The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2023.
Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, we here at BTSC thought we would do the same. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin has previously stated he starts his interviews with rookies, first year players, and those heading into free agency, we will do the same. To start, we will pair a potential free agent with a first-year player as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up are running back Najee Harris and safety Terrell Edmunds.
Position: Running back
Years with the Steelers: 2
Years in the NFL: 2
Contract Status: Signed through 2024 with a fifth-year option in 2025
Contract Details: $3,558,394 salary cap hit for 2023. Would cost the Steelers $7,709,854 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2022: 17 regular season
Games started in 2022: 17 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 763 (offense), 1 (special teams)
PFF score: 73.5 (29th of 60)
Notable stats: In his second NFL season, Najee Harris had 272 rushing attempts for 1,034 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. Harris also had 41 receptions on 53 targets for 229 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.
Notes: Although he played just as many games as his rookie season, Najee Harris saw over 200 fewer snaps in 2022 and 68 less touches. Matching his touchdown totals for rushing and receiving in year one versus year two, Harris carried almost the same yards per attempt average as he dropped from 3.9 in 2021 to 3.8 in 2022. But the decrease came after only averaging 3.3 yards per carry the first eight games but improved 4.0 since the Steelers’ bye week. Being able to reduce Harris’ touches with the addition of Jaylen Warren should pay off for Harris in the long run. While it initially appeared Harris would have a down year in his second season, especially due to a nagging foot injury, the second half of the year changed everything as Najee Harris rolls into 2023 after finishing strong.
Years with the Steelers: 5
Years in the NFL: 5
Contract Status: Free Agent
Contract Details: Contract expiring with no dead money.
Games played in 2022: 15 regular season
Games started in 2022: 15 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 886 (defense), 107 (special teams)
PFF score: 69.1 (35th of 88)
Notable stats: Edmunds had 70 tackles in 2022 with three being for loss. Edmunds also added 2.0 sacks and five passes defensed.
Notes: After not finding a lucrative contract in free agency last season, Terrell Edmunds returned to the Steelers and once again showed his value to Pittsburgh‘s defense. Playing on a one year deal, Edmunds is once again a free agent and it will be interesting to see how the market is this time. But it seems as if Terrell Edmunds and the Pittsburgh Steelers are realizing they are a match made where both parties are better with each other than they would be apart. Hopefully Terrell Edmunds can find a way to stay in Pittsburgh and continue to bring quality play paired up with Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:
Kenny Pickett & Mason Rudolph
George Pickens & Miles Boykin
DeMarvin Leal & Larry Ogunjobi
Connor Heyward & Zach Gentry
Mark Robinson & Devin Bush
Jaylen Warren & Benny Snell Jr.
Calvin Austin III & Derek Watt