The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a hard-fought win over the division-rival Baltimore Ravens on Sunday to remain undefeated on the season. Pittsburgh moved to 7-0 through eight weeks and looks like a legit threat to the Chiefs in the AFC. The Steelers have also now added a reinforcement ahead of the NFL trade deadline, acquiring linebacker Avery Williamson from the Jets.
Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News was the first to report that the Steelers were working hard to land Williamson.
A source later confirmed to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport that the Steelers did in fact acquire Williamson in a trade with the winless Jets.
It’s a move that won’t make waves around the football world. However, it’s an important trade for general manager Kevin Colbert and Co.
Steelers trade for Avery Williamson, find a Devin Bush replacement
That’s the major backdrop here. Pittsburgh lost Bush to a season-ending ACL back in Week 6. The second-year linebacker had been the team’s play caller on defense.
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Needless to say, finding someone to replace him ahead of Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline was a priority for the 7-0 Steelers. In acquiring Williamson, the Steelers have brought in a veteran that’s widely respected in NFL circles.
Avery Williamson stats
The seventh-year linebacker out of Kentucky actually played in the Jets’ 35-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, recording a team-high nine tackles (five solo).
Dating back to his days with the Tennessee Titans, Avery Williamson has been among the most underrated inside linebackers in the NFL. Last season alone, the former fifth-round pick recorded 120 tackles (80 solo), six passes defended, four quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and an interception.
With that said, Williamson had struggled in coverage thus far this season. According to Pro Football Focus, he entered Week 8 having allowed 24 receptions on 26 targets. That obviously won’t cut it with the Steelers.
Per the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols, it’s not yet known whether Williamson will play against the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday. However, it’s also highly unlikely that Pittsburgh will need him.
As the NFL trade deadline approaches in less than 36 hours, we’re going to hear a lot more moves as it relates to potential trades. For now, the Steelers add an important veteran in Avery Williamson to one of the NFL’s most dominant front sevens.