3 free agent linebackers the Steelers could sign

The Steelers have made a flurry of free agent signings lately on both signs of the ball. They may not be done either. While the Steelers have mostly shored up all their position groups, they are yet to sign a linebacker. With Jarvis Jones now in Arizona and Lawrence Timmons in Miami, the Steelers could use some linebacker depth.

The Steelers have a tendency to sign players who are familiar with the team, whether through previous tenures, coaching staff, or pre-draft visits. There are some free agent linebackers still out there who would make sense bringing to Pittsburgh.

Terence Garvin

Terence Garvin’s story is inspiring. He was invited to the Steelers rookie minicamp as a tryout player and from there managed to earn a spot on the 90-man roster. He initially made the practice squad but made the 53-man roster in September. Garvin spent two seasons with Pittsburgh before being signed to a one-year contract by the Washington Redskins in March 2016.

Garvin is now a free agent. With the Steelers loss of Timmons, the Steelers could use inside linebacker depth. Signing Garvin would make sense because of his experience with the team and his known skills as a dominant special teams player.

The downside of Garvin is he never managed to prove he’s capable of playing defense. If the Steelers are looking for a backup who can come in on defense when needed, Garvin may not be the right guy. However, if the Steelers want special teams depth he may be worth looking into.

Editors Note: Hours after this article was published Terence Garvin was signed by the Seattle Seahawks. 

Howard Jones

Howard Jones was a fan favorite who never managed to make the Steelers 53-man roster. He was initially brought in as an undrafted free agent, spent the 2014 season on the practice squad, and was then released prior to the start of the 2015 season.

Jones was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and managed to have a big impact. He finished his first season with the Buccaneers with five sacks to the dismay of Steeler fans. Jones’ fortune took a turn when he suffered a knee injury in November of 2016. He is now a free agent.

Jones is a tough case to get behind due to the fact that he’s not fully healthy following ACL surgery. If the Steelers were to sign him they will be getting back a player who proved he can get to the passer. Given the Steelers struggles to rush the quarterback last year, Jones is a stone worth turning over.

Sio Moore

Sio Moore is unique on this list because he’s the only player who was drafted and never played for the Steelers. His connection with the Steelers comes from him being brought in as a pre-draft visit prior to the 2013 draft.

Sio Moore was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft. During his two years with the Raiders, he started 22 games, but he didn’t stay in Oakland for long. Moore’s career took a downward turn after being named to the Pro Football Writers Associate All-Rookie team. In September 2015 he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts.

He wasn’t done moving.

He was eventually cut and bounced from the Colts to the Kansas City Chiefs and then to the Arizona Cardinals where he remained for the season and starting three games.

Moore’s career has been hurt by injuries and poor play, but it’s never too late to turn things around. Health and time to acclimate himself with a playbook could lead Moore to a comeback. The Steelers could take a flyer and potentially end up with a solid depth player who’s capable of filling in as a starter at inside linebacker.

Suggested articles from our sponsors