All good things come to an end. And so it is with Lawrence Timmons time as a Pittsburgh Steeler, as the free agent inside linebacker signed a two year contract with the Miami Dolphins.
Mike Tomlin made Lawrence Timmons his first draft pick as Steelers head coach when he took Timmons in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Timmons went on to start 126 games for the Steelers, including a streak of 6 years where he never missed a game due to injury.
As stars such as James Farrior, Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith either retired and/or faded, Lawrence Timmons remained a steadfast, constant presence in the middle of the Steelers defense. From 2012 to at least 2014 Timmons was the most consistent, if not best defender on the Steelers defense.
- Several times during the last year Lawrence Timmons had expressed a desire to sign a third contract with the Steelers.
The Steelers likewise wanted him back, but if reports are accurate, Timmons signed a 2 year 12 million dollar contract with the Miami Dolphins that included 11 million dollars of guaranteed money. That was more than the Steelers were willing to pay, and likely more than they were willing to guarantee in such a short time span.
Steel Curtain Rising will take a longer look at Lawrence Timmons’ legacy as a Pittsburgh Steeler, but those who wish for a fairly comprehensive recap of his career can click here.
Steelers Inside Linebacker Depth Chart with Timmons Gone
For the first time since 2009 the Steelers will enter training camp with a new name penciled in at left inside linebacker. Vince Williams will get the first shot at replacing Timmons. The Steelers anticipated this possibility last summer when they resigned Vince Williams to a 3 year contract.
- Ryan Shazier will continue at right inside linebacker, and behind Shazier and Williams the Steelers still have L.J. Fort and Tyler Matakevich.
Vince Williams is more of a linebacker in the mold of Larry Foote and provides a hard-hitting presence in Lawrence Timmons’ absence, he lacks Timmons speed and athleticism. Lawrence Timmons defection to the Dolphins likely won’t alter the Steelers plans to target cornerback and outside linebacker in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, but if a good inside linebacker is on the board in the third round he could very well get a call from Mike Tomlin.
Life Imitating Art?
Steel Curtain Rising strongly supported the Steelers keeping Lawrence Timmons in Pittsburgh, but we understand that salary cap realities require Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin to make hard choices like this.
- But news that Lawrence Timmons signed with the Miami Dolphins arrives with a large dose of irony at this site.
Two years ago as on April Fool’s Day we published a fax article indicating the Steelers had traded Timmons to the Dolphins to move up in the draft. The article did so well that Jacob Klinger of PennLive went so far as to call the Steelers for confirmation of the story. To this day, it remains the 5th most visited page in the site’s history following our 2014 migration to WordPress.
- What can we say? This is one of the times when you hate to be right.
In a perfect world, Lawrence Timmons would have finished his career in Pittsburgh. Sadly, we won’t see that happen now.
But Steel Curtain Rising thanks Lawrence Timmons for 10 wonderful years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thank you Law Dog!