The Pittsburgh Steelers are in need of help at the safety position. Of course there is Minkah Fitzpatrick, one of the most dynamic players in the NFL, but outside of Fitzpatrick the only real safety the team has on its roster is Damontae Kazee.
Kazee was chosen over Terrell Edmunds, with both being free agents at the end of the 2022 regular season. And when Edmunds signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year deal, the Steelers knew they needed help at the position.
As it turns out, the team is already looking at a potential safety to bring in and help provide some depth. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the team is closing in on a deal with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Keanu Neal.
Steelers are close to a deal with former Tampa Bay safety Keanu Neal, who was 17th overall pick in 2016, per sources.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 30, 2023
For all those out there who were wondering if Neal would be asked to come in and be a Day 1 starter for Teryl Austin’s defense, Dulac provided clarity if the fact Neal is expected to be valuable depth, not a starter.
Neal being viewed as depth, not starter. https://t.co/SyBkDaGpld— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 30, 2023
Neal played his first five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, some of which were with Kazee in the secondary, and had two seasons which were marred by injury (2018 and 2019). After the 2020 season Neal went to the Dallas Cowboys for a season, and then in 2021 played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In his career Neal has 3 interceptions, 20 pass defenses, 8 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 2.5 sacks and 473 combine tackles. In other words, Neal is known for his play around the line of scrimmage as more of an “in the box” style safety.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout the 2023 NFL offseason.