The Pittsburgh Steelers’ inside linebacker room is looking pretty empty after losing Robert Spillane to the Las Vegas Raiders and with Devin Bush and Marcus Allen set to officially become free agents tomorrow afternoon. But the team tried to add a veteran to the group in Dallas’s Leighton Vander Esch. He’s re-signing with the Cowboys but according to NFL Network’s Jane Slater, the Steelers showed interest.
Vander Esch signed a two-year, $11 million deal to remain in Dallas. A first-round pick out of Boise State in the 2018 NFL Draft, he started 14 games for the Cowboys last season, recording 90 tackles and notching one sack. Health has been an issue — he’s battled neck injuries — but he’s largely been healthy and available each of the last two seasons.
Now, Pittsburgh will have to look elsewhere for inside linebacker help. Perhaps they target Atlanta’s Rashaan Evans, another former first-rounder that the team was high on going into the 2018 draft. He started 17 games for the Falcons last year, recording 159 tackles and two sacks.
Right now, the Steelers’ inside linebacker room is looking incredibly thin. Myles Jack and Mark Robinson are the only two Steelers ILBs who have logged snaps for the team and Robinson only had a cup of coffee late last year. There’s also Tae Crowder, who has logged plenty of career snaps for the New York Giants, but isn’t a viable option to start or play significantly in 2023. Inside linebacker is now the most pressing area of concern for the Steelers and something they’ll have to address in free agency, the draft, or perhaps both.