ALLEGHENY HEALTH NETWORK

NFL Draft: Adding some edge to the defense

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Steelers outside linebackers Bud Dupree (48) and T.J. Watt (90) combined for 18.5 sacks in 2018 -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

AIf there was one thing that happened in the NFL in this offseason, it was this: The cost of business with edge rushers hit an all-time high.

Actually, it started just before the beginning of the 2018 season when the Raiders sent Khalil Mack to the Bears for two first-round, a third- and sixth-round draft picks and promptly signed him to a six-year, $141-million contract.

That was a number previously paid only to quarterbacks. And it extended into free agency this year, as a number of edge rushers or outside linebackers signed monster deals with new teams.

Za'Darius Smith got $16.5 million per year from the Packers. Thirty-year-old Justin Houston got $12 million per season from the Colts after being released by the Chiefs. Trey Flowers got $90 million over five seasons to leave the Patriots for the Lions.

You get the idea.

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