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Free Agency: How Tanner Muse fits with Steelers

Tanner Muse, LB, 4th year, 6-2, 227 lbs.

The Steelers added linebacker Tanner Muse in free agency, bringing in an excellent special teams player with an inside linebacker background.

A third-round draft pick of the Raiders in 2020 out of Clemson, Muse was a star of the NFL Scouting Combine that year, posting a 4.41-second 40-yard dash with a 1.51-second 10-yard split.

As a redshirt freshman at Clemson, he earned co-Special Teams Player of the Year honors in 2016 for the Tigers. He was a three-year starter after that, showing good range and coverage ability, intercepting four passes in his final collegiate season.

Unfortunately for Muse, an injury and then COVID-19 wrecked his rookie season. He was then caught up in a coaching change in 2021 with the Raiders and was released without playing a down for Las Vegas.

The Seahawks signed him to their practice squad and promoted to the active roster late in the season.

Steelers signed LB Tanner Muse on a one-year contract

In 2022, Muse spent the entire season on Seattle's active roster and appeared in all 17 games, making one start.

But his real value was on special teams. While Muse had 16 tackles and a pass defensed last season, of his 405 total snaps played last season, 325 came on special teams. He played 70 percent of Seattle's special teams snaps last season.

Of his 16 tackles, seven came on special teams.

Muse also is familiar with new Steelers linebackers coach Aaron Curry, with whom he worked in Seattle.

That should help make his transition a little easier.

With the recent release of linebacker Jamir Jones and the continuing free agent status of several other of the team's special teams snaps leaders in 2022, Muse would seem to be an extremely competent replacement for the Steelers as a core special teams player in 2023.

He's also a player who could find a role as a coverage linebacker in certain situations.

• Dale Lolley is co-host of "SNR Drive" on Steelers Nation Radio. Subscribe to the podcast here: Apple Podcast | iHeart Podcast