PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers stuffed out their outside linebacker depth in acquiring Malik Reed from the Denver Broncos on Tuesday.
Reed’s agent, Mike McCartney, introduced the transfer on Twitter. The Steelers swapped a 2023 sixth-round draft choose for the outside linebacker and a seventh-round choose from the Broncos, a supply confirmed to ESPN.
The Steelers wanted to shore up depth on the place with a lingering ribs harm to Alex Highsmith, although defensive coordinator Teryl Austin stated Highsmith hasn’t had any setbacks in his restoration. Reed seemingly rounds out the group that additionally options reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt and backup linebacker Derrek Tuszka.
“Those guys can’t play every snap with the way they play, the physicality in which they play,” Austin stated. “You have to have a third guy and a lot of times we’ll get a fourth guy to maybe get 10 snaps of game.
“It’s vital to have depth particularly at that place as a result of on the finish of video games, if you want any person to hurry the passer and attempt to finish the sport, these are the blokes that get it executed.”
Reed, who originally made the Broncos’ roster as an undrafted rookie in 2019, has been one of the most popular players for the Broncos, both in the locker room and in the community.
But the Broncos moved inside linebacker Baron Browning to outside linebacker this offseason and then signed Randy Gregory to a five-year, $70 million deal in free agency, leaving no room for Reed to squeeze his way on to the depth chart.
For the Broncos, Reed has been the guy to solve a problem in recent seasons. When Von Miller suffered a season-ending ankle injury in 2020, Reed started 13 games and finished with a team-leading eight sacks.
And last season, when Bradley Chubb missed 10 video games as a result of ankle surgical procedures, Reed began 13 video games and completed with 5 sacks.
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.