The Steelers have gotten their roster to the 53-man mark after some shocking moves for the day.
The Steelers have been able to get their roster down to the NFL requirement of 53 players on the roster. This comes after a long preseason process that saw many of these people have been putting in tons of work to get to this point. Some had their dreams cut short while others saw their vision become reality.
There were some surprising moves during the final cut day that saw the team stay active. The biggest news was some of the bigger names that failed to make the cut with Pittsburgh will be looking at their opportunities. A lot of work seems like it is still ahead until these roster transactions begin to settle down some for this club.
Buddy Johnson got the axe even with Steelers draft pedigree on his side
Buddy Johnson was someone that many thought would take a step forward in year two with the club. He was the fourth-round pick of the team just one year ago, and it is not very common for those picks to be released just a season after drafting them. Things have not materialized for his career now and he still needs to work on his game. Johnson is a good athlete that needs to figure things out with the mechanical parts of his game and pan out in coverage some more.
Anthony McFarland misses the cut on special teams ability
The Steelers decided to keep Benny Snell over Anthony McFarland and it was tough for many fans to see. This news comes across the ticker after many saw McFarland have a better training camp and showed his play in a positive light during the games as well. It seems like the coaches just liked that Snell could provide more on special teams than McFarland could. He could be a practice squad candidate if another team does not pick him up.
John Leglue misses out on an interior depth role for the Steelers
John Leglue was cut from the team, and many were holding onto hope that he could become the main second option for one of the guard spots. That did not happen as the Steelers are still searching for options across this offensive line. It is possible that they add another player or two in the trenches between now and when waiver claims are awarded. This player is great depth on the practice squad, and he should make it unclaimed.
Malik Reed was traded to the Steelers for much-needed depth
The biggest news of the day for the Steelers came when Malik Reed was traded from the Denver Broncos to Pittsburgh. It only cost the black and gold a sixth-round selection in the upcoming draft, but they got a quality depth piece and a seventh-round pick in return. Reed has put up consistent pass rush results and should be able to be a reliable third option for this defense coming off the edge. Not many thought Omar Khan would be trading for a player during cut-down day, but it was a nice upgrade that shocked most.
This means that Derek Tuszka will be the fourth guy on the edge for Pittsburgh and that is not terrible. Getting Reed in the room was very important as there was no experienced depth behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. This was a smart move by Khan and it gives the defensive coaches some options going forward. They can now have their starters take a breather every so often and know that this player could still rush the passer without a lot of drop-off.
The Steelers are down to their initial 53-man roster and it brought some interesting moves along the way. This will likely still seem some shakeups occur between now and when waiver claims are awarded.