Overreactions from Steelers Nation: Terrell Edmunds’ social media posts
Welcome to my weekly edition of “Overreactions from Steelers Nation” a weekly column where I poke fun at fans, reporters, and so-called experts while trying to figure out if some of these hot takes are real – or just for attention.
If the Internet could be one thing, it is predictable. Year-in and year-out, NFL free agency drives fanbases to shear pandemonium. And with the current state of instant news via social media, those fans expect instant results in one form or fashion.
Take last week’s news that former Steelers CB Cameron Sutton was signing with the Detroit Lions. The news was met with immediate reactions that Pittsburgh was guilty of all sorts of crimes, including not offering enough money to the player or having a backup plan in place.
I even saw a comment where someone said something to the effect of “don’t you develop players to re-sign?” Apparently, this person forgot that the Steelers had already signed Sutton to a second contract in his career, but I digress: not everyone is paying attention.
Actually, that’s not true. Attention is the centerpiece of the social world, and one that was set ablaze when Steelers free agent safety Terrell Edmunds seemingly sent a goodbye post on Thursday. Within the context of his tweet, it looked like he was leaving the team, but it was his Instagram post that truly said this has come to an “end”.
View this post on Instagram
If an appropriate meme would be made in response, it would like have the words “No one: ” with Edmunds’ response, as the market has been void of his name for nearly two weeks. The usual recourse for these players, even the general public, is to draw some attention to themselves. We’ve seen it all before, a cryptic tweet with emojis or just a few words, or the entire scrubbing of team logos and unfollowing those within the organization.
Edmunds is no stranger to cryptic posts and the waiting game, as he followed a similar suit last season – almost to the date.
This year’s and last year’s posts came at a time when the free agency period is cooling off prior to the upcoming NFL Draft. Teams are not only focused on who they can add in the future, but they’re also aware of how a larger free agent pickup could skew their shot at a compensatory draft pick the following year, if they’re trying to game that particular system.
The safety market, especially, has been rather cool for several years. Of course, Jessie Bates III signed a megadeal with the Atlanta Falcons, but his teammate, Vonn Bell, grabbed a fairly medium contract, as did Jordan Poyer, who returned the Bills and Jimmie Ward, who moved from San Francisco to Houston.
Those players, along with prized free agent Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, signed for around the $6-8 million-per-year mark. Still, that’s beyond what the Steelers have set aside in free agency and likely far more than Edmunds, who has earned an average of around $2.5 million-per-season for each of the last five, will fetch.
Edmunds’ announcement comes more or less on the heels of there being zero chatter about his name – a shot to send a message, both to potential suitors and the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s offers aren’t enough, and I’m free to sign – please.
Keep it playa
— Terrell Edmunds (@rell_island6) March 20, 2023
Yet, the 4pm transaction window came and went without Edmunds’ name on it, and other NFL insiders (you know most of their names) were mum on any movement. The only Steelers beat writer to have any sort of confirmation on the Edmunds speculation was Gerry Dulac:
Terrell Edmunds has told Steelers he is signing elsewhere. New team not disclosed yet.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 23, 2023
The new team is not disclosed because there may not be a new team. This could be a powerplay by Edmunds to leverage better offers than any he may have received to date. Looking across his family’s holiday dinner table, that’s easy to understand why he wants the best deal, after Terrell’s twin brother Tremaine signed a four-year, $72 million contract that includes $50 million guaranteed with the Chicago Bears.
Talk about uncomfortable family outings…
Then there’s getting back to the fans, who are anything but reasonable. In an offseason where the Steelers new general manager Omar Khan, and his assistant Andy Weidl, have upended different portions of the roster with minimal salary cap impact, those fans have already forgotten and started into panic mode again, just as they had with Sutton.
Within a day, Sutton’s replacement – future Hall of Famer Patrick Peterson – was announced. That doused the flames, which got out of control for the better part of 24 hours… but it never ends. Those flames were fanned once more as every aggregator on the planet spilled news of “Edmunds’ announcement”, as any breadcrumb of NFL news this time of year can become a full meal.
Yes, this very article spawned from said breadcrumb too, but at the very least we’re not trying to make a meal of what emojis mean or criticizing the team for any lack of action. If they didn’t have designs on how to replace Edmunds, he would already be back in the fold. However, he is not, which means that Khan and Weidl have plans, but those are sworn in secrecy like a solid hand in Texas Hold’em – or a good poker bluff at the very least.
We could find out what those plans are by the time you read this, next week, in two weeks, or in two months. Such is the beauty of the offseason, but folks, don’t fall into the overreaction trap. Patience is the key to constructing rosters throughout the offseason and the Steelers front office is manned with professionals who are more than capable.
As for Edmunds, we will also find out if his post too is an ace up his sleeve or a move to get more chips from those sitting across the table.