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Ex-Steelers LB Thinks Steelers Should Sign Justin Simmons



Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agent Target Denver Broncos Safety Justin Simmons

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed safety DeShon Elliott to a two-year, $6 million deal this offseason, but former Steelers outside linebacker Arthur Moats thinks Pittsburgh should kick the tires on former Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons.

“We didn’t pay DeShon Elliott anything where you feel like you can’t bring a guy in,” Moats said on his podcast. “And it’s Justin Simmons. Justin Simmons is in that conversation with Minkah Fitzpatrick and company, man. Top safeties in the league type convos, man.

Moats’ co-host Deke thinks Simmons’ price range is in the one-year, $8-11 million range. He has reservations that it would happen but finds it to be an intriguing proposition.

“That would be another big ticket piece on defense, though. Couldn’t we just say just throw $10 (million) to the second safety?” Moats said.

Fitzpatrick struggled at times last season without having a trustworthy player at the strong safety position. Fitzpatrick had a solid rapport with Terrell Edmunds for several seasons before Edmunds left in free agency last year.

The Broncos released Simmons on March 7 in a cap-saving move, thanks to the Russell Wilson debacle. At 30 years old, Simmons still has probably 3-4 more good years left in him. He’s also not far removed from recording five to six interceptions in a season.

Simmons was set to earn $14.5 million in 2024, the final year of the four-year, $61 million deal he signed in 2021. So, he’ll most likely come at a high figure. General manager Omar Khan might not want to dish out $8-10 million per year for another safety. The Steelers already have the most expensive defensive in the NFL at $149.4 million, also.

Former Steelers guard Ramon Foster, who was teammates with Moats in Pittsburgh, has an opposing view on Simmons. Foster said last month that the Steelers should be careful about going after the Pro Bowl safety.

“Justin Simmons is a name you know and a name you think you can trust, but here’s the thing about Justin Simmons, he’s about to be 30, or he’s already in his 30s as far as his career’s concerned, right? So, there’s that side to it, and I know we got good stuff out of Pat Peterson, but you’re also in a position where — are you a Justin Simmons away from winning a Super Bowl to justify that signing?” Foster said on the Ramon Foster Show, via Now, if you’re trying to compete and be a team that stays above the water, then, yeah, you sign Justin Simmons, but that also goes into his pay. How long do you want a guy like Simmons? One or two years, or three? You’re probably only gonna get him for two, max.”