It wasn’t the flashiest signing by any stretch of the imagination. But when it’s all said and done, the signing of veteran offensive guard Isaac Seumalo in free agency might be the best one of a busy offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A third-round pick out of Oregon State in 2016 who spent his entire career to date with the Philadelphia Eagles, Seumalo put together a dominant 2022 season as the Eagles made a run to the Super Bowl. Now, Seumalo will slot in at left guard in Pittsburgh and is the elder statesman on a rebuilt offensive line at just 29 years old.
Being the most experienced guy in the trenches for the Steelers has Seumalo earning the mark of “X-Factor” for the Steelers in 2023 from former ESPN analyst and former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Mike Golic Jr., who appeared on the Mina Kimes Show Thursday to discuss X-Factors for all 16 AFC teams.
“I was thinking about going outside at receiver and the second-year development for Kenny Pickett, but I went Isaac Seumalo here. Offensive line has been the buzz conversation for so long, and you brought him over to solidify this. You picked offensive line at the top of the draft with Broderick Jones, too. Isaac Seumalo is the adult in the room,” Golic said. “You went and said, ‘Philly’s got the best in the league right now, let’s go take something from there and try and shore this thing up.’
“George Pickens coming on and being the guy that can start to find ways to separate more consistently in addition to all the tough catches. All that stuff is great, but we’ve been talking about the Steelers’ offensive line on a loop for a few years now, and I think he’s been brought in to be that reset at that position and help bring along the young guys this year.”
Seumalo, in some instances, has been viewed as that sort of missing piece for the Steelers’ offensive line, which has undergone a significant transformation the last two offseasons. Ahead of the 2022 season, the Steelers signed right guard James Daniels and center Mason Cole in free agency, giving Pittsburgh two solid, dependable starters.
This offseason, there was the signing of veteran guard Nate Herbig as depth. Then the addition of Seumalo on a three-year, $24 million deal in free agency, snagging him away from Philadelphia, a loss that Eagles star center Jason Kelce is upset about, stating the Steelers got one of the smartest linemen in football.
Along with the move to sign Seumalo, the Steelers moved up in the draft to land Broderick Jones, shoring up the left side of the offensive line for the foreseeable future. But, it will come down to Seumalo right away on a young offensive line.
He’ll have the task of either helping third-year pro Dan Moore Jr. find consistency at left tackle, should Moore stick in the starting role to open the 2023 season, or help speed up the maturation and development process for Jones as a rookie. Assistant GM Andy Weidl knows Seumalo well, and it’s not a surprise the Steelers were aggressive in going and getting the guard.
While Seumalo played right guard last season for the Eagles and was an essential part of Philadelphia’s offensive attack on a run to the Super Bowl, Seumalo has more than 2,000 career snaps at left guard. That makes him a seamless fit at the position in the Steel City.
The Steelers certainly got better with the signing of Seumalo. He is exactly the type of player this team needed up front. He’s a big, physical offensive lineman who brings some nastiness to the run game, something the Steelers really needed inside as Cole and Daniels — while good players in their own right — don’t really bring that to the table.