The Pittsburgh Steelers are the NFL's only remaining undefeated team thanks to their important AFC North victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and now they're welcoming reinforcements to the league's best defense. According to CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora, the team has acquired linebacker Avery Williamson from the New York Jets ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline, pending a restructure of the veteran's contract.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Jets will receive the Steelers' 2022 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for Williamson and New York's 2022 seventh-round pick. The Jets had been attempting to trade Williamson for "more than a year," according to Manish Mehta. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, had been speculated as a logical landing spot for the seventh-year veteran after the Steelers lost starter Devin Bush to a torn ACL in Week 6.
Williamson, 28, originally joined the Jets as one of the club's top free agent signings in 2018. A four-year starter with the Tennessee Titans prior to relocating to the Big Apple, the Kentucky product has been a mostly steady defender when healthy. Although he missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL, Williamson logged at least 100 tackles in three of his first five NFL seasons and has been especially active in 2020, racking up 56 tackles, three pass deflections and an interception in seven starts for the Jets.
Williamson, who will become a free agent following the season, figures to step in as an immediate contributor on Pittsburgh's D, where the team had called upon reserve Robert Spillane to fill Bush's inside linebacker spot in recent weeks.