Buy Or Sell: Robert Spillane Will Open 2023 As Starter

With the Steelers’ 2022 season unfortunately now in the rearview mirror, a 9-8 campaign that came up short too late in spite of a strong second half, we now turn our attention to the offseason, and the many decisions that will have to be made over the course of the next several months.

This is now a young team on the offensive side of the ball, though one getting older on defense, and both sides could stand to be supplemented robustly, including in the trenches—either one. Decisions about the coaching staff must also be made, as well as who to prioritize in free agency, and what to look for from the outside, before getting to the draft.

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: Robert Spillane will be one of the Steelers’ starting linebackers to open the 2023 season.

Explanation: With most of the room either scheduled to become free agents or wielding high cap hits that are enticing to the Turk, change figures to be coming at the position in one way or another. Robert Spillane is a likely re-sign candidate and could be the beneficiary of the musical chairs.


Robert Spillane is like L.J. Fort if the Steelers actually played Fort when they should have. He’s not the option that you want to choose, but he is the one that you settle for when you really sit down and look at the situation that you have.

Who are the Steelers going to have in that room in 2023? Devin Bush will be gone. The prospect of Mark Robinson being capable of being a full-time starter feels like a stretch. And will Myles Jack really be retained with an $8 million base salary?

This room is going to look a lot different next season, but Spillane should figure to be one of the constants. He’s not going to have a robust market in free agency and likely knows that his best bet is to stay in Pittsburgh. He might end up being one of the Steelers’ best bets at linebacker as well, for better or worse.


We talk about potential ‘cap casualties’ for the Steelers every year (it’s one of the major drivers of offseason articles for some outlets, throwing darts at names for every team to see what will attract attention), and more often than not they only come to fruition when the team is really in a bind.

For example, we thought Joe Schobert would be an unqualified cap casualty last year. But they only cut him after they signed Jack for $8 million a year. Why would anybody assume that they’ll cut Jack or that they think $8 million is too much? They already paid him $8 million last year. And he racked up the tackles when he was healthy.

So, that’s one starter. Robinson could be the other, but we don’t need to count on it. The Steelers might try to get another linebacker in free agency. Maybe not Tremaine Edmunds, but somebody like Kyzir White is a name that has come up. And a rookie draft pick is always a possibility. They’re not shy about them starting right away inside.

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