2023 Free Agents Analysis: S Terrell Edmunds – Unrestricted

Player: Terrell Edmunds

Position: Safety

Experience: 5 Years

Free Agent Status: Unrestricted

2022 Salary Cap Hit: $1,187,500 (reduced 4-Year Veteran Player Benefit Cap Hit; paid $2,537,500)

2022 Season Breakdown:

Having failed to have his fifth-year option picked up, Terrell Edmunds hit the open market for the first time since entering the NFL as a first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. The safety did not find a robust market, however, and ultimately opted to re-sign on a one-year deal.

That particular deal is notable because it’s one he only could have signed for the Steelers. It’s a 4-Year Veteran Player Benefit contract that allows a team to pay a player up to a certain amount above his salary which will be reflected in his cap number. The only catch is that player must have four-plus years of continuous employment with one organization to qualify.

So it made sense in that regard to come back to Pittsburgh, since they could pay him a little more without taking a bigger cap hit, as you see detailed above. The question is, did he play in a way that will earn him more this offseason?

Well, he probably had overall the best season of his career even if his numbers don’t jump out at you. Watching him play, he had a greater level of consistency within games and over the course of the entire season, indicative of the comfort level he has in the Steelers’ scheme.

Free Agency Outlook:

The fact that the Steelers can get him at a lower cap hit might prove to be key for Edmunds’ free agency if he again doesn’t find a robust market. Pittsburgh could pay him up to $2,582,500 in 2023 (a rather modest raise from last season) and still qualify for a reduced cap at little more than $1.2 million.

Another team would have to be willing to pay him more than $2.6 million, presumably, in order to sign him. And I frankly don’t know if the market outside of Pittsburgh sees him that way. There will be some good safeties out there this cycle, including two from the Bengals alone in Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell.

While we’re at it, other safeties potentially reaching the open market include Jordan Poyer, Jimmy Ward, Johnathan Abram, Jabrill Peppers, and Adrian Amos. And that doesn’t factor in players who might be cut.

Still, it’s possible that he could land himself a modest little multi-year deal that lures him out of Pittsburgh. Or it’s possible that the Steelers actually decide they would rather move forward with Damontae Kazee as their starting strong safety, who has more big-play potential. After all, he’s just as experienced, and they were willing to go with him anyway if they lost out on Edmunds. They were willing to let him walk a year ago.

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