2023 Stock Watch – G Isaac Seumalo – Purchased

With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we have turned our attention to the offseason. One thing that it means is that some stock evaluations are going to start taking on broader contexts, reflecting on a player’s development, either positively or negatively, over the course of the season. Other evaluations will reflect only one immediate event or trend. The nature of the evaluation, whether short-term or long-term, will be noted in the reasoning section below.

Player: G Isaac Seumalo

Stock Value: Purchased

Reasoning: The Steelers made the signing of Seumalo official yesterday, reportedly to a three-year contract worth $24 million. While he is capable at some level of playing all five positions along the offensive line, the vast bulk of his experience is at guard, and it is where he is currently expected to be the starter, presumably on the left side.

For the second offseason in a row, the Steelers have signed two veteran offensive linemen with significant starting experience via outside free agency. Former Philadelphia Eagles lineman Isaac Seumalo is by far the oldest at 29 years old, but he is also likely the best of the group.

Amongst his 4000-plus career offensive snaps, more than three fourths have come at guard, and the majority of that has come at left guard, even though he played all but one of his snaps last season on the right side.

His former Eagles teammates frequently raved about him, particularly center Jason Kelce, whom he regularly credited for his intelligence. He figures to be the new Ramon Foster in terms of the critical pre-snap role he will play in identifying the defense, setting the protection, and generally commandeering the offense.

While it’s likely that he gets plugged in at left guard in a one-for-one swap with Kevin Dotson, the incumbent starter, the team does have other options. If they are very comfortable with James Daniels playing center, where he played in college and a bit earlier in his NFL career, they could be more flexible.

They could allow Cole, Herbig, and Dotson to compete for one of the guard positions, with Seumalo at the other. In theory, Seumalo could also play center, though his NFL experience there is limited. There were those who thought, coming out of college, that his ultimate position would be center. The Eagles initially drafted him thinking that he could potentially be Kelce’s replacement, the only problem being that Kelce never needed replacing.

Signed to a three-year, $24 million contract, many expected that Seumalo might be able to fetch a fair deal more than that. The fact that he is pushing 30, however, and his fairly lengthy injury history, which includes Lisfranc, knee, and pectoral injuries, likely played a pretty big hand in his market.

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