Buy Or Sell: Steelers Should Have Kept Myles Jack Instead Of Signing One Of Free Agent ILBs

With the Steelers’ 2023 offseason underway following a disappointing season that came up just short of reaching the playoffs, it’s time to begin reloading, through the free agency process, through the draft, and perhaps even through trade.

This is now a young team on the offensive side of the ball, though one getting older on defense. Both sides could stand to be supplemented robustly, including in the trenches—either one. Changes have been made to the coaching staff, even if not all of the desired ones, as the roster continues to renew with the weeks ticking by.

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: The Steelers should have kept Myles Jack instead of signing one of the free-agent inside linebackers.

Explanation: No position was experience more changeover this offseason than inside linebacker, with Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen, and Myles Jack all exiting and Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, and Tanner Muse entering. Of the group, only Jack was under contract, the Steelers releasing him halfway through a two-year, $16 million deal.


Jack was a tackling machine when he first got on the field for the Steelers, registering 44 tackles during the team’s first four games, including two for loss. That’s something they haven’t had in a while at inside linebacker.

While his own health played a role, especially in the second half of the season, the coaching staff also made the questionable decision to use Spillane over Jack in dime packages, which continues to not make sense.

The buying part of this argument has to be predicated on the Steelers knowing how to use Jack, but with Spillane gone, they wouldn’t be able to make that mistake yet again anyway. Though his replacements come cheaper, they bring nothing to the table that he doesn’t.


Granted, Holcomb is coming off an injury year, and he also missed time in 2020. But he is the same player Jack is, otherwise, a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine who will also miss plays. Yet he offers a little more splash than Jack has had over his career, which is—not much.

Roberts is an important physical presence the run game has lacked without Vince Williams, and that’s not a role for which Jack was ideally suited. He’s best when playing free, not engaging blocks. While there was nothing wrong with Jack, overall, the $8 million price tag and the available alternatives at their relative prices was the better way to go. Never mind the fact that his health couldn’t be counted upon.

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