Last year, the Steelers re-signed safety Sean Davis right before the start of the season after having lost him earlier in the offseason.
Could the same pattern be playing out again?
Davis, who was a second-round pick of the Steelers in the 2016 NFL Draft, signed with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason after his contract was not renewed in Pittsburgh.
On Monday, he was released by the Colts, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN, making him a free agent once again.
The same story had played out in 2020, when Davis signed with Washington at the start of free agency, only to be released and re-sign in Pittsburgh. In fact, the Steelers earned a compensatory draft pick for Davis that year.
Both times, the team did little to replace him on the depth chart after his departure. Seventh-round pick Tre Norwood has been the primary backup to Minkah Fitzpatrick throughout training camp at free safety.
But Norwood can also play slot corner, where Antoine Brooks Jr. is on the injured reserve list and Arthur Maulet is also banged up. So a Davis signing could move the young defensive back permanently into the slot.
A 6-foot-1, 202-pound defensive back, Davis moved around a good bit in his time at Pittsburgh, playing both strong safety and slot corner before settling in at free safety. In five seasons, he’s played in 64 games and made 21 starts. A 2019 injury to Davis caused the Steelers to trade for Fitzpatrick, and he lost his starting job at that point.
Last season, Davis made one start, played in all 16 games, and finished with 12 tackles, a pass defended and a fumble recovery.
The Steelers have made overtures to other safeties to replace Davis, including hosting Malik Hooker on a free agent visit, but were unable to land his services.