The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to their roster to 53 players by the August 30th deadline. Here are the best players they waved goodbye to.
When you cut 27 players just days after the preseason finale, there are always going to be some very difficult decisions. The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to slice their roster from 80 players to just 53 prior to the 4:00 p.m. deadline on August 30th. In doing so, we wave goodbye to some roster bubble players many fans were hoping stood a chance to make an impact this year.
Throughout the summer, it was easy to see which positions the Steelers had the greatest depth at, and it’s almost unfortunate that some of these players weren’t able to stick around. At this point, Pittsburgh’s roster is very close to being finalized for the 2022 season, but it wasn’t without cost. Here are the best players that fans had to wave goodbye to following final roster cuts:
John Leglue could have been the primary backup OG
John Leglue quickly became a fan favorite when he was forced to start late in the 2021 season. Leglue entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and had that underdog mentality that had him fighting to the whistle each play. Many thought that he had done enough to beat out Kendrick Green for the backup guard spot this season, but the Steelers obviously didn’t believe that to be the case. Leglue had a solid summer, but it wasn’t enough to stick around on Pittsburgh’s final roster.
Anthony McFarland misses the cut
I wasn’t the biggest fan of this decision, to be honest. After averaging 8.0 yards per carry during his first preseason game this year, McFarland came back down to earth, but it’s easy to see how his speed and exposition could have been utilized in this offense. It became a numbers game and the fourth-round pick ultimately lost out to Benny Snell and Jaylen Warren.
The Davis twins have a heartbreaking end to the summer
This wasn’t really a surprise –considering the ample depth the Steelers had on the interior defensive line — but Carlos and Khalil Davis are no longer with the team following roster cuts. The twin brothers were both late-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft and they tested as remarkable athletes at the NFL Combine. Despite their special teams ability and pass-rush prowess, it wasn’t enough to keep them around with a remarkable deep interior defensive line this year.
Steelers give up on a fourth-round linebacker
While I don’t think Buddy Johnson had a terrific summer, this one came as a bit of a surprise to me. Johnson was a fourth-round draft choice just a season ago from Texas A&M and he put up some brilliant testing numbers at the Combine last year. Johnson was widely regarded as a developmental linebacker prospect, but apparently, Mike Tomlin had seen enough. Despite being healthy all summer, Johnson is left without a job.
Henry Mondeaux just can’t seem to stick on the Steelers roster
Henry Mondeaux has been in the league for a little while now, and I feel for the guy. Mondeaux gives it his all every snap on the field, and he’s a quick-footed player who has had some success rushing the passer from the defensive interior. However, it wasn’t enough again this year. The Steelers may try to get him back on the practice squad, but Mondeaux is currently searching for employment after his release from the team.