Grading Steelers mediocre free agent moves through 8 weeks

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron (85) (Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron (85) (Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Derek Watt #44 of the Pittsburgh Steeler (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Derek Watt

Grade: D+

Derek Watt was an exciting edition as far as full-backs go. As a part of the Watt family, his name means a lot to people, but his play as a full-back was great. On paper, he was a solid lead blocker that could get some short-yardage work as well as be a core special teams’ player. That said, the Steelers gave him 3.25 million dollars a season, meaning fans rightfully had high expectations for him as he is the second-highest-paid full back in the NFL.

His start of the season was strong as well. While he wasn’t a major contributor on offense, he did log four tackles and a safety as a special team’s player. Then, the injury bug bit him and he has only played in one game since. While he should return healthy sooner than later, it is concerning that injuries have already limited him this much. As well, it further calls in to question if his contract was worth it, as no other full-back in free agency got more than the minimum.

All of this said, he has the best chance of seeing the second year of his contract, as he would actually lose cap space if cut next offseason. That said, having this much money tied up in a full back when there will be a lot more pressing needs is questionable. While I’m sure he will return to form on special teams once fully healthy, this move can’t be graded that high. At the end of the day, he’s a full-back that has roughly a four-million-dollar cap hit next season. That would be hard to justify even if he was fully healthy.