By Matthew Marczi
Player: Jamaal Westerman
Position: Outside Linebacker
Experience: 5 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2013 Salary Cap Hit: $65,294
2013 Season Breakdown: What is there to say about the 2013 season of Jamaal Westerman?
Truly, not much. He spent the last few games of the season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, having been signed after the team put starting outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley on the injured reserve list following a calf injury—his second of the year, on the opposite leg. Westerman got a helmet in the season finale, but did not participate.
Thus, as far as discussing his impact on the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2013 season, there’s literally next to nothing to say, because he had no impact.
That is, other than mild surprise that the team chose to sign him after being released by the Buffalo Bills instead of promoting Kion Wilson from the practice squad, or even bringing back Alan Baxter, who played well in the preseason and began the year on the practice squad.
Westerman played at least a snap in 11 games for the Bills in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus, but for a grand total of just 63 snaps. He recorded nine tackles overall, and managed a half of a sack against the Cleveland Browns.
The former undrafted player out of Rutgers had a few-year stint with Rex Ryan and the New York Jets, where he was a mild fan favorite and made a bit of a reputation as a special teams player.
In 2011, he started three games for the Jets and played 411 snaps overall at right outside linebacker, accumulating three and a half sacks in the process and forcing a fumble in addition to his 32 tackles.
He has hardly had any playing time over the course of the last two seasons, but he is by accounts a smart player and a hard worker. It was likely his playing experience in addition to his work on special teams that led the Steelers to sign him over other internal options to provide depth late in the season.
Free Agency Outlook: The situation at outside linebacker is a bit muddled right now for the Steelers with the impending free agency of Jason Worilds and the uncertain future of Woodley. Both could be back, which would hinder the chances of the Steelers being interested in retaining Westerman for depth. The Steelers have Chris Carter under contract for another year, and they could very easily be looking toward the draft for another mid-late-round pass rusher as well to shore up depth.
Other Steelers Free Agent Player Analysis
Ryan Clark - Unrestricted Free Agent
Emmanuel Sanders - Unrestricted Free Agent
Brett Keisel - Unrestricted Free Agent
Jerricho Cotchery - Unrestricted Free Agent
Ziggy Hood - Unrestricted Free Agent
Jason Worilds - Unrestricted Free Agent
David Johnson - Unrestricted Free Agent
Jonathan Dwyer - Unrestricted Free Agent
Fernando Velasco - Unrestricted Free Agent
Cody Wallace - Unrestricted Free Agent
Will Allen - Unrestricted Free Agent
Stevenson Sylvester - Unrestricted Free Agent
Felix Jones - Unrestricted Free Agent
Al Woods - Unrestricted Free Agent
Plaxico Burress - Unrestricted Free Agent
LaRod Stephens-Howling - Unrestricted Free Agent
Guy Whimper - Unrestricted Free Agent
Michael Palmer - Unrestricted Free Agent