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Source: Steelers fill LB need by agreeing with Cole Holcomb

By Brooke Pryor,

2023-03-15

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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers filled a significant defensive need by agreeing to terms with inside linebacker Cole Holcomb on a three-year deal, a league source confirmed to ESPN's John Keim.

Holcomb, a four-year starter in Washington, had his 2022 season cut short by a foot injury that required surgery. Prior to his injury, Holcomb was in the midst of a career season, with 69 tackles in seven games.

In signing Holcomb, the Steelers filled a void in the middle of their defense with former inside linebacker Robert Spillane expected to sign in Las Vegas and former top-10 pick Devin Bush expected to hit free agency when the league year begins. That left Myles Jack and Mark Robinson as the only two inside linebackers with game experience on the Steelers' roster. Jack, who signed a two-year deal last free agency, carries an $11 million cap hit in 2023.

Holcomb called the defensive plays in Washington and grew into a vocal leader on the defense.

A fifth-round selection by the Commanders out of North Carolina, Holcomb wasn't invited to the NFL combine in 2019, but he ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at UNC's pro day.

In 50 games for the Commanders, Holcomb recorded 4.5 sacks, 239 solo tackles and five forced fumbles.

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