for Avery Williamson and Joe Schobert, and signed Jack in the offseason. None of those moves have worked out exactly the way the team hoped. Assistant GM Andy Weidl builds through the trenches and could prioritize building the team with a strong defensive line. Without that, it’s hard to expect quality inside linebacker play.
The NFL’s “tampering” period gets underway on March 13th, the time when teams can speak with pending free agents, with the official start of the new league year happening on March 15th. Edmunds will be a name to keep an eye on even if the odds of Terrell forming a reunion are relatively unlikely. Of course, Terrell himself is a free agent so if anything, Tremaine could recruit him to Buffalo. The Bills have had a top-tier safety pairing in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer but both have dealt with injuries this year.