4 Steelers veterans whose roster spots are at risk this year

Linebacker Vince Williams #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Linebacker Vince Williams #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams (98) Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Vince Williams

I’ll be the first to say that of every name on this list, Vince Williams has the best odds of making the opening day roster. That said, his position with the team is the weakest it has ever been and there is a real chance he gets cut down once the team trims their roster. The team was willing to cut him to save cap space and the only reason he returned was due to him taking a minimum contract to return to the roster.

Had the depth chart been left alone, his spot on the team would be in better shape. But the team drafted Buddy Johnson in the fourth round, and the athletic run-stopper seems like a potential upgrade over Williams. Add in Robert Spillane having a role last season, and suddenly, Williams could be the fourth option on the depth chart.

Looking at the Steelers inside linebacker depth chart right now, one thing screams out: athleticism. Everyone has some degree of speed except Williams. This look fits the modern NFL well, and it is likely signaling that a changing of the guard is happing there for the team as they look for athletes instead of traditional thumpers. Williams is a great player when not asked to do much outside of his comfort zone, but the Steelers may opt for youth and speed at the position this season and going forward.

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While all four names on this list have spent some time with the Steelers and have had varying degrees of success, their time on the roster is now greatly at risk. The addition of rookies has suddenly turned the pressure up, as they will be actively competing with these rookies to keep their role with the team. That said, football is a cruel business, and it seems likely that these four may be looking for a new team by the end of the summer.