The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the most active teams in the NFL to date in this 2022 free agency period. Having roughly $29 million dollars to begin the new league year, the Steelers continue to make moves. As they continue to add players to their roster, the need to create more cap space remains constant.
Wednesday the Steelers released offensive tackle Zach Banner, creating roughly $5 million dollars in cap space, and on Thursday the team announced the official release of inside linebacker Joe Schobert.
When the Steelers added linebacker Myles Jack via free agency Wednesday afternoon, the writing was on the wall for Schobert’s exit from Pittsburgh. The move will create roughly $7.834 million in cap space, and even after displacement will still be a savings of more than $7 million dollars.
Schobert’s time in Pittsburgh was brief after being signed in the 2021 preseason. After Vince Williams’ abrupt retirement before training camp the team was forced to inject Robert Spillane into the starting lineup. It didn’t take long for the team to see this wasn’t a long term solution.
Brining in Schobert via trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars seemed good in theory, but on the field resulted in questionable results. Schobert, alongside Devin Bush, was never kept clean enough from the poor play by the defensive line, and often got taken out of plays. The result was the league’s worst run defense. On top of that, Schobert never seemed comfortable in the Steelers’ scheme. This, combined with his huge salary cap hit in 2022, were reasons why this move was expected for weeks. After Jack was signed, it became obvious it was only a matter of time.
Freeing up nearly $12 million dollars in salary cap space should equate to the Steelers remaining active in free agency. Positions of need include: wide receiver, cornerback and strong safety. The Steelers have yet to have one of their own free agents sign elsewhere, so the return of players like Ahkello Witherspoon, Joe Haden, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Terrell Edmunds remain viable options.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of free agency, as well as the 2022 NFL Draft.