Free safety Louis Delmas was recently released by the Detroit Lions, as the team decided he was too expensive to keep. Delmas has played through a knee condition during his entire NFL career, but the 27-year-old is unquestionably a talented player and is expected to draw significant interest this offseason.
One team that is already showing interest is the Pittsburgh Steelers, as a source tells the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Delmas is visiting the Steelers today. What makes this move extremely interesting is the fact that the Steelers seem to be set at the position with free safety Ryan Clark and strong safety Troy Polamalu, who had a terrific 2013 season. Polamalu has been a punching back for some lately, as there are some fans who chide him for being “overrated”, but he was clearly back to his old self in 2013 with solid coverage on underneath routes and some more top-notch run defense.
Clark is an impending free agent this offseason, so it’s certainly feasible for the Steelers to replace him with Delmas, who had significantly less tackles than Clark this past season but was significantly better in coverage. This is something worth monitoring closely, as the interest in Delmas means that Clark could be out the door. It always looked like the Steelers wanted to keep Clark around, but the solid safety could be replaced by an FS who is injury-prone but better in coverage. This workout could amount to nothing, but it’s extremely interesting nonetheless.
The Steelers won’t be the only team interested in Delmas, so keep a close eye out for other workouts. If they do sign Delmas, then it would have to be on the cheap, as they don’t have the cap flexibility to spend more on Delmas than they would have on Clark. Plus, that wouldn’t be a smart or economical decision, and there’s no guarantee that the former Lions safety will be cheaper Stay tuned.