The Pittsburgh Steelers have some tough decisions to make prior to free agency starting on March 13th. One position where the decisions loom large will be at the safety position. Both Terrell Edmunds and Damontae Kazee are slated to hit free agency, but a recent report from Matt Lombardo suggests the Steelers have already begun talking contract with Kazee.
Per Sources, there is mutual interest between the #Steelers and free agent safety Damontae Kazee in reaching a new deal. Expect a strong market for the 29-year-old.— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) March 3, 2023
Kazee is coming off a strong finish in 2022, intercepting 2 passes with 20 tackles in 9 games | @HeavyOnSports pic.twitter.com/u9rEYMgMAY
In the report, the two parties, Kazee and the Steelers, have commenced contract talks, like they have with Cameron Sutton.
“Heavy on Steelers is hearing that talks with safety Damontae Kazee are also underway. Heavy’s NFL Insider Matt Lombardo was the first to report that the two parties have a mutual interest in getting a new deal done.”
Two parties talking doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is imminent, but it at least shows the Steelers see the value in Kazee and are entertaining the idea of bringing him back for next season, and likely beyond.
While Kazee and Edmunds play a similar position, the two couldn’t be more different in their style. Edmunds is the reliable, and durable, safety who has been a mainstay in the secondary alongside Minkah Fitzpatrick. Meanwhile, Kazee is the safety who can provide splash when roaming the secondary.
In just nine games last season, Kazee was able to put up two interceptions and 20 combined tackles. Comparatively, Edmunds has only had five interceptions in his five seasons with the Steelers since being the team’s top draft pick in 2018.
The two safeties were asked to do different things in the defense, and are clearly two different players. Nonetheless, the one knock on Edmunds has been his inability to create any type of splash plays from the safety position.
As fans will remember, Kazee’s season got off to a rocky start when he broke his forearm in the team’s preseason finale vs. the Detroit Lions. During his time on Injured Reserve (IR) Kazee served a suspension before returning to the team after their bye in Week 9.
These are just talks, but it will be interesting to see how the Steelers handle their own free agents, and if they’ll be able to lock any up before the start of the legal tampering period on March 13th.
In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the NFL offseason.