Target APY Market Value For LB Tremaine Edmunds Above $18 Million, Per Joel Corry

With the start of the 2023 NFL league year now less than a week away, there’s probably a large portion of fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers hoping that the team will make a run at soon-to-be unrestricted free agent linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. That hope is certainly understandable. However, I think many of you hoping for such might be interested in learning what Joel Corry of CBS Sports has as Edmunds’ target market value in free agency pegged at.

In a Friday post on CBS Sports, Corry, a former NFL agent, has Edmunds’ target free agent market value pegged at $18.5 million per year. Specifically, Corry believes that Edmunds, the former first round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills, might be looking for a five-year, $92.5 million contract that includes $41.5 million fully guaranteed at signing, $57 million in overall guarantees and a total cash flow of that same amount through the first three years of the deal.

Now, based on the target free agent market value that Corry has for Edmunds, he would wind up as the fourth-highest paid linebacker in the NFL should he indeed hit that $18.5 million per year number, according to Over the Cap. He would be fourth behind Roquan Smith ($20 million), Shaquille Leonard ($19.7 million), and Fred Warner ($19.045 million).

So, what would such a contract that meets Corry’s target value look like? Honestly, Edmunds would likely get around $23-$25 million in 2023 with most of that coming in the form of a signing bonus. Additionally, such a contract would likely carry a 2023 salary cap charge of right around $7-$8 million or so. From a 2023 salary cap standpoint, the Steelers could probably make a $7-$8 million 2023 cap charge work if they really want it to.

If we were to accept it being true that the Steelers could handle a huge contract for Edmunds when it comes to his potential 2023 salary cap charge as laid out by Corry, many would likely then go on to believe that there’s no reason to think that the young linebacker might not ultimately land in Pittsburgh. That noted, I think the idea that the team would give Edmunds a deal that averages $18.5 million is one key area where fans might be missing the boat when it comes to the overall probability factor.

If Edmunds indeed signed a deal with the Steelers that averaged $18.5 million per year, he would instantly become the second-highest paid player on the team behind only outside linebacker T.J. Watt. Yes, even slightly higher than safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and a good $2.1 million per year more than defensive tackle Cameron Heyward. Personally, I don’t see the Steelers upsetting their hierarchy like that with an outside player and history, at least up until now, says they won’t.

Now, it should be highlighted extensively that Corry’s thoughts on a new target contract for Edmunds is just that, a perceived target. Does that mean that Edmunds will hit that target next week? He might not. We’ll see.

“Remember the target or asking prices for these players may be on the high side and aren’t necessarily what their actual deals will be,” Corry wrote in his recent post.

Personally, I think Edmunds would need to agree to a contract with an average yearly value of around $16 million per year for the Steelers to highly entertain the idea of signing him. Such a number would result in Edmunds being the fourth highest paid linebacker in the NFL right behind C.J. Mosley Personally, I have Edmunds’ extreme floor amount at right around $15.25 million per year and if indeed he’s willing to take a contract for that low, I would imagine that several teams would be in play for him as well.

While Edmunds will have some competition on the free agent market when it comes to other linebackers, I’m guessing that he’ll still be considered the top prize at the position just the same. After all, he’s still only 24 years of age and he’s missed just eight regular season games in his first five NFL seasons. In short, he’s going to have a few teams after him next week in free agency and that might help him hit, or come very close to, the target market value that Corry has for him.

So, in closing, if you want my honest opinion on the chances of the Steelers signing Edmunds next week, I would say that they are very low and especially if he’s dead set on earning more than $17 million per season with the first two years of his new deal fully guaranteed. Should, however, Edmunds’ market value wind up being around $16 million or so, I would then give the Steelers slightly better odds at signing him.

We obviously should find out Edmunds’ status very soon and possibly even before the legal tampering period ends and the new league year begins on Wednesday. Personally, I will be a bit surprised if he winds up signing with the Steelers when the smoke clears. However, should such a thing wind up happening, I’m willing to bet his yearly average on that new deal winds up being around $16 million.

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