Steelers Audition LS Nick Boyle, To Host LB Kwon Alexander

The Steelers have already gone through with a linebacker revamp effort. They released Myles Jack, let Devin Bush sign with the Seahawks and did not retain Robert Spillane, who joined the Raiders in free agency. Offseason signings Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts are now in the fold.

A more accomplished veteran is on the team’s radar as well. The Steelers are meeting with Kwon Alexander tonight, Adam Schefter of tweets. Alexander spent last season with the Jets, reuniting with former 49ers DC Robert Saleh. While Alexander remains on the Jets’ radar, the Steelers are interested as well.

Despite a notable injury history and not having signed with the Jets until training camp last year, Alexander played all 17 Gang Green games and started 12. The former Buccaneers standout saw action on 49% of the Jets’ defensive plays, logging 559 defensive snaps — his most with one team since his 2017 Pro Bowl year in Tampa. While Alexander played 667 snaps in 2020, the 49ers traded him to the Saints midway through the season.

Pro Football Focus has graded Alexander as a top-50 linebacker in each of the past three seasons, slotting him 44th in 2022. He joined C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams as the Jets’ primary linebackers, helping the team to a remarkable bounce-back effort in Saleh’s second season running the defense. Alexander finished with 69 tackles (six for loss) and a forced fumble last year.

Both the Saints and Jets have sought Alexander, 28, for his experience; the Steelers could ask him to play a similar role. The eight-year veteran has 86 starts on his resume. Alexander did miss five games in 2021 due to an elbow injury, but he has avoided major maladies since his late-2010s trouble. Alexander suffered a torn ACL in 2017 and missed 18 games between the 2018 and ’19 slates.

The Steelers did add Tanner Muse this offseason and are also carrying ex-Giants starter Tae Crowder as a potential backup option. Alexander would obviously represent an upgrade and could certainly emerge as a starting option in the team’s 3-4 look.

Pittsburgh also brought in former Baltimore tight end Nick Boyle, per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic (on Twitter). Boyle attended the Steelers’ rookie minicamp over the weekend but did so as a long snapper. The longtime Ravens tight end is attempting to continue his career as a long snapper. This low-profile job can allow players to play into their late 30s or even early 40s, though it is the NFL’s lowest-paying on-field role. The Steelers have Christian Kuntz in place as their deep snapper, a role he has played over the past two seasons.

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