2023 Free Agents Analysis: ILB Marcus Allen – Unrestricted

Player: Marcus Allen

Position: Inside Linebacker

Experience: 4 Years

Free Agent Status: Unrestricted

2022 Salary Cap Hit: $2,540,000                

2022 Season Breakdown:


I’m not sure you can begin a recounting of Marcus Allen’s 2022 season any other way considering his defining moment was a profoundly stupid penalty. While multiple teammates during Super Bowl week attempted to excuse away the circumstances under which he found himself in an opposing team’s huddle, everybody knows he did something dumb.

But no player is defined by one play, unless he only played one snap. Allen has been a contributor to the Steelers for the past three seasons, logging over 700 snaps in that department during that time. He saw 230 special teams snaps across 15 games during the 2022 season with zero snaps on defense, and he put up 12 tackles.

Allen is what they call a ‘four phase’ special teamer, one who plays on both kick and punt coverage and return units. He logged at least 40 snaps in every one of those phases in 2022, with 75 on kick returns being his high for any one unit.

Allen made a mid-career position switch from safety to inside linebacker. While it helped him stay on the roster at the time due to the numbers the team had in the secondary, it didn’t necessarily increase his opportunities for defensive playing time.

Free Agency Outlook:

If the Steelers decide to bring Allen back in free agency, it will obviously be a decision made primarily for special teams’ purposes. Coordinator Danny Smith is a fan, and he is well-liked within the locker room whether or not the fans want him around.

The team obviously has some decisions to make about the inside linebacker room with Devin Bush and Robert Spillane also due to be free agents. They also have to decide if Myles Jack’s $8 million base salary is justified enough to keep him on the roster at that price.

Outside of Jack, the only other inside linebacker currently under contract who has experience with the team is 2022 seventh-round draft pick Mark Robinson. Many have gotten the sense that they are open to the possibility of Robinson emerging as a starter this season.

Bush is unlikely to be back, but it’s assumed that the Steelers want Spillane to return. Where Allen fits in remains to be seen depending on whether or not they want to address the position via outside free agency or the draft. If he is re-signed, it will likely be for the veteran minimum, and possibly with no signing bonus.

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