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Pittsburgh Steelers land a major under-the-radar steal in NFL free agency

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Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

While it may not make headlines around the football world, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a signing on this week that could end up being one of the steals of 2023 NFL free agency.

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the new league year as a rebuilding team with not much salary cap space to be aggressive on the open market. However, because this is a Mike Tomlin-coached team and being a bottom-feeder club is rarely an option, the team that finished 9-8 last season doesn’t necessarily need to make massive moves in free agency.

Small and savvy acquisitions that make use of the team’s scouting department will be the plan for this offseason and the organization showed off that approach with a very nice signing this week.

Also Read: NFL free agency Day 2 – A look at the top winners and losers

On Wednesday morning, NFL Network league insider Tom Pelissero broke the news that “The Steelers agreed to terms with former Commanders LB Cole Holcomb earlier this week on a three-year deal.”

The financial numbers of the contract are unclear at this time, however, after missing ten games last season, it is unlikely that the four-year veteran was given a huge sum of money. Nevertheless, the move is worthwhile signing for the cash-strapped Pittsburgh Steelers.

Why Cole Holcomb is a very good signing for the Pittsburgh Steelers

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Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The first thing that is impressive about Cole Holcomb is the fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft earned defensive captain honors for a pretty good Washington Commanders defense in 2022. And it is not surprising when you look at the 26-year-old’s stats after four seasons in the league.

Obviously, the big knock on the University of North Carolina standout is he has missed large parts of two seasons with injuries. There are concerns about staying healthy at a physically demanding position, but it is also why the Pittsburgh Steelers likely got a bargain rate for a player with serious upside.

In the two seasons where he was able to stay healthy — his rookie year in 2019 and 2021 — the linebacker racked up over 100 tackles and peaked in 2021 with 142. In that season he also posted a sack, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, seven passes defended, and a touchdown. Beyond just being a tackling machine, he can be an impact player in other ways on the field.

  • Cole Holcomb stats (2022): 7 games, 69 tackles, 1 QB hit, 1 pass defended

For a team on the rise looking for players they could build around long-term, Cole Holcomb is a very good addition to the Pittsburgh Steelers. And could be key in helping them get back to the playoffs in 2023 in a strong linebacker combo with Myles Jack.

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