The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a very smart decision with the future at inside linebacker in mind, and that decision was picking up the 5th year club option for Ryan Shazier.
The #Steelers have picked up Ryan Shazier's fifth-year option. Will get just over $8 million in 2018.— Dale Lolley (@dlolleyor) April 24, 2017
Shazier’s option will land him just over $8 million dollars in the 2018 season, but in the recent past the team has negotiated a long-term contract with their first round draft picks prior to them playing in their final year of their rookie contract.
Speaking of those who have received the 5th year option in recent years, those would be players like Cameron Heyward, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro. All received a new contract prior to them playing in that fifth year option, although most contracts were an extension from their current deal. The exception in recent memory was Jarvis Jones, whose option wasn’t picked up and he left the team via free agency this offseason.
Shazier’s durability has been the biggest knock on him since coming to the team from Ohio State, but Shazier proved his worth in 2016 notching 3 interceptions, 9 pass defenses and 3.5 sacks, in 13 games played. Shazier attended the Pro Bowl last season, but was an alternate at season’s end.
Keeping Shazier has become paramount after the departure of Lawrence Timmons this offseason. However, will the team find a long-term partner for Shazier at ILB in the 2017 NFL Draft, or is Vince Williams the answer? Time will tell, but Shazier isn’t going anywhere.