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With former No. 1 Devin Bush entering free agency, the Pittsburgh Steelers have found his replacement in the form of former Commanders linebacker Cole Holcomb. The Steelers have agreed to terms with Holcomb on a three-year deal, according to NFL Media

A fifth-round pick in 2019, Holcomb spent the first four years of his career in Washington. An immediate starter, Holcomb racked up 388 tackles, 4.5 sacks, three interceptions (with one pick-six), 10 passes defensed and five forced fumbles for the Commanders. 

In 2021, Holcomb had a career year with 142 tackles, two interceptions, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 16 games. He missed 10 games last season, however, as he suffered knee and foot injuries. Despite his lack of availability, Holcomb still finished the season with 69 tackles while averaging nearly 10 tackles per game. 

The 26-year-old played collegiately at North Carolina, where he notched 327 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and 12 passes defensed. He earned Second Team All-ACC Honors as a senior after recording 104 tackles and four forced fumbles for the Tar Heels. 

The MIKE linebacker for the Commanders, Holcomb was named a team captain before the start of the 2022 season. 

"He really played very well," Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said of Holcomb last season. "In fact, a lot of guys that are getting the pub around the league, he played as well or better than [them]."

Along with being a sure tackler, Holcomb can more than hold his own in pass coverage. That is likely one of the things that attracted the Steelers to Holcomb as they play inside a division that includes quarterbacks Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson

Holcomb is the third defensive player the Steelers have come to terms with in free agency. Pittsburgh has also signed eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson while re-signing defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi

Holcomb will help make up what is should be one of the league's top linebacker corps. The unit also includes fellow inside linebacker Myles Jack and outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Jack made 104 tackles during his first season in Pittsburgh. Highsmith tallied a team-high 14.5 sacks last year, while Watt was selected to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl in 2022.