The Steelers’ Cole Holcomb addition will not round out their linebacker moves in free agency. They have also reached an agreement to bring in Elandon Roberts, Cameron Wolfe of NFL.com tweets.
Roberts agreed to a two-year deal with Pittsburgh. Brian Flores brought Roberts from New England to Miami in 2020. Though Flores is no longer with the Steelers, the team is bringing in a player the new Vikings DC coached in two cities. Roberts has 76 starts on his resume, including 32 over the past two seasons in Miami. Roberts’ deal is a two-year, $7MM pact, per KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson, who notes (via Twitter) the eighth-year veteran received a $2.3MM signing bonus.
Pittsburgh’s additions of Roberts and Holcomb will precede a release of Myles Jack, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweets. Jack signed a two-year , $16MM deal with the Steelers in 2022, but the team is moving to other options a year later. This marks the second straight March that a team has made Jack a cap casualty. A year after the Jaguars cut the longtime starter, the Steelers will save $8MM by making this move.
Although Roberts’ Miami tenure included a late-December knee injury in his first year with the team (2020), he bounced back and became a regular starter — both with Flores and following his firing. Roberts started every game for the Dolphins last year, totaling a career-high 107 tackles (10 for loss) and registering 4.5 sacks. That interesting combination is a bit of an outlier for Roberts, who had never produced more than two sacks in a season during his time with the Pats or Dolphins. But the versatile defender did enough to earn a multiyear commitment.
While Pro Football Focus rated Roberts just outside the top 60 at linebacker last year, he graded as the advanced metrics site’s No. 1 pass-rushing linebacker (among off-ball ‘backers). The Patriots used Roberts as a starter throughout their late-2010s run of Super Bowl appearances; he made 33 starts with the Pats from 2016-19.
Jack, who is still just 27 despite having played seven NFL seasons, made 104 tackles last season. PFF graded the former second-round pick just below Roberts — a 2016 sixth-rounder — at linebacker. The seven-year starter, who now has four 100-tackle seasons on his resume, will look for a third NFL team. He should not be expected to command a contract in the $8MM-AAV range, however.
The Steelers are making wholesale changes at linebacker. Robert Spillane, who played 59% of Pittsburgh’s defensive snaps last season, signed with the Raiders this week. Devin Bush has long been viewed as a one-contract Steeler; the former top-10 pick is visiting the Seahawks today.