Broncos Undrafted LB Shaquil Barrett Considered Signing With Steelers

Like many of you, I was hoping that the Pittsburgh Steelers would sign Colorado State outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett as undrafted free agent, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Barrett wound up signing with the Denver Broncos, but in a recent interview, he did say that the Steelers were interested in his services.

“[The Broncos] were at the top of my list so I didn’t really consider a lot of other offers,” Barrett said, according to Jeff Legwold of “I only considered the Steelers because [former CSU linebacker and later assistant coach] Joey Porter, our coach from CSU, went out there this year. So those were the top two but the Broncos seemed like the better fit … I heard from [the Broncos] throughout the draft, before the draft. The Steelers, they wanted me. But the Broncos they called and sounded really serious about me and I liked the opportunity.”

When you look at the Broncos current 90 man roster, it’s easy to tell that Barrett will have his work cut out for him as far as making the final cut out of training camp and even Legwold notes the long odds the 2013 Mountain West Conference’s defensive player of the year faces in his article.

Had Barrett instead signed with the Steelers, one would think that his odds of making their final 53 man roster would be slightly better. After all, the Steelers didn’t even draft a true 3-4 outside linebacker. Sure, they drafted Jordan Zumwalt, but he’s more of an inside linebacker that will likely be cross trained to play outside.

According to Mike Klis of The Denver Post, the Broncos gave Barrett a $10,000 signing bonus and that amount was second on the team behind Isaiah Burse, who received $12,500 to sign. We’ll likely never know if it came down more to opportunity or money, but at this point it really doesn’t matter.

We’ll have to wait and see how things play out in Denver for Barrett over the course of the summer. If he winds up not making the Broncos 53 man roster out of training camp, he will be waived. At that point, the Steelers might have a chance to sign him to their practice squad if he isn’t claimed off waivers or signed to the Broncos practice squad.

At least we know now that the Steelers did indeed have interest in Barrett and that the connecting of the dots back to Porter was solid speculation by many of us.

  • Jeff Anoble

    Barrett should have been advised to look at Steelers depth chart.

  • 804Stiller

    Agreed………He probably looked at the fact that the Broncos made the Superbowl and need to improve defensively rather than really looking at their roster at his position. Not to mentioned he played out Colorado. I think he would have had a great shot at making our roster. I guess, in reality, he would still be a long shot for either team.

  • steeltown

    I am still a little surprised we didn’t draft a true OLB, I like the potential and the skill sets of guys like Howard Jones and Zumwalt, but these guys are not true big bodied 3-4 OLBs, C.Carter’s days are numbered and Worilds is not locked up long term so I really assumed we would bring in someone. That said, I hope both Jones and Zumwalt excel and stick around for the future. The numbers game is not in their favor though.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I think it still matters.

    If we lost him over 10,000 I don’t know that it was a good decision & hope we adjust.

  • James Kling

    See how he does in camp and preseason games, maybe he’s a roster cut pickup for us.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Agreed. They’ll definitely be keeping tabs on his preseason performance, assuming he makes it that far.

  • dgh57

    I agree! There were mock drafts out there that had us taking a OLB as early as the 2nd round!

  • shawn

    Sounds like to me that the steelers didnt really go after him hard enough and the Broncos basically won the recruiting war as they showed more interest … if this is true … pretty pathetic !

  • Yeah, I get why he wanted to stay out west, but it does appear that the Steelers would have been a better choice at this point of his career. Hard to see how a solid training camp wouldn’t have given him the opportunity to leap-frog Carter. Of course the Steelers also could have drafted him to avoid this situation. Why not an OLB instead of, say, McCullers? Unless they really think Zumwalt has potential on the outside.

  • PA2AK

    From the sound of it, it was his decision…

  • PA2AK

    Pathetic is pretty strong…I think the Steelers have done an excellent job this offseason. Wooing/not wooing a guy that has an outside shot of seeing a practice squad doesn’t really move the needle either way, imo.

  • shawn

    i wasn’t referring to the off season, which with the addition of the draft and all i think has been very successful …i was solely speaking of not competing with the broncos intensely enough to win this kids interest … doesnt even matter if this kid has a 2% chance of ever seeing the field let alone being a future starter down the road … if they were interested in him, which by the article appears they were …. they should have done a better job of making it known and showing the opportunities that Pitt could have provided …

    Words to go by …. Leave nothing on the table & leave no stone unturned !

  • PA2AK

    I know what you meant…what I’m saying is they had a lot of ground to cover in a lot of positions. Maybe they did look at him enough, but he didn’t feel that way. Lot of pull to stay in Colorado I would think. I’d have to question his judgement anyways…looking at the depth charts and chances of making a team at his position. 32 teams didn’t draft him. I believe it was reported that they talked with him on more than one occasion…not to mention the Porter relationship. Maybe they could have done a better job focusing on him, but I still think pathetic is a stretch any way you slice it.

  • I’m with you on not drafting a true OLB. I may be the only one but I’m not sold on Worilds… Not enough to give him a big deal!.. And our depth is scary