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Things didn't work out for Melvin Ingram with the Steelers, but he certainly isn't washed up


(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


The Steelers already had it set in their minds that Alex Highsmith would be a starter in 2021. They wanted Melvin Ingram to be the No. 3 outside linebacker, and he felt that he should start.


I don't know what the Steelers said to Ingram when they signed him in late July, but whatever it was, he definitely didn't want to settle for being a backup. Maybe it was false advertising by the Steelers or just a misunderstanding.


Ingram's snaps decreased once Highsmith got healthy, and he wanted out by the trade deadline. The Steelers granted his wish and traded him to the Chiefs for a sixth-round pick on Nov. 2.


When asked why the Steelers traded Ingram, Mike Tomlin dropped his famous line of "We want volunteers, not hostages."


It just didn't work out for Ingram in Pittsburgh. The Steelers still led the league in sacks with 55, and Highsmith played pretty well. So, on the surface, it wasn't that big of a loss. But that doesn't mean Ingram is washed up like some people suggested once he left the Steelers.


Ingram has made a significant difference on the Chiefs' defense since he's arrived. He's brought swagger to the defense and has been making a huge impact of late. His stats weren't gaudy with the Chiefs at first, but he's turned it on as of late.


In Week 18, he tackled Melvin Gordon in the backfield and caused a fumble, which was recovered by Nick Bolton and returned for an 86-yard touchdown to secure a 28-24 win for the Chiefs.


Against the Steelers in the wild-card round game, Ingram has just one tackle and a tackle for loss, but watch how he tossed Chuks Okorafor on this play.

And then on Sunday night against the Bills in the divisional round game, Ingram was just all over the field, recording three total tackles, two of which were solos, one sack and one forced fumble.


According to Pro Football Focus, Ingram was the second-highest-graded defender on PFF's first review of the game film, behind only Chris Jones. Jones and Ingram combined for eight total pressures on first review — one sack (Ingram) and seven hurries.

Watch Ingram club Spencer Brown Reggie White style in the clip below. If it wasn't for Allen's incredible mobility. Ingram would have had another sack on the play.

There were a lot of tweets last night saying that the Steelers made a mistake trading Ingram. But Ingram didn't want to be in Pittsburgh anymore, and the Steelers wanted to mold Highsmith into a starter. And it's not like Highsmith was awful. As mentioned, the Steelers still led the league in sacks. If the Steelers made any mistake, it was not re-signing Mike Hilton.


Things just didn't work out with Ingram. That's a part of the business.
















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