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Steelers 2018 Free Agent Market Watch: Inside Linebackers

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BTSC examines available Inside Linebackers in free agency and whether they would be a possibility for Pittsburgh.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers defense missed Ryan Shazier greatly after his devestating injury on December 4th of last year. Since it was announced officially that Shazier won't play (something all of us felt deep down would be the case) in 2018 at all, the quest to fill his vital role seems more definite. They are going to have to probably address the ILB position in both the draft and free agency.

Here is a look at what is currently available at this crucial position.

NaVorro Bowman - Oakland Raiders

Bowman is 30, but has been frequently injured and is a risky signing. But when healthy, that risk turns to reward. Bowman improved the Raiders defense after crossing the bay from San Francisco last season.

Avery Williamson - Tennessee Titans

Williamson has become a quality ILB since being selected in the fifth round in 2014. Williamson excels at stuffing the run, evident by his 196 tackles the previous two seasons. However, his coverage skills have been described as suspect. The Steelers have run stoppers, so I wouldn't imagine Williamson as an option here.

Demario Davis - New York Jets

After five years of relative disappointing play in New Jersey and Cleveland, Davis had a very good year with the Jets in 2017 with 135 tackles and five sacks. Teams will have to still be cautious of the possibility of Davis being a one-hit wonder.

Todd Davis - Denver Broncos

Davis has been fantastic against the run for Denver with 179 tackles the last two years. He is young at 26, but Davis is another coverage liability that contradicts what the Steelers need.

Derrick Johnson - Kansas City Chiefs

The cons of signing the 35-year old Johnson are his penchant for injury an his age. However, Johnson has 27.5 sacks and 14 career picks, is still very good in coverage and a quality veteran presence. At the veteran minimum, Johnson would be a good fit fir the Steelers in a few ways.

Other Notable Available Inside Linebackers

Kevin Minter - Cincinnati Bengals

Gerald Hodges - New Orleans Saints

Karlos Dansby - Arizona Cardinals

Will Compton - Washington Redskins

Korey Toomer - Los Angeles Chargers

Derrick Johnson - Kansas City Chiefs

John Bostic - Indianapolis Colts