Steelers release Wilcox

The Steelers released veteran safety J.J. Wilcox, a player they acquired via a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the 2017 season.

Wilcox, who has played five seasons in the NFL, played in 12 games last year, starting one. He recorded 12 tackles and had one interception. For his career he has 226 tackles and six interceptions.

The safety position is one the Steelers addressed this offseason, signing free agents Morgan Burnett and Nat Berhe, and drafting Terrell Edmunds and Marcus Allen.

Burnett spent the previous eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Burnett played in 102 games for the Packers, starting all of them, including 12 in 2017.  Burnett amassed 683 tackles with the Packers, 485 of them solo stops, nine interceptions, 7.5 sacks, 44 passes defensed, nine fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown, and eight forced fumbles.

Berhe, a fifth-round pick of the New York Giants in the 2014 NFL Draft out of San Diego State, played in 38 games during his four seasons, starting two. He missed the 2015 season with a calf injury that was suffered during the team's OTAs that spring. He has a total of 24 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble on defense, plus 24 more tackles and a fumble recovery on special teams. 

Edmunds, the team's No. 1 pick out of Virginia Tech, played in 37 games, starting 31 of them, in three seasons. He finished with 182 tackles, including six and a half for a loss. In 2017 he started all 10 games with 59 tackles and one and half sacks, as well as two interceptions. 

Allen, selected with the team's first pick in the fifth round, is the sixth player in Penn State history to eclipse the 300-tackle mark, ranked fifth in school history with 321 tackles. He has recorded double-digit tackles in nine games. He was an Associated Press first-team All-Big Ten selection last year.

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