The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base is awaiting the team signing a strong safety with every waking minute. Whether that name be Tyrann Mathieu or Terrell Edmunds, filling this void is certainly a must before the 2022 NFL Draft.
Well, the wait on a strong safety continues, but the Steelers did add a member to their defense in linebacker Genard Avery, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles.
This per Adam Caplan:
Ray Fittipaldo, Steelers beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, also confirms this report of the team signing Avery to a one-year contract.
Source confirms @caplannfl report of LB Genard Avery agreeing to a one year deal with the Steelers.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) March 28, 2022
For those who want a little background information on Avery, he attended the University of Memphis, and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In his second season, Avery was traded from the Browns to the Philadelphia Eagles. In five seasons, Avery has started 17 of the 53 games in which he appeared. Avery has a total of 101 tackles and 7.5 sacks in his four seasons.
If you are looking for a playmaking defender, Avery isn’t that guy. In 2021 he played in 16 games, starting 12, and notching 1.0 sack, 43 combined tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 2 quarterback hits. This isn’t to suggest Avery isn’t a good player, but someone who will have to be utilized for his strengths.
It is unclear how Avery will truly help the Steelers’ defense in 2022, but considering he is listed as a defensive end, it is a safe bet he could be the team’s needed depth at outside linebacker behind the likes of T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith and Derrek Tuszka. In other words, Avery could fill the role Taco Charlton filled in 2021.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of free agency, and the 2022 NFL Draft.