A breakdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2018 free-agent signings.
Jon Bostic, LB
Grade: B. The Steelers stayed away from the expensive linebackers in the $5 million- to $9 million-per year range and opted for a journeyman who capitalized on a starting chance in Indianapolis with 97 tackles and a sack. Bostic, who agreed to a two-year contract, will be viewed as a good stopgap to replace Ryan Shazier until a draft pick develops.
What it means: The Steelers' inside linebacker position opposite Vince Williams is wide open, and Bostic signed with the expectation that he'll compete for a starting job. The team was not planning to re-sign Sean Spence. Tyler Matakevich is primarily Williams' backup, though he can play both spots. Bostic is a former second-round pick who ran a 4.61 in the 40 at the combine. He's on his fourth team since 2015, so this is hardly a long-term option unless Bostic majorly builds off his 2017 campaign.
What’s the risk: Limited risk for a player who will probably command about $2 million per year. The Steelers entered the weekend with about $6.5 million in cap space, just enough to add linebacker depth and maybe special-teams help. This is a smart signing for a team that wasn't going to spend wildly. Shazier isn't playing in 2018, and the team couldn't sit idle after the run defense struggled late in the year, giving up at least 150 yards in three of the final six games.