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3 free agent linebackers the Steelers should consider signing

Training Camp is here, and the energy amongst the Steelers fan base is as high as it has been in several years. While the roster looks relatively complete on paper, there are still a couple areas for concern, one of which is linebacker. Could the Steelers go back to the free-agent pool to sign yet another linebacker?

The Steelers have already signed Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, Tanner Muse, and Nick Kwiatkoski, but unless Tanner Muse performs significantly better than he did with Seattle, there are no true coverage linebackers capable of playing a high number of snaps. Perhaps the most surprising decisions from the front office this offseason has been the complete turnover at this position, as it is very uncharacteristic of a Steelers franchise that values continuity. Nonetheless, we are sitting here just a couple weeks away from the preseason, wondering if the Steelers have done enough to sooth their linebacking woes.

Surprisingly, there are still several intriguing names on the free agent market, many of which have experienced true success as a starter at the NFL level. Age is likely playing a factor in some of these players remaining on the market, but game-changing playmakers can still be had, and at a reasonable price tag as well. Today, we are going to look at three potential free-agent fits for what the Steelers currently need at linebacker.

Kwon Alexander

Alexander was brought in for a visit earlier this summer, but nothing happened. Logically, one would expect a team to make a decision shortly after the visit, but when putting all scenarios and likelihood aside, Alexander may make the most sense of any free-agent linebacker for what the Steelers need. He may not provide prototypical size, but his fluidity and instincts in coverage would complete the Steelers linebacker room, even if it is just for 2023. The former fourth-round pick of the Buccaneers has dealt with injuries off and on during his career, but after a solid season with the Jets in 2022, Alexander would be poised to step in and assist any team aspiring to make a postseason run.

Deion Jones

Much like Alexander, Jones lacks prototypical size for a linebacker, but at only 28 years old, there is still plenty of good football left in the former pro-bowler. Jones played for the Browns in 2022 following an in-season trade from the Falcons, but he only managed to start 5 games, as he was coming off a notable injury and working his way back into football shape. In 11 total games (5 starts), Jones racked up 44 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception. In each of the previous trio of seasons, Jones had racked up at least 100 tackles, at least 8 tackles for loss, and at least 5 passes defended.

Rashaan Evans

Evans never quite lived up to the hype that I bought into coming out of Alabama in 2018, but coming off a 159-tackle season with Atlanta, he could provide an additional spark to the second level of the defense. Evans is a solid athlete who moves well in coverage and does the simple well. He may not create many splash plays, but his ability to play both MACK and BUCK linebacker adds to his value when the Steelers are in their 3-4 defense. Spotrac is typically on the higher end when it comes to projected market value, and they currently have Evans’ projected value at $4.5 million. This would be a low-risk signing that could lessen the concerns of the Steelers’ current situation at linebacker.

Which free-agent linebacker do you think is the best fit for the Steelers? Be sure to light up the comment section below with your thoughts on this and all things Pittsburgh Steelers!

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