What Karl Joseph signing means for Steelers, Tyrann Mathieu

Raiders safety Karl Joseph. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Raiders safety Karl Joseph. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed safety Karl Joseph on a one-year deal, which raises questions as to whether or not they will pursue Tyrann Mathieu. 

Although Steelers fans are hoping to land big-name safety Tyrann Mathieu in free agency, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert insisted that the team’s priority is adding young, veteran players.

Mathieu fits the bill at only 29 years old, but Colbert seemed interested in picking players close to their first contract. While safety Karl Joseph is far from his first NFL contract, the 28-year-old safety re-signed with the Steelers on a one-year contract. Considering the fact that Joseph has only earned $7.75 million over the course of his six-year career, it’s likely that the Steelers were able to secure him on a minimal contract as opposed to a signing like Mathieu, which is guaranteed to cost more.

Joseph entered the NFL as a 2016 first-round pick for the Oakland Raiders, and after a season with the Cleveland Browns and a summer with the Las Vegas Raiders, Joseph landed on the Steelers in 2021. He remained on the practice squad nearly all season, save for two games where he logged two tackles and one pass defended.

Colbert has made it clear that he wants to fill every position with a former NFL starter, and so far, the Steelers have nearly accomplished that feat. Although the Steelers have signed Joseph, this doesn’t necessarily close the door to Mathieu, according to Dale Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports. Lolley noted that the team also hasn’t signed Terell Edmunds, who was the starting strong safety last season.

Does Karl Joseph signing still keep door open for Tyrann Mathieu?

In signing Mathieu, the Steelers have the opportunity to right a Draft Day wrong, according to former Steelers Ike Taylor and Ryan Clark. Pairing Mathieu with Minkah Fitzpatrick is an exciting prospect, especially since Mathieu reported that he received a call from Mike Tomlin recently.

Although he remains an NFL free agent, Tyrann Mathieu has been quite busy during the offseason. On March 29, Mathieu visited his alma mater of LSU as he watched football practice, hung out with Skip Bertman, and spoke to the next generation of athletes. Mathieu even teased a future in coaching, perhaps as a collegiate head coach like Deion Sanders.

Even though Mathieu has his sights set on coaching, his NFL career is far from over—and ideally, Joseph could back up Mathieu and offer Steelers incredible depth at strong safety.

Steelers fans hoping to sign Tyrann Mathieu to right draft day wrong. light. More