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Eagles Cut Avonte Maddox, Will Steelers Pursue?

The Philadelphia Eagles cut Avonte Maddox, and Maddox has some connections with the Steelers to watch.



Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agent Target Avonte Maddox
Pitt cornerback Avonte Maddox talks to safety Damar Hamlin before a game against Virginia Tech on Nov. 18, 2017. -- Alan Saunders / Pittsburgh Sports Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers need some defensive back help. They need a safety, outside cornerback, and slot cornerback. When it comes to needs, those are at the top of the list, and they are likely to be filled in free agency, with maybe one spot left to fill in the NFL Draft, given their strong free agency classes.

And after the Eagles just released Avonte Maddox, there is a certain connection there that could make sense for the Steelers. Aside from the fact that Maddox went to Pitt and the team will know more about him from the inside, Maddox also has those Andy Weidl connections that have come in handy for many free-agent additions in the last year. Guys like Isaac Seumalo have made that leap to the Steelers because of the Weidl factor.

Since his rookie season 2018, Maddox has become an integral player within the Eagles scheme, but injuries keep catching up to him. He played in just four games this past season. But he is still just 27, and when he is on the field, Maddox has proven to be a feisty player who can make plays on the football. For the Steelers, in particular, Maddox is a guy who can blitz off the edge and add another run defender in the secondary. He could fill that run-down nickel cornerback that they lacked last year, thus forcing Minkah Fitzpatrick into that role.

Patrick Peterson is the only veteran cornerback under contract heading into the 2024 season. Levi Wallace, James Pierre, and Chandon Sullivan are all free agents. Meanwhile, Cory Trice, Darius Rush, and Joey Porter Jr. create plenty of young depth, but they will need some veterans to guide them. The team will likely add in the NFL Draft given how deep this cornerback class is, too, but their decision on Peterson will decide just how urgent their needs are at cornerback in free agency and the NFL Draft.

Maddox could be one of those positive additions in free agency, largely because of the scheme fit and the need at slot cornerback. In addition, he should not cost that much, so the Steelers should be able to find someone solid in the slot at a cost-effective price.