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According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, newly acquired Steelers inside linebacker Joe Schobert will make $7 million in guaranteed salary in 2021, but the Jaguars will be paying $3.65 million of it as part of the trade that sent him to Pittsburgh for a sixth-round draft pick in 2022.
Florio also notes that Schobert converted $2.36 million of his remaining salary to a signing bonus, to shrink the cap charge for 2021.
So, not only did the Steelers give up just a sixth-round pick for a Pro Bowl inside linebacker who excels in pass coverage, but the Jaguars are paying half of his salary this year also. Kevin Colbert is one heck of a negotiator to pull of a deal like that. It's quite simply a steal.
In addition, according to Bob Labriola, it was the Jaguars who reached out to the Steelers about Schobert being on the trade block. First-year head coach Urban Meyer wasn't a part of signing Schobert in 2020 and wanted to dump his expensive contract. So, it set up perfectly for the Steelers.
The Steelers desperately needed another inside linebacker to start opposite of Devin Bush, as Vince Williams retired on the eve of training camp and Robert Spillane has struggled in pass coverage throughout training camp and the first two preseason games.
“It presented itself to us, but it didn’t take us long to consider it because we’re highly familiar with his skill set and productivity,” Mike Tomlin said after practice on Saturday when asked about trading for Schobert.
Schobert, 27, signed a five-year, $53.75 million deal with Jaguars before the 2020 season. He started all 16 games for Jacksonville last season, making 141 tackles with three interceptions and two forced fumbles. He also returned one of his interceptions for a touchdown.
Schobert was a fourth-round pick by the Browns in 2016 and he started 49 games during his tenure in Cleveland. Schobert led the league in tackles in 2017 with 144 when he made his only Pro Bowl.
Over the past two seasons, Schobert has recorded seven interceptions, 4.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Schobert had a career-high four interceptions in 2019 with Cleveland.
“Productivity when I think of Joe,” Tomlin said. “He needs no endorsement from me. We’re familiar with him. He’s a former AFC North guy. He’s been highly productive in every circumstance he’s been in. He’s a sideline-to-sideline tackler. He’s good in coverage. He has coverage production in terms of interceptions. He has sack production. He has a well-rounded game so we’re excited about infusing him into what we do.”