NFL Trade Rumors: Pittsburgh Steelers acquire LB Avery Williamson from New York Jets

Avery Williamson
Avery Williamson

The Pittsburgh Steelers remained undefeated this season with a dramatic 28-24 victory over their AFC North division rival Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger connected with rookie standout receiver Chase Claypool with 7:29 remaining in the game, and the defense closed out the Ravens’ late comeback attempts. The win moves the Pittsburgh Steelers' record to 7-0 with a two-game lead in the AFC North.

The Steelers' defense was flying around all game on Sunday, forcing four Lamar Jackson turnovers in the victory. Their dominance has been on display all season. The new-age "Steel Curtain" currently ranks top-five in the NFL in turnovers forced with 13 and has allowed a score on only 28.8 percent of opposing offensive drives. The Pittsburgh Steelers also lead the league in sacks (30), quarterback pressures (93), and QB pressure rate (34.6%).

NFL Trade Rumors: Pittsburgh Steelers address defensive need with Williamson

Earlier this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense lost a key piece in second-year linebacker Devin Bush to a torn ACL. This left a vulnerable hole in the middle of the defense, lacking depth at a key position. Bush got off to quick start to the season as the quarterback of the defense by totaling 26 tackles, one sack, and three passes defensed in five games; big shoes to fill for the next man up.

On Sunday, Pittsburgh attempted to fill those shoes by acquiring linebacker Avery Williamson from the New York Jets.

Williamson will move on from the actively tanking 0-8 Jets to the actively contending 7-0 Steelers, going from winless to unbeaten. In the trade, the Pittsburgh Steelers send a 2022 fifth-round pick to the Jets for Williamson and a 2022 seventh-round draft pick.

Williamson is in his sixth season in the NFL and has been a full-time starter since entering the league in 2014 with the Tennessee Titans. He signed with the Jets in 2018, but missed the entire 2019 season due to major knee surgery following an ACL tear.

The insider linebacker has filled up the stat sheet in tackles since entering the league, finishing three seasons with over 100 tackles. His most productive season came in 2018 with the Jets, totaling 120 tackles and 6 tackles for loss.

Williamson is in the final year of his contract, making $2.75 million (based on a full season) after taking a pay cut in the preseason. He seemed to be in good spirits about the move:

As for the Jets, the team continues to build for the future and now holds 18 draft picks for 2021 and 2022.

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