4 Steelers that could use a new home in the new year
While he was filled with potential coming out of Michigan St. Justin Layne has yet to live up to the billing yet. Though his special team’s play has been solid, he has struggled to see the field as a defender. Despite numerous injuries to the secondary this season, he has only logged 101 defensive snaps. Worse yet, during those snaps, he hasn’t looked great – giving up a quarterback rating of 129.2 when being targeted.
While the Steelers shouldn’t cut Layne outright, as he still provides the team with good special teams play, it may not be a bad idea to see what his trade market would be. His size will be appealing to a lot of teams, and if there is a team that wanted him in the draft, they may be willing to part with an early day three pick to acquire him. Usually, players start to show that they belong in their second year, and Layne hasn’t done that. No, he hasn’t seen extensive snaps, but the snaps he has seen have been mediocre.
Frankly, this season finally against Cleveland may be his chance to show that he could start on the outside for the Steelers. With the team likely to sit Joe Haden and limit the play of Steven Nelson, Layne should be a starter on the outside. He doesn’t need to be a lockdown corner by any means, but he has to show some sort of starter upside in this game. It could be by limiting receptions when being targeted or by simply shadowing whoever he is covering well. If he continues to struggle though, a trade may be the best thing for both him and the Steelers.