Jason Kelce is returning to the NFL for another season, perhaps his last, and he’ll do it without one of his guys next to him. Isaac Seumalo crossed the Keystone State jumping from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh this offseason. And in discussing the player Seumalo is and the one he’ll be to Pittsburgh, Kelce couldn’t help but praise him.
Kelce appeared on NFL Network to talk about what the Steelers are getting.
“I think he’s one of the best guards in the NFL, and I think he has been,” Kelce said via NFL.com. “I think he’s one of the most consistent players I’ve ever been around, one of the most consistent people I’ve ever been around.”
Seumalo spent every season in Philadelphia prior to signing with Pittsburgh, a third-round pick out of Oregon State in 2016. His career has been hindered by injuries but he stayed healthy for all of 2022, having a strong season for the NFC champs.
He signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Steelers in the offseason, the team’s biggest free agency signing, and one Kelce believes is worthy every penny of.
“I think he’s probably the smartest player I’ve ever been around. Really, really gifted physically, mentally, across the board. So I think the Steelers are getting a steal, that’s a good pun I guess.”
Though he played right guard in 2022, he’s expected to be Pittsburgh’s starting left guard in 2023. That is where he’s predominantly played throughout his career, and he has twice as many snaps on that side than on the right. He’ll replace Kevin Dotson, who has always shown talent but not enough consistency, as another piece of a changing Steelers’ offensive line.
Dotson could be on the move this summer either via a trade or potential cut candidate after the team signed Seumalo to start and Nate Herbig as depth.
Seumalo will sandwich in-between the team’s starting left tackle, most likely rookie Broderick Jones and center Mason Cole. Should Jones beat out incumbent Dan Moore Jr. for the left tackle job, having a heady and veteran guy like Seumalo will help ease in a rookie just a little bit more.
For Kelce’s Eagles, they’ll have to figure out how to replace him. But their loss is Pittsburgh’s gain as the Steelers try to give Kenny Pickett a quality front five to protect him and carry out the vision of an efficient running game.