The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team dealing with a lot of regrets when it comes to the 2021 season. General Manager (GM) Kevin Colbert spoke about how he was kicking himself for not bolstering the offensive line last season. Not that many would blame him, considering the loss of David DeCastro, which was unexpected, and the dip in the NFL’s salary cap.
Nonetheless, the Steelers are determined to not have the same thing happen in 2022, and armed with a significant amount of salary cap space they are making moves. Monday the team re-signed Chuks Okorafor and also added interior offensive lineman Mason Cole via free agency.
Their latest move is reportedly targeting James Daniels, an offensive guard who was a starter for the Chicago Bears. This per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:
Guard James Daniels is closing in on a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, per source. Daniels, a four-year starter in Chicago, is just 24 years old and can play multiple spots on the line.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 15, 2022
Drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, Daniels has played a number of positions across the offensive line. With 48 starts in 54 games, Daniels played a total of 3,260 snaps in his four seasons with Chicago. The only blemish on Daniels’ record in his NFL career was only appearing in five games in 2020 when he was placed on injured reserve for a pectoral muscle tear.
Classified as a guard by Pro Football Focus (PFF), Daniels was 19th at the position with an overall grade of 71.0, according to PFF. When it came to specific grades, Daniels graded as a 71.8 run blocker and a 68.3 pass blocker.
Coming into the league after playing center at Iowa, Daniels transitioned to guard during his rookie season. Daniels did move back to center for part of the 2019 season before returning to guard. Exactly where the Steelers plan on placing him in their offensive line has yet to be determined, but Daniels position flexibility will obviously be a desirable trait as head coach Mike Tomlin has praised others for the same thing in the past.
It looks as if this deal is done, as reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Steelers continue to shape their roster for the 2022 NFL season.
For more on this signing, tune in to BTSC’s Breaking News podcast below: