In what will be an ongoing series at Steelers Sanctuary, we will be looking at players that should interest the Steelers during the off-season. First off in the series will be Jets linebacker Darron Lee:
Height – 6’1″ Weight – 232lbs 40 yard dash – 4.47 Age – 24
2018 stats – 12 games 74 tackles 0 sacks 3 interceptions
2017 stats- 15 games 94 tackles 3 sacks 0 interceptions
Darron Lee is exactly the type of linebacker the Steelers need. A fast athletic player who can cover, and play the run. So why would the Jets want to move on from a twenty four year old linebacker with this kind of skill you ask? Well there’s some baggage that comes along with all that talent. To start off with, Lee was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy in 2018. He was also deactivated for a game this past season for being late to practice. The Jets face a tough decision on whether or not to pick up Lee’s fifth year option. If they don’t, he will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season. It seems very possible that the Jets brass would be open to offers for their troubled linebacker.
So is it worth the gamble to bring in ANOTHER player with off-field issues after what the Steelers have gone through recently? Well the simple fact is players like this do not come around often. At 24, it may just a case of immaturity on Lee’s part. There’s no way Kevin Colbert would be able to find this kind of talent in the draft. The 2019 draft is considerably weak at the inside linebacker spot. The same could be said for free agency. Even if there were a player of this caliber, they would cost the Steelers most of their available cap space. Meanwhile, Darron Lee has one more year on his rookie deal at $1.8 million. Would the Jets budge for a third round pick? Maybe even a bigger deal involving Antonio Brown? It would be worth it to make the call and find out.