Does Pittsburgh Steelers Talking With Louis Delmas Spell Trouble For Shamarko?

Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) scrambles with the ball as Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Shamarko Thomas (29) and outside linebacker Jason Worilds (93) give chase during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

Jul 30, 2013; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas (26) during training camp at Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

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?

Topics: Louis Delmas, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ryan Clark, Shamarko Thomas

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  • scott sinclair

    It’s a whole lot of nothing. We all know by now that these types of “meetings” are a way of pacifying the fan base, to make it seem like they may sign a free agent or two when in reality they will look in-house for replacements. Clark is pretty much out the door and knowing Lebeau and Co. they will look to whatever the longest serving vet is at safety and give him a crack first. God knows they won’t play a rookie or second year guy. Delmas lands either in Denver or Baltimore

  • William Cross

    Thomas isn’t a free safety, seems like straw grasping for subject matter.

    • Craig

      Never said he was. Thomas took snaps at both positions during the season. By bringing in a veteran safety that can play both roles, it would that mean that Thomas could get less playing time (again). I don’t think it’s grasping for straws to imply that Thomas would be seen less if Delmas signs. I honestly don’t think that he will based on what Scott says below, but if he would it spells trouble for a young Shamarko who needs more time on the field and less on the bench.

      • lkw

        No way they would put delmas at ss and shark at fs which is what it sounded like you were implying when talking about troy…

  • Shawn Winbush

    Shamarko will get plenty of time next season,regardless if they want to bring in a FA.