The Pittsburgh Steelers were officially awarded former Baltimore Ravens LB Jeremiah Moon off waivers, a transaction that processed only today due to Moon being waived and claimed during the NFL playoffs. Because of that, the move couldn’t officially occur until the day after the Super Bowl. According to NFL Insider Aaron Wilson, the move was officially processed by the league Monday.
Though a bit unusual, it’s relatively common for waiver claims to occur in the postseason and be deferred until after the Super Bowl. Baltimore waived Moon to make room for TE Mark Andrews, returning from his mid-season knee injury. The Steelers put in their claim more than two weeks ago on January 26 but had to wait until the Monday after the Super Bowl for the move to become official.
Undrafted out of Florida in 2022, Moon looks the part at 6046, 247 pounds who registered a 40-inch vertical during his Gators’ Pro Day. Injuries hampered his draft stock and caused him to fall out of the 2022 NFL Draft, signing with the Ravens. After spending his rookie year on the practice squad, he bounced between there and the team’s gameday roster throughout the season. He appeared in eight games, making one start, and recording 12 tackles. Moon saw action in both of the Ravens’ games against the Steelers, credited with five total tackles and a pair of forced fumbles.
In our film room breakdown the day after the waiver claim had been announced, we noted Moon as big and long with intriguing tools. But unrefined as a pass rusher and needing to improve his pad level against the run, he’s a project currently limited to run situations and special teams action. Veteran Markus Golden is a pending free agent, opening up a roster spot opportunity. Our breakdown of Moon concluded:
“Overall, he’s worth a flier, even if the circumstances of his addition are a bit unusual. I like his size, length, and run defense if he can become more technical. There’s no guarantee he will make the team, but he could stick as a No. 4 outside linebacker if Markus Golden doesn’t return. He’s bigger and stronger than someone like Kyron Johnson, who carved a role on special teams but is far too undersized to have a defensive role in Pittsburgh’s system.”
The other wrinkle about Jeremiah Moon is his contractual status. He’s scheduled to become an exclusive rights free agent, meaning the Steelers will have to tender him to a one-year deal worth $915,000 in order to keep him. It’s not often a team claims a pending free agent, though his exclusive rights status means he’s easy to retain. Once tendered, Moon can either sign his tender or sit out the season. He has essentially no leverage and the team should tender and bring him to camp.
With the Steelers releasing three players Monday – QB Mitch Trubisky, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, and P Pressley Harvin III – it’s unclear if the Steelers ever really needed to clear a roster spot for him (the NFL sheet doesn’t reflect their release yet so it appears the team didn’t have to make a move). Regardless, those moves created space for Moon to join the team and the conclusion of the 2023-2024 season allowed the move to officially process.