Five Safeties Pittsburgh Could Sign After Cutdowns

The Pittsburgh Steelers have already added a cornerback and tight end in the last week. An all-in mentality and the team might not be done adding yet. They’re clearly looking to keep making upgrades in the secondary. With Jordan Dangerfield’s injury that makes his Week One availability in question, though recent news is positive, the team could feel even more compelled to add.

Here are five safeties the team could show interest in over the next 48 hours. Someone other than T.J. Ward, the most common name that’s been floated.

Andrew Williamson/Colts: Williamson is pretty out of left field. No compelling reason to think he’ll come here. But he’s got good size (6’1 208) who ran 4.48 and jumped 35/10’4″ at his Pro Day last year. Waived/injured last year but stayed healthy this season. Had three tackles against the Steelers in the preseason so maybe something the team saw there could perk up interest.

Pittsburgh likes to target second year players. B.W. Webb, Antwon Blake, and Demarcus Van Dyke were into their second year when Pittsburgh scooped them up. Guys who have a taste of the league but young, athletic, with upside.

Alex Carter/Lions: The Steelers showed interested in Carter coming out of Stanford, the big, long corner (6’0, 32 1/8 arms) they wound up drafting in Artie Burns a year later. A busted ankle hindered him his rookie year and that’s definitely a medical concern going forward. The Lions wound up converting him to safety to help mask a lack of speed; Carter wasn’t very fast pre-injury(4.51 at the Combine).

But if there’s interest there, and the Steelers got a good look at him in their joint practice last year, maybe they take a flier for a special teamer.

Tracy Howard/Jaguars: I like this one the most. Again, fills the “requirement” of a second year player. Howard has NFL experience, racking up 20 tackles in a depleted Cleveland Browns’ secondary a year ago before latching onto Jacksonville this season. So Steelers saw some of him.

From what I’m reading, Jacksonville is deep at safety and unlikely to keep him. So should be available. He saw action last week against the Atlanta Falcons and was productive. Four tackles, a pick (tipped pass in the end zone) and a forced fumble along the goal line.

He’s from Miami (FL) and while he didn’t test well in his 40 (4.60) he showed explosion with a 36 inch vert and 10’2″ broad. Mike Tomlin was there last year to look at their deep group, including eventual first round pick Artie Burns. Howard had four interceptions as a sophomore in 2013. There’s a high level of familiarity for such a young guy that’s intriguing. Free safety type but the Steelers have enough box guys. Need a playmaker.

Robert Blanton/Cowboys: Blanton is the elder on the list, turning 28 in a couple of days. And history says adding someone like him isn’t terribly likely. Still, he’s a vet with plenty of Sunday experience (70 games, 19 starts). Bounced around since leaving Minnesota. Doesn’t sound like he had a great camp with the Dallas Cowboys and likely to get cut. Not a sexy name to toss out but he’s a guy who should be able to quickly pick up an NFL playbook.

James Saxon was the RBs coach for a couple years when Blanton was a Viking. Some inside info on him, too. Can’t hurt.

Jayron Kearse/Vikings: And finally, we wrap up with a Viking. It sounds like Kearse is going to make the team so consider this a less likely option than the others. I wasn’t crazy about Kearse coming out of Clemson, too slow, too stiff, but the Steelers thought enough of him to bring him in for a pre-draft visit. Good size and pedigree so Tomlin might still be interested.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Steelers12

    I like Carter and Kearse myself… I wonder if Pitt keeps Golson and flip gay, hilton or allen to safety. Jarius Byrd is a veteran name available

  • steeltown

    Nice list. Give me Howard, Carter or Blanton… in that order.

  • steeltown

    Yea im thinking they believe they can put Gay back there in an emergency

  • Phil Brenneman II

    You gave the best sell on Howard so I guess that would be who I root for lol.

    I think the only way they bring in another safety is if he is coming in as the top backup. I still buy into the idea of Gay being the emergency 5th safety if we want to look at it that way. Otherwise the only way another safety will come in is an injury during the season.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    hell bring back shamarko!

  • Michael Mosgrove


  • Beeze

    Think our dear departed friend Shamarko is on the practice squad of a semi pro team near me, lol.

  • Michael Conrad


  • Chad Weiss

    I’m hoping Jalen Watkins gets cut from eagles.
    Carter would be interesting at safety,hes better w ball in front of him and pretty reliable tackling.It better fits his abilities.

  • I seem to recall the team once had interest in Baccari Rambo. Was Rambo an overblown rumor to begin with?

  • Alex Kozora

    If Gay was moving to safety, you would’ve seen it happen by now. Outside of a few snaps where he rotates in Fire Zones and maybe like, one practice after camp, he’s been the slot corner.

  • Alex Kozora

    It’s just hard to find a top backup off the waiver wire. Think you bring someone in with that potential (why the team often looks for young guys) who have to prove it and work their way up the ladder.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    For sure and I understand and agree with what you say, just pointing out that I don’t think they will bring someone in at this point to be a 5th guy. Not at that position at least. The idea with the current string of guys they are bringing in seems to be upgrading at the position and a 5th guy wouldn’t really upgrade Golden or Dangerfield… least most likely.

  • Jake Marion

    This is an article that I would not find elsewhere.Great research.
    I am concerned about depth at Safety.

  • pittfan


  • Ichabod


  • Soopakatt

    Alex, Have You heard anything else about Revis?

  • StrengthOfVictory

    The Broncos are releasing T.J. Ward. Just saw the report.

    I really hope the Steelers consider at least calling his agent.

  • Rotten Sircus

    TJ Ward is the only one I would consider. Someone tell me why Robert Golden is still a Steeler ..??? & don’t tell me he’s a Special Teams “Specialist” cause the guy hasn’t made a tackle all preseason !!!

  • blue

    TJ Ward or bust, no need bringing any bums to town.

  • Zhan 使美国再次伟大

    Gotta move fast.

    He won’t be on the market long…

  • Zhan 使美国再次伟大

    Have to think that the Steelers will do something today or tomorrow.

    The depth at safety stinks…

  • Nathanael Dory

    I dig Howard. Many thinks that hes a keeper with good coaching

  • Shane Mitchell

    I would hope they would go for more of a veteran safety with some previous starting experience.

  • Clutterbox

    Sign ward if the Steelers are serious on being “all-in” this season. S position is weak imo (including Mitchell) and at least we can have a DB that can tackle.

  • John A Stewart

    Another Ryan Mundey

  • Shane Mitchell

    Looks like TJ Ward is a strong possibility, the Steelers are reportedly showing interest.

    It make a lot of sense, The coaching staff talks about players not being on the same page in the secondary, TJ Ward played with Haden and he is familiar with the Steelers coverage scheme.

  • Shane Mitchell

    We need to sign TJ Ward

    DO IT COLBERT!!!!!!!

  • Rocksolid20

    Golson is our starting hot tub CB and no
    one plays it like him .

  • Rocksolid20

    Because we have no one else is my guess .

  • Mitch Chapman

    hes available, the jets jave just released him… 1 MORE CHANCE!!

  • Chris92021

    So apparently we did make a call about TJ Ward but according to some sources, we are not a major player. That is all I can ask for. It was worth a shot.

  • melblount

    So it looks like Williamson, Carter, Howard and Blanton were all waived and Kearse was kept.

    Can someone confirm that?

  • Rob H

    Would rather have someone like Dwight Lowery, a veteran free safety who can cover, and has been a starter the last three years. Would be a good one year band-aid to help in sub packages.