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Has Terrell Edmunds increased his market value for 2023?

With no takers last offseason, will Terrell Edmunds’ services be in demand when free agency begins?

NFL: NOV 13 Saints at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 offseason is underway. As the team looks at it’s potentially departing players due to impending free agency, some players may be returning while others will test the market. To get a better idea as to how the Steelers might be looking, we’re going to dive into several of the free agents starting with ones who played the most in 2022. Next up will be Terrell Edmunds. This is the subject for this week’s Steelers Vertex.

Let’s get a quick reminder of where this nerdiness is coming from.

Vertex- a single point where two or more lines cross.

Sometimes to make a great point, it takes two different systems of analysis to come together and build off each other in order to drawl a proper conclusion. In this case, the two methods are statistical analysis and film breakdown. Enter Dave Schofield (the stat geek) and Geoffrey Benedict (the film guru) to come together to prove a single point based on our two lines of thinking.

Here comes the breakdown from two different lines of analysis.

The Stats Line:

When it comes to Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds, he generally does not tear up the stat sheet. With 70 tackles this season, three of them were for loss. Additionally, he had a career-high 2.0 sacks in 2022 while having five passes defensed.

When it comes to advanced stats, Pro Football Reference (PFR) had Terrell Edmunds being targeted 33 times in coverage giving up 20 completions for 264 yards. PFR also had Edmunds surrendering three touchdown passes this season.

Appearing in 15 games this season, Edmunds played 886 defensive snaps along with 107 on special teams.

Comparing Edmunds stats this season with those for the rest of his career, the first thing that stands out was he did not have any interceptions for only the second time in his career. Edmunds was down in tackles from his previous season in Pittsburgh, but he was also down more than 250 defensive snaps due to missing two games. Edmunds’ 3 touchdowns surrendered was more than his 2 in 2021 and 1 in 2020.

With nothing jumping off the page when it comes to Edmunds’ stats, let’s check out his film.

The Film Line:

Terrell Edmunds doesn’t create many splash plays, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have value, as most Steelers fans have realized over the last couple of seasons. Edmunds is a player that limits damage in coverage and against the run.

Steelers vs. Buccaneers, 2nd quarter, 4:07

Terrell Edmunds is the deep safety to the right side of the screen.

One of the most important things to see from a player with the athleticism of Terrell Edmunds is swarming to the ball. Edmunds has collected a lot of tackle assists on plays like this, where his teammate makes a great play but can’t finish the tackle and Edmunds is the second player there.

Steelers vs. Buccaneers, 3rd quarter, 8:17

Terrell Edmunds is the deep safety to the right side of the screen.

You can see the initial movement Edmunds takes here is similar to the previous clip, but this time as he sees the play heading away from him. He accelerates and runs down the back from behind the play to force a loss on the play.

Steelers vs. Panthers, 1st quarter, 14:25

Terrell Edmunds is the deep safety to the left side of the screen.

Edmunds’ run support ability is a big deal for any strong safety. When they pull extra defenders into the box but also when the other team uses motion to pull a linebacker out of the box like this play, Edmunds moves in to fill the void left by the linebacker motion. Against most defenses that swap would be a big benefit to the offense, but Terrell Edmunds is as solid a tackler as the Steelers linebackers so there isn’t much to gain by forcing him into the box.

Terrell Edmunds brings speed, experience and solid tackling to run support. He’s not a big hitter and he will miss tackles, but he’s a guy that gets to the ball, and there is a lot of value in that, especially for a team without great inside linebackers.

Steelers vs. Colts, 1st quarter, 3:54

Terrell Edmunds is lined up on the line, 2nd from bottom of screen.

Terrell Edmunds set a new career high for sacks in a season in 2022 with two. He’s not a natural rusher at all. Edmunds is no Mike Hilton and Minkah Fitzpatrick has shown he’s a better blitzer, but Edmunds is fast and gives good effort. He can be used on blitzes, but he’s better on run blitzes than pass rushing.

Steelers vs. Dolphins, 4th quarter, 8:10

Terrell Edmunds is the deep safety to the bottom of the screen.

Levi Wallace on Tyreek Hill is a mismatch, and Wallace is burnt pretty quickly. It’s okay though, because Terrell Edmunds is his deep help and he is able to run with Hill down the sideline. With the throw leading Hill inside, Edmunds wins the play.

Steelers vs. Dolphins, 1st quarter, 10:54

Terrell Edmunds is the defensive back farthest to the top of the screen.

I love this play design from the Dolphins. They put both wide receivers on the same side and use a switch release to get Tyreek Hill off the cornerback. The Steelers are alright here as Levi Wallace picks up Hill. That only happens because the Steelers sent both their corners to cover the two receivers. That leaves Mike Gesicki, a good receiving tight end, one on one with Terrell Edmunds, and Edmunds’ help, Minkah Fitzpatrick, has to be ready in case Hill is coming to the middle of the field.

You can see how the Steelers have the inside/outside double team on Hill, and how that (along with the running back pulling a linebacker) opens up the seam for Gesicki’s route. This play puts Terrell Edmunds on an island with Gesicki, and that’s not the easiest assignment. Edmunds does a great job undercutting the route and getting a hand out to break up this pass.

The Point:

Terrell Edmunds is not a playmaker and that has limited his value since the start of his career. There’s no better example than after four-straight years as a starter, Edmunds became a Free Agent ahead of his age 25 season and ended up signing a one-year deal worth $2.4 million. This made Edmunds one of the cheapest starting safeties in the NFL, making less than the annual value of all three safeties drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

It is clear that the Steelers and the rest of the NFL want players that give them splash plays, and that is not Terrell Edmunds. We’ll have to wait and see if the Steelers or any other NFL team will value his skill set and quality of play in 2023.