Steelers Free Agency: Another Safety Target Signs Elsewhere
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Monday morning that he expects his team to add a safety between now and the start of the 2023, and that the draft and free agency were both realistic venues for that addition to take place, but the free agent class took a big hit later on Monday when the Buffalo Bills signed Taylor Rapp.
Rapp, who was the second round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, had been the top available free agent remaining at the position, which has already been heavily picked over as free agency enters its third week.
Of the top 10 free agent safeties by PFF ranking entering the process only one — No. 10 Adrian Amos of the Green Bay Packers — remains on the open market. Of the top 20, now there are just five remaining.
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The Steelers had starting strong safety Terrell Edmunds leave the team to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency. Incumbent starter Minkah Fitzpatrick is under long-term contract and top backup Damontae Kazee was re-signed to a new two-year deal, but Tomlin said the Steelers will continue to add to the position.
“The free agency process is still ongoing and our draft prep is going well,” Tomlin said. “We’re going to add to that bunch, certainly. By what means is to be determined, but there’s some credible candidates out there in both pools.”
It doesn’t seem like it has been money that has been holding the Steelers back from making a move. Rapp will reportedly earn less than $2 million per season, which is about what Edmunds singed for with the Eagles. The Steelers certainly have the salary cap space to absorb such a hit, so there must be another reason they have not been pushing hard for some of the top available free agents at the position, despite Tomlin’s plans to add the group he has.