2023 Stock Watch – S Miles Killebrew – Stock Even

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season is over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we turn our attention to the offseason and everything that means. 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: S Miles Killebrew

Stock Value: Even

Reasoning: Truth be told, it’s a bit difficult for a special teams player to top a season in which he blocked two punts. That’s still fairly rare generally speaking, but that’s not to take away from the manner in which Killebrew carried out his duties, even if they were less spectacular.

Miles Killebrew played all of 13 defensive snaps during the 2022 season, and I will note that all of them occurred in the first six weeks of the season. He did not log any time except on special teams after Damontae Kazee returned from injury for the second half of the year.

But that’s not why the Steelers signed Killebrew in the first place, nor why they offered him a new two-year deal last year. He is here to be a mainstay on special teams, precisely what he proved to be in 2022, logging 290 snaps in that department (which, interestingly, is the second-fewest special teams snaps he’s had in a single season in his seven-year career).

The raw numbers won’t blow anybody away. He finished the season with a total of four tackles, the fewest of his career, and for somebody logging hundreds of snaps on special teams, you would probably hope for more.

Okay, so truth be told, the 2022 season was not one of Killebrew’s best in his career, certainly not as good as his 2021 season in Pittsburgh. He struggled more in the second half of the year than he did in the first.

But he remains an integral member of Danny Smith’s units, and there’s certainly no reason to imagine him being elsewhere in 2023. He’s under contract for all of $2 million, which I suppose could put him at some risk, but they would have to find other safeties as well.

Terrell Edmunds and Kazee are both free agents. There’s Minkah Fitzpatrick of course. And Tre Norwood is looking to keep himself relevant. If it were to come down to Norwood and Killebrew as the fourth safety in a situation in which both Edmunds and Kazee re-signed, I don’t know that the roster spot would go to the younger player.

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