Scratch Another Steelers Inside Linebacker: Redskins Sign Terence Garvin

Pittsburgh’s “free agent exodus” continues as the Steelers lost their fourth player as the Washington Redskins sign Terence Garvin to play inside linebacker.

As Simon Chester of USA Today’s Steelers Wire confirms, because the Steelers did not tender Terence Garvin a restricted free agent offer, Garvin’s free agent defection will not count into the NFL’s compensatory pick calculations next spring.

  • It has been standard operating procedure in Pittsburgh to extend tenders to restricted free agents.

A year ago the Steelers tendered Will Johnson, Antwon Blake, and Robert Golden, however this year the Steelers did not tender Garvin freeing him to negotiate with any team.

Inside Linebacking Depth Thinning but Still Strong

For the past two seasons, the Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacking depth has been the envy of the NFL, with Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier starting, backed up by Sean Spence, Vince Williams and Terence Garvin. Now Sean Spence is in Tennessee and Garvin is in Washington, leaving only Vince Williams and potentially Jordan Zumwalt as backups.

  • Depth, however, is often the first victim of the salary cap

The Steelers depth at outside linebacker may be thinning, but is still fairly strong headed into 2016, as Vince Williams is more than capable. The Steelers also have L.T. Fort who did not play in 2015 but did hold down a roster spot. Zumwalt also offers potential, but the Steelers exposed him to the Injured/waived list.

While Garvin is certainly the type of player you want to bring back to your team, the fact that the Steelers are letting him walk without a whimper is a testament to how quickly an NFL depth chart can change.

Garvin made the Steelers after getting a tryout invitation to the Steelers 2013 rookie minicamp. During the latter part of the season, he began to work himself into the Steelers 3rd down package while making a name for himself on special teams. Mike Tomlin, in fact, called him “a big safety.”

  • As the Steelers 2014 off season began, Garvin looked to be pushing Vince Williams for time in coming season.

However, Sean Spence recovered from his knee injury and the Steelers drafted Ryan Shazier. As consequence Terence Garvin’s defensive snap count dropped from 31 in 2013 to 11 in 2014 to 8 in 2015.

With Terence Garvin leaves Pittsburgh without having many quantitative measures to mark his time as a Steeler, but he did leave one qualitative mark:

Terence Garvin sure did know how to hit!

Free agency go your head spinning? Check out our Steelers 2016 free agent tracker and/or click here to read all articles on our Steelers 2016 Free Agent Focus section. 

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