The Pittsburgh Steelers are adding some much-needed help to a depleted linebacker room.
According to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero Wednesday morning, veteran free agent linebacker Cole Holcomb and the Steelers agreed to terms on a three-year deal in free agency, pending a physical.
Holcomb struggled with injuries in 2022, playing in just seven games. He recorded 69 tackles, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit, and one pass defensed in those seven games for the Commanders.
Holcomb had a breakout season in Washington in 2021, totaling 142 tackles, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, one sack, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He started all 16 games for the Commanders that season.
In four seasons, Holcomb has seen action in 50 games, starting 48.
In just 446 snaps in 2022, Holcomb graded out at 66.6 overall in Pro Football Focus’ metrics, including a 69.4 against the run and a 67.0 in coverage. Holcomb played in 1,021 snaps for the Commanders in 2021, grading out at a 56.7 overall. For his career, Holcomb has played 2,740 snaps defensively.
He’s struggled in coverage, according to Pro Football Reference, allowing 135 receptions on 180 targets for 1,205 yards and eight touchdowns with a passer rating of 100.35 over the four years.
In the tackling department, Holcomb has missed 37 tackles in four seasons, per PFR, but has seen his missed tackles percentage decline each season, including a mark of just 5.5% in 2022.
Holcomb, a former standout at North Carolina, was a fifth-round pick (173rd overall) by Washington in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Holcomb’s reported agreement with the Steelers comes just one day after the team saw veteran inside linebacker Robert Spillane leave for Las Vegas and missed out on free agent Leighton Vander Esch after making a late push for the Dallas linebacker.