Sitting 2-5 this season after a frustrating 16-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in an unfamiliar position under the 16th-year head coach.
With rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett having had some real trouble growing up on the field as a starting quarterback in the NFL, and a young offense still struggling to really find his groove under the sophomore offensive coordinator decried Matt Canada, the Steelers could find themselves at 2-6 after the Week 8 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, sending the black and gold into the bye week on a low note.
That record, coupled with the bye week, could see the Steelers turn “sell-offs” ahead of the Nov. 1 trade deadline.
Already, third-year wide receiver Chase Claypool has been a part of a number of trade rumors and speculation, having been linked to the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans in recent days. With Claypool, fifth-year quarterback and current No. 3 Mason Rudolph continues to be touted as a trade item, given he’s been inactive all season and could go for a Day 3 pick.
There’s a name that popped up in Bleacher Report on Wednesday that raised some eyebrows about who the Steelers “should consider” as sellers. This player ? Security Terrell Edmunds.
According to Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey, the Steelers should consider moving the fifth-year safety for draft picks, given his high level of play right now, as well as the fact that he’s on an expiring deal. Add to that the fact that the Steelers have already invested heavily in the future at the position with Minkah Fitzpatrick’s extension and Tansey thinks it might be wise to move Edmunds.
“Pittsburgh has already invested $73 million in security with Minkah Fitzpatrick, and it can be hard to justify spending that much money on just one position,” Tansey writes. “The Steelers may be able to afford it because most of their star offensive players are on rookie contracts, but they have to think a few years down the line when it comes to extending Edmunds.”
Tansey is wrong. Good, bad.
Edmunds, who re-signed to a one-year contract for around $2.5 million. According to Dave Bryan of Steelers Depot, the Steelers actually made a major deal with Edmunds because of the type of contract he signed. Here’s Bryan from April 28 regarding the Edmunds deal:
The contract Edmunds signed is considered a four-year qualifying player contract. This type of veteran salary benefit may be offered to a player with at least four credited seasons whose contract with a team has expired after being on that team for four or more consecutive league years before their contract expires. . The CBA states that such a player must have been on the team’s 90 active/inactive roster for said seasons (and in every regular season and postseason game).
A four-year qualifying player contract under this benefit is a one-year contract with a base salary of up to $1.35 million above said player’s minimum base salary. A signing bonus of up to $152,500 can also be granted under this type of qualification contract. The contract also comes with a reduced salary cap charge benefit. Under these agreements, only a second-year player’s applicable minimum base salary (not the $1.35 million benefit) counts toward the salary cap. Of course, the signing bonus is also charged against the salary cap.
So the minimum for Edmunds based on his credited years is $1.035 million, so the Steelers gave him $1.35 million more than that. They also gave him the maximum signing bonus allowed for such a contract, which is $152,500. The result of all of this is that Edmunds has a salary cap charge for 2022 of just $1,187,500, or a minimum base of $1.035 million, plus his signing bonus of $152,500.
Essentially, the Steelers took advantage of the CBA, signed a starting safety for pennies on the dollar, and got a massive payback for seven weeks from Edmunds, who is playing some of the best football of his career.
Trading it makes absolutely no sense right now. He is very comfortable playing alongside Fitzpatrick, has taken on a defensive leadership role and has been one of the Steelers’ best defensemen this season. By teaming up with Fitzpatrick, Edmunds helped form a key part of one of football’s top safety duos.
Extending it is movement, not processing it for future choices.
Moving names like Claypool, Rudolph and maybe even someone like Mitch Trubisky or Damontae Kazee makes sense, but trying to formulate a thought process in any sense that says swapping Edmunds right now is everything just stupid. He’s a fundamental part of the defense right now. The Steelers took a flyer on him immediately after the draft, and Edmunds bet on himself. Both paid off in major ways for both parties.
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