A rangy safety who can line up as a cornerback or linebacker with a mix of athleticism and physicality?
That’s the kind of hybrid weapon the modern Pittsburgh Steelers defense covets. Versatility is why they drafted Ryan Shazier and Sean Davis.cheap nike nfl jerseys china And that’s why the team should at least have a detailed conversation about free agent Tyrann Mathieu, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday due to a bloated salary.
The reasons for not signing him are clear — money and injuries. Despite turning 26 in May, Mathieu has battled through two significant knee injuries and a shoulder issue. The Steelers sit at $6.512 million in cap space as of Thursday, the third-lowest clip in the league, so meeting Mathieu’s demands would be a challenge. Mathieu is used to making $10 million per year, which should be his market. The Steelers barely have enough cushion to sign a rookie class.
But since signing a former Pro Bowl defensive back fresh off a release worked out well last summer with Joe Haden, maybe the Steelers employ a similar strategy. Haden carries a $11.916 million cap number and the Steelers don’t seem to care much because he’s their best player in the secondary. Haden is one of five Steelers with a cap hit of more than $10 million, which has them in cost-cutting mode this time of year, but no move is impossible. The Steelers did just make $26 million of space disappear with four contract restructures since February.
Point is, if the Steelers really wanted to make a run at a wrecking-ball safety in free agency,nfl nike jersey cheap they can make it happen. They passed on the top inside linebackers at $5-9 million per year, but only the elite linebackers can swiftly cover the pass as well as the run, which is crucial in today’s NFL. Mathieu can do both.
Steelers teammates have nudged Mathieu on social media, with Haden teasing a phone call to the Honey Badger. Recruiting won’t be enough to move the Steelers into a deal. And all signs point to bargain-shopping once again.