The story emerged overnight recently that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be signing former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo to a three-year contract, reportedly worth $24 million. Perhaps his market was overestimated because his age (29) and injury history weren’t taken into consideration, but many expected he would get more.
That includes Zach Berman of The Athletic, who has covered the Eagles for more than a decade, having also previously worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer. He appeared on 93.7 The Fan on Monday and told Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller what the Steelers are getting in Seumalo.
“I was surprised, to be honest with you, by the price that the Steelers got him at”, he said about the reported numbers. “I thought he was gonna be a $10-million-a-year player. I thought it was gonna be closer to Nate Davis in Chicago than [Connor] McGovern in Buffalo”.
Davis signed a three-year contract with the Bears worth $30 million, including $17.5 million guaranteed at signing. He was a 2019 third-round pick of the Tennessee Titans. McGovern signed a three-year deal with the Bills worth $22.35 million. A 2016 fifth-round pick, he has spent the past three seasons with the New York Jets.
Seumalo, who isn’t much younger than McGovern (and was also drafted in 2016), fell in between those two markets, though he is arguably the best player of the three. Berman tried to reason why his reported numbers came in closer to the former than the latter.
He did note his age and said that he was “a bit of a late bloomer”, even losing his starting job early on. Of course, he has also had some injury concerns in recent years, though not in 2022. Yet, Berman insisted, “I thought he was the best interior offensive lineman on the open market”, and he wasn’t alone in that opinion.
Pro Football Focus ranked Seumalo as the top interior offensive lineman, just ahead of former Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Powers, and projected a three-year, $33 million contract for him on the open market with $22 million guaranteed.
It projected Powers at $10 million per season, yet he ended up signing a deal with the Denver Broncos averaging $13 million per year, putting him among the top-10 highest-paid guards in the league. At 27, he is a bit younger.
Seumalo has started 60 of 81 career games played since 2016, logging 4,223 career offensive snaps. The vast majority of those snaps have come at guard, both on the left and right side, though he has also seen limited work at center, tackle, and as a tackle-eligible. He overcame a Lisfranc injury in 2021 to play nearly every snap last season.