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The Steelers decided to not place the fifth-year option on strong safety Terrell Edmunds this offseason, but Kevin Colbert said that the decision was based on salary cap and not his performance when he was on 93.7 The Fan back in May. Colbert also added that the Steelers thought last year was Edmunds' best season, as he recorded 68 combined tackles, eight passes defended and two interceptions in 15 games played.
The Steelers placed the fifth-year option on free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in April, which was a no-brainer as he made the Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro the last two seasons. Since Fitzpatrick has made two Pro Bowls in his career, he'll earn $10.621 million on the fifth-year option. Edmunds would have made $6,753,000 on the fifth-year option.
While Edmunds had the best year of his young career in 2020, he still struggles to make impact plays and force turnovers. In his three years with the Steelers, he's produced just three interceptions.
Jarvis Jones, Artie Burns and Edmunds are the only Steelers first-round picks who have not received the fifth-year option since it was instituted in 2011.
Edmunds said during minicamp that Mike Tomlin called him to let him know that he didn't receive the fifth-year option. As Colbert noted, it just came down to money.
For this reason, CBS Sports believes Edmunds is an underrated player on the verge of a big payday.
"The Steelers have several notable players to re-sign in the future such as T.J. Watt, but if Edmunds has another great season in 2021, he could make himself some money," Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports wrote. "Whether that money will come from the Steelers or another team is yet to be determined."
The Steelers are projected to have $75,241,547 in cap space in 2022, which is the second-most in the league, according to Overthecap.com. So, if Edmunds balls out in 2021, he could possibly receive a nice payday next year from the Steelers.