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Steelers News: In the AFC North, the Steelers hold the edge at linebacker

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Unable to attend most player pro days and participating in the NFL’s first virtual draft, the Steelers keep pushing forward toward a return to football activities. Just because the Steelers are unable to hold their typical OTA’s doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the Steelers have both the highest draft pick and the most experience at inside linebacker in the AFC North.

Let’s get to the news:

  • All of the AFC North teams have reloaded at inside linebacker over the last year

AFC North: Youth reigns at off-ball linebacker

By: Dale Lolley, DK Pittsburgh Sports

You’ll hear NFL teams talk a lot about winning their division as the first goal for their season.

The reason? The surest way to get into the playoffs is to win a division title, and it assures a home playoff game.

But to win that division title, teams should be as good as — if not better than — division opponents in a number of areas. That won’t guarantee success, but it sure will help.

We continue our look at how the Steelers stack up against their AFC North opponents on a position-by-position basis.

Today, we look at off-ball linebackers:

The off-ball linebackers in the AFC North were dominated by the likes of Ray Lewis, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmins, Bart Scott, Ryan Shazier and C.J. Mosley at one time. Heck, even Vontaze Burfict, hate him as much as you want, was a highly talented player at the position.

The position is getting an extreme makeover. Most of the aforementioned players are long retired, or in the case of the two most recent stars, Shazier and Mosley, suffered a career-threatening injury or left in free agency, respectively.

That has meant the teams in the AFC North have been working hard in the draft the past couple of seasons to rebuild their off-ball linebacker positions.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • After looking at value, which Steelers players carry too high of a price tag?

Three Steelers who should be considered salary cap “busts”

By: Jeff Hartman, DK Pittsburgh Sports

When you look at any NFL team’s salary-cap situation, there are players who provide tons of value, and others who suck the life right out of the team’s finances. While those who would be considered a bargain were discussed yesterday, today we dive into the players who are a drain on the Steelers’ economy.

Before getting to the list of players whose overall price tag doesn’t necessarily equate to their value, we should set some criteria. When I think of a player as a salary-cap bust, it is a player who, for whatever reason, doesn’t live up to the salary they are receiving. Sometimes it is injury, other times a lack of production.

Whatever the case, the cost of having the player on the roster doesn’t always add up.

With the help of, I have listed three Steelers who would be considered the biggest salary-cap busts heading into the 2020 season. The total next to the name is the player’s cap number for this year.

1. Stephon Tuitt - $14,940,750

When healthy, Tuitt is an absolute monster on the defensive line. His ability to wreak havoc on the opposition is a thing of beauty. The problem is, Tuitt is rarely healthy. Whether it was because o a torn biceps tendon, or last year’s torn pectoral muscle, Tuitt has missed a significant chunk of too many seasons to warrant the third-highest cap total entering the 2020 season. Hindsight is always 20/20, but if Tuitt can’t stay on the field, it makes his second contract look even worse.

2. Ben Roethlisberger - $23,750,000

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Some realistic expectations for Steelers rookie Chase Claypool

Let’s set fair rookie bar for Steelers’ Claypool

By: Jeff Hartman, DK Pittsburgh Sports

We are all guilty of the same crime. That crime is placing ridiculously lofty goals on rookies in the NFL. The Steelers’ broad and rabid fan base, like all other fan bases, does this annually with their new class of players.

Without a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Steelers fans had to sit around and wait to see the team’s top pick in the second. The pick was Notre Dame receiver Chase Claypool, and fans have been mesmerized by his size, speed and athleticism. All it took was a Chris Simms YouTube breakdown comparing Claypool to Calvin Johnson and fans were caught.

Hook, line and sinker.

But are these expectations realistic?

More important, is it fair to compare Claypool to Megatron?

Setting realistic expectations is important, and if a rookie is able to exceed those expectations consider it a cherry on top of the sundae. However, going into a season thinking a player like Claypool will be the next Johnson with no rookie minicamp, no mandatory minicamp and no in-person OTAs is a stretch.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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