A month after releasing Vince Williams, the Steelers are going to re-sign the linebacker, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Williams reportedly had offers from other teams before ultimately deciding to re-sign with the Steelers.
A 2013 sixth-round pick out of Florida State, Williams started 11 games as a rookie while also seeing time on special teams. He became a full-time starter in 2017 after former first-round pick Lawrence Timmons departed in free agency. During his first 121 games with the Steelers (which included 69 starts), Williams tallied 20.6 sacks that included a career-high eight sacks in 2017. He's also recorded 479 tackles, 50 tackles for loss, two interceptions and six fumble recoveries. In 14 games last season, Williams made 70 tackles along with registering three sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Williams is part of a Pittsburgh inside linebacking corps that includes Robert Spillane and Devin Bush, a 2019 first-round pick who missed 10 games last season after tearing his ACL. The Steelers replaced Bush with Avery Williamson, who remains on the open market despite being a solid performer during his time in Pittsburgh. The Steelers' outside linebackers include All-Pro T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, who is expected to replace Bud Dupree in the starting lineup after Dupree signed with the Titans earlier this offseason.
Williams is the second Steelers defensive starter that is returning to Pittsburgh this year after temporarily parting ways with the organization. On March 27, defensive lineman Tyson Alualu decided to re-sign with the Steelers after initially coming to terms with the Jaguars. The returns of Alualu and Williams will help soften the blow left by the recently departures of Dupree, fellow outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi, and cornerbacks Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson.
Pittsburgh will undoubtedly use some of eight draft picks to address their holes at linebacker and cornerback. With the 24th overall pick, the Steelers are expected to select either a running back or an offensive lineman to help improve what was the league's 32nd ranked rushing attack in 2020.