This free agency, the Pittsburgh Steelers came away with the top inside linebacker on the market, signing Baltimore Ravens ILB Patrick Queen to a three-year, $41 million deal. Had Queen not defected from Baltimore to Pittsburgh, it’s possible the Steelers would’ve made a strong run at linebacker Blake Cashman, now a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

As noted by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Andrew Krammer, the Steelers were one of several “suitors” for Cashman as he became a free agent following two seasons in Houston.

“When free agency rolled around in March, Cashman said he had many suitors, including the Vikings, Texans, Broncos, Packers, Steelers and Falcons.”

That’s coming straight from Cashman, giving the story confirmation and not just a report. It’s clear plenty of teams showed interest in signing him.

Cashman, 28, ultimately agreed to a three-year, $22.5 million deal to sign with the Minnesota Vikings on the first official day of free agency. A homecoming for Cashman, born in Minnesota and playing his college ball for the Gophers. Unless Pittsburgh was offering significantly more money, it would’ve been hard to sell him on coming to the Steelers. Still, Cashman was included on our wish list of potential options Pittsburgh could target at inside linebacker.

A fifth round pick of the 2019 draft, Cashman spent three years with the New York Jets before being traded to the Houston Texans ahead of the 2022 season. Spending his first year as a backup, Cashman worked his way into the starting lineup in 2023. Starting 13 games, he led the team with 106 tackles along with five pass deflections, a pair of sacks, and an interception.

It’s not clear how much of a push Pittsburgh made to sign Cashman. He was likely one of several options the team weighed in their pursuit of a veteran inside linebacker, a goal Omar Khan made clear before free agency opened up. They landed the best name available in Queen. While it cost more money, Queen should be a fixture of the Steelers’ defense, an every down player and the team’s best off-ball linebacker since Ryan Shazier. At least, that’s the hope.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here