The Pittsburgh Steelers have acquired outside linebacker Malik Reed in a trade with the Denver Broncos, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The Steelers will send a 2023 sixth-round pick as compensation back to Denver for Reed, and will get Denver’s seventh-round pick, per Mike Klis of 9NEWS Denver.
Reed has been a regular starter for each of the last three seasons for the Broncos, playing opposite Von Miller. He had his best season in 2020, when he recorded eight sacks and 53 tackles in 16 games. Last season, he had five sacks in 14 games.
This season, Reed had been working behind Randy Gregory and Bradley Chubb as the Broncos’ third outside linebacker. The team also drafted Nik Bonitto with their second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Steelers have been looking for a Reed-like player for multiple seasons to use as a third edge rusher behind starters T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Reed will immediately be the team’s third-best pass rusher, and with Highsmith nursing a rib injury that has kept him out of training camp, could be in line for a significant role right away.
The Broncos play a 3-4 base defense like the Steelers, so the adjustment should be relatively simple for Reed.
Reed originally joined the Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Nevada in 2019. He progressed from undrafted rookie to starting outside linebacker in his first season with the team.
A three-year starter at Nevada, Reed was named the Wolfpack’s Most Valuable Player as a senior in 2018. His 22 career sacks are fifth-all time in Nevada history. He led all FBS players in 2018 with 11 forced fumbles.
The addition of Reed means the Steelers will likely made an additional cut among their current crop of outside linebackers. Ron’Dell Carter has already reportedly been released, with Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Delontae Scott, Derrek Tuszka and James Vaughters remaining for at most two more spots.
Reed is in the final season of his rookie contract and he will be an unrestricted free agent next March. He is scheduled to earn $2.433 million in 2022 salary, all of which will be on the Steelers’ salary cap books.