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Jaylon Smith is a Classic Steelers Signing

The Pittsburgh Steelers' eyes have to be huge watching Jaylon Smith hit free agency.

Mike Tomlin said a few weeks ago on 'Pat McAfee Show' that some players around the NFL have his interest but are too expensive. So, he waits until they're "old and cheap" so he can bring them onto the Pittsburgh Steelers roster. 

Jaylon Smith is only 26-years-old, so we can scratch the old from Tomlin's equation. Cheap, though? He probably fits that mold right now. 

In shocking news, the Dallas Cowboys are moving on from the inside linebacker just two years into his six-year, $68 million contract. Why? Rumors say he no longer fits the gameplan for the defense. Well, as the Steelers head coach always says, one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity. 

Smith is a classic Steelers signing. He's young and has tons of potential left in this league but has taken some blows to his expectations in recent years. The once highly-touted college athlete never turned into the superstar many believed he could but that takes nothing away from the reliable athlete he still is.

The Steelers don't have a pounding need at inside linebacker but adding Smith wouldn't hurt anyone. Right now, Robert Spillane is the third-man in the rotation with Devin Bush and Joe Schobert, but his pass coverage ability leaves worry when he's on the field. 

Smith's athleticism makes him an always-reliable pass defender. His scheme fit is perfect for the Steelers, and truthfully, with the struggles of Bush and Schobert at times, Pittsburgh could certainly use an extra set of hands (and feet) at the position. 

The only foreseeable problem would be Smith's role. If the 2019 Pro Bowler wants to be a starter somewhere, Pittsburgh probably isn't it. He'll play quite a bit, but more of a Melvin Ingram role alongside Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt than a true starter. 

The Steelers have roughly $10.9 million in cap space right now. Smith's price tag won't be that high but could be a shorter deal with hopes of landing another big contract in 2022. 

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Either way works for the Steelers. It gives them another inside linebacker for the season and the possibility of landing a long-term playmaker on the defense. 

It's not Tomlin's equation, but this team is always adapting on the fly. Which leaves some expectation the Steelers will reach out to Smith this week. 

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