By Jeremy Hritz
Safety is a position of strength for the Steelers, or at least it will be if they re-sign Terrell Edmunds, who had his best season with the team in year #4. Edmunds had 89 tackles and 2 interceptions, and came through in big ways when needed for the defense and made a solid case for his return in 2022. While he did not have an elite season, it was noteworthy, and hopefully it does not price him out of Pittsburgh and force the team to find someone else. It is also worth mentioning he is still young at only 24 years of age, giving him ample time for growth. Bottom line, the Steelers have to re-sign Edmunds.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is arguably one of the best safeties in the NFL, if not the best safety, despite a down year in terms of splash. Although his season was not highlighted by a multitude of interceptions and recoveries/returns for touchdowns, he led the team in tackles, and showed how physical he can be, in addition to how sure of a tackler he is. The dude is a baller, and though he is entering the final year of his deal, he is probably already in talks about a contract extension that will make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL, and deservedly so. Shore up that defensive line, and let Fitzpatrick get back to his ballhawking ways instead of continually bailing out the front seven in terms of rushing defense.
Tre Norwood provided depth at safety as a 7th round pick, and also played in the slot and as the nickel back at times in the defense. He made some excellent plays as a rookie, while also making some mental errors that resulted in big plays for opposing offenses. It appears that Norwood possesses talent, and that his best football is ahead of him. He will be a player worth monitoring in terms of his development during the offseason and preseason.
Beyond Norwood, Miles Killebrew is a free agent, and he is more of an all-world special teamer than he is a safety. Because of his performance on special teams, it would not be surprising to see Killebrew return with the Steelers for another season.
After Killebrew, you have second year player Donovan Stiner who was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Florida, providing depth at safety.
The Steelers could benefit to upgrade their depth at the position and possibly sign a veteran free agent who isn’t just a special team player, but someone who can also play safety when called upon. However, with all of the needs on this team, I don’t expect any moves in the draft at safety, and as I said earlier, Killebrew will more than likely will be back. But as I said at the beginning of the article, it all starts with re-signing Edmunds, and if that doesn’t happen, this unit will be take a step back.