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Steelers off-season options: ILB-Demario Davis

As the off-season rolls on, Steelers Sanctuary will  examine potential free agents that could help the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Perhaps the biggest need for the team at this point is inside linebacker.  The void left by Ryan Shazier’s injury is one that can’t be ignored.  The team’s lack of depth at that position was badly exposed when Shazier went down.  Pittsburgh was forced to bring back the corpse of Sean Spence to help fill the hole at that position.  The results were predictably terrible, leading to the inside linebacker position being the number one need on this football team.

DEMARIO DAVIS:

6’2″ – 245lbs

4.6 forty yard dash

Drafted – third round (77th overall) 2012

Demario Davis is coming off a career year for the New York Jets.  He led the team in tackles with 97, and threw in five sacks for good measure.   Davis could not have picked a better year to breakout season considering he is set to hit free agency.  Demario Davis has all the traits the Steelers look for in a linebacker.  He is known for his speed and athleticism, while having decent size at 6’2″ 245lbs.

Seems like a perfect fit right?  The only concern here is that 2017 is a bit of an outlier for the former third round pick.  In his first five seasons, Davis only averaged only 56 tackles per season.  That’s a far cry from the 97 he put up last year.  Kevin Colbert must determine is 2017 was a career year never to be repeated, or the start of something big.  Hedoes however have all the physical tools, so that should diminish some of the risk of signing him.  Inside linebackers traditionally don’t command lucrative contracts, so signing Davis shouldn’t be overly expensive.  A deal somewhere in the $4-$6 million range per season would probably get it done.  One would have to think Demario Davis would be high on the Steelers free agent wish list.  He’s just the type of middle range free agent the team likes to sign.

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