The Pittsburgh Steelers met with former Detroit Lion safety Louis Delmas on Monday per a report from NFL.com’s and rumor love child Ian Rapoport via an unknown league source.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 17, 2014
Delmas’ arrival in Pittsburgh is interesting because I think it can potentially mean one of two things. Firstly, it means Ryan Clark is pretty much out the door and out of the picture. At the very least, it means the Steelers are shopping around to replace a particular safety veteran. Were Delmas to sign a deal with the Steelers, Delmas would replace one of the starting slots. Delmas played both free and strong safety with the Lions, so he essentially could play either spot. More than likely Delmas would give Clark the boot and start at Free Safety and play next to Polamalu. That means Shamarko would continue to rot on the bench.
Once again Steeler Nation is presented with a scenario where a talented young man rots on the bench in DLB’s defensive system. Thomas faired pretty well in his rookie campaign, but many, like myself, felt that “The Headache” deserved more time on the field than his older counter part Clark. 2014 seemed like it would be the year that Thomas would get his shot as Clark’s full time replacement. That could be in jeopardy if the Steelers decide Thomas is not 100% ready and sign Delmas. Bummer.
The second scenario would entail the Steelers signing Delmas as not only someone to bolster and share time at both safety positions, but also as a bargaining chip for themselves when they visit the bargaining table with Troy Polamalu. Since Delmas has played both safety spots, he could technically replace Troy Polamalu – either due to injury, lack of production, OR lack of willingness to take a pay cut. Delmas would certainly give the secondary options, there’s no doubt in that.
I haven’t really watched film on Delmas to really know if he would be a vast improvement, though one would hope that the younger safety would be a huge upgrade from the long toothed Ryan Clark. If Delmas signs with the Steelers, does this spell trouble for the former Orangeman and his development?