Steelers on the Chopping Block: Who’s in Danger of Getting Cut?


As the draft hangover wears off and we realize again we’re Steelers fans in the offseason and there just simply isn’t much going on, we look around and wonder what’s left. Well the Steelers are welcoming 20 rookies, drafted and undrafted to the team. In with the new, but its possible all these new bodies might make a few redundant or necessitate some cuts to save money.

It’s not just numbers or money that is going to put certain players at risk, but competition as well. If one of these rookies pop or a young project takes form, certain players are going to have a tough time. The following is a list of players who need to watch their back. This is a list of players that need to bring their A game in the next few months or they might have to turn their jersey in before the start of the season.

Please, please, hold your applause. Cam Thomas is a risk on multiple levels. First, his contract is bigger than his impact on the game. He’s probably the most likely Steeler now that Troy has retired to receive the June 1 designation and gets cut for minimum financial/salary cap blowback. His lack of ability or effort or whatever it is also puts him at risk later down the road after training camp if a player emerges.

Geathers is at risk for the same reason as Cam Thomas, the latter reason that is. Although his contract is not large there are only so many spaces on a roster. If a rookie, like maybe Anthony Chickillo, or a player deep down the roster emerges Geathers could see his journey man past continue to be his present. Realistically though, Thomas and Geathers are probably pretty safe based on the thin DE depth chart.

Hey-Bey might be lacking a few things as a number one receiver (like hands) but he’s actually a pretty solid number 4. Watch highlights for the Steelers last year. I feel like half of those plays you’ll spot ol’ Hey-Bey sprinting down the field and throwing blocks. The guy hustles. That being said, Sammie Coates has an eye on his spot and it’s a risk putting a player like that on the practice squad.

Harris didn’t blow a lot of people away last year. He didn’t get much playing time either. With the addition DeAngelo Williams, Harris is certainly in danger of being unnecessary. He was the safety net, but with Williams on the roster, and the more versatile Archer, its tough seeing Harris getting many touches, and without touches there’s not a big reason to be on the roster. He could still be the safety net under the safety net, and with Bell’s suspension he may still have a role.

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Archer didn’t really live up to the hype last year. The thing is though if you take a step back, it’s not unreasonable. He was probably drafted a little too high but that’s nobody’s fault. He also, more than most, needs to gain strength for the NFL level. He was just a rookie after all. Todd Haley too has to find ways to utilize such a unique player too. It’s a safe bet he’ll make the roster, Todd Haley told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he had plans for Archer, but there is only so much room and we’ll have to see how much Bell and Williams take up.

The year is 1891 and the Blanchflower Express is transport a safe full of 3rd string tight end. But here comes a bandit up on a horse coming to blow up the safe and rob Blanchflower of its cargo. That bandit? You guessed it. Jesse James. Ok, that’s the only Jesse James joke I’m going to make. That’s it. That being said, four tight ends seems like a lot, especially with versatile Will Johnson on the team, and James has more upside and that might be the tiebreaker.

As I said, please hold your applause. The clock might have run out for Jones. The Steelers signed Tahj Boyd and he’s a little better than the usual obligatory 3rd team quarterback. Tomlin has the worst preseason record among coaches who’ve coached over the last couple years. A lot of that has to do with Landry Jones getting so many snaps in critical parts of preseason games.

Ross Ventrone has been hanging around for a couple years now. He hung around the Patriots for a couple years before that. In that time he’s accumulated 9 tackles. With all the additions to the secondary through the draft Ventrone might not make it to week 1.

He was far enough down the depth chart to not see the field last year. With some young talent added through the draft with plenty of upside, Webb is going to really have to fight to stick around. He does, along with Ventrone, at least have experience in the defense, on the team, and in the NFL however.

The Steelers carried 8 offensive linemen on the game day roster last year. Most years they carry 7. Chris Hubbard was the big beneficiary of the extra spot. The offensive line stayed relatively healthy last year which sort of eliminates the reason for dressing another lineman. There are also other positions, primarily on defense, that might need an extra roster spot relative to last year. On top of all that, and the versatility of Cody Wallace, about half of the undrafted free agents are offensive linemen.

  • Shawn Lemon

He’s most likely predestined for the practice squad this year but if he really can’t make the jump to the NFL he might jump over it and land right back in Canada. If enough of those rookies show promise Lemon might get lost in the shuffle.

Next: Steelers Rookie Mini-camp: Review of Who's Attending

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