5 Steelers that should not return in black and gold for 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have been playing great football in 2020. Yet 2021 will be here sooner than we think.

The Steelers are surely not resting even as the front office’s job for the 2020 season is mostly finished. There is little left for Colbert and company to do for the rest of the 2020 season aside from patching up any holes left in the lineup by injuries. So as of now, you can bet that they are looking towards 2021 and the roster that they will be fielding. There are a number of players for the Steelers that must be either resigned, or they will be leaving for other teams.

Not only that but with a shrinking salary cap, there will more than likely be some cap casualties as a result of this. There will be some starting members of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020 that will be suiting up for other teams in 2021. The question is, who should it be?

After his Week 1 performance, I knew he would not be back for the Steelers in 2021.

Bud Dupree suffered a season-ending injury in Week 12. It was an unfortunate end to one of the better development projects the Steelers have gone through. I don’t think, nor do I blame him, Bud Dupree would take a pay cut for the Steelers in 2021. He is still going to be the best pass-rusher available in free agency this year. I wouldn’t pay him the most out of every edge rusher in the league, but by being the best of what is available in free agency, his value will be inflated.

He is going to sign a very large contract for some team this offseason. He went from 4 sacks his rookie year, and not tallying more than 6 sacks in a season in 4 years, as a first-round pick to creating 11 sacks in 2019. He has already tallied 8 sacks through just 11 games in 2020. He was required more time to develop than one would hope from a first-round pick but the results have been evident in his 2 latest seasons.

The Steelers have a lot of faith in Alex Highsmith as they have been rotating him in more and more throughout 2020 and now he will get plenty of snaps going forward. He will more than likely prove that he should not have fallen to the 3rd round of the draft and he is about to truly start what will hopefully be a long career as a Steeler.