In just a few days, NFL teams will be cutting upwards of 40 percent of their 90-man roster. By 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, all teams must be down to just 53 players on their roster as we prepare for the upcoming season. Knowing what's on the line tonight in the Steelers preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons makes this the most important game that some players will ever play.
The Steelers have had some tough training camp battles in 2023, but those are now coming to a close. Big roster decisions must be made and this might be the last chance some players have to leave a lasting impression or to possibly change their fate. Here are three roster bubble players that all Steelers fans must be watching tonight against the Falcons in the preseason finale.
3. Gunner Olszewski, Wide receiver
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a big decision to make at wide receiver. In past years, they have kept as few as five receivers on their 53-man roster, but now and then, they roll with six guys at the position throughout the position.
Calvin Austin III is returning to the roster after spending his entire rookie season on IR and Pittsburgh traded for Allen Robinson II shortly after the NFL Draft. This means that their top five receivers are pretty much set. George Pickens and Diontae Johnson will be their top two, followed by Robinson and Austin with the fifth spot likely going to Miles Boykin thanks to his ability as a special teams gunner and defenseman.
This leaves the Steelers with a decision whether or not to keep Gunner Olszewski as the sixth receiver on the roster. Olszewski hasn't had a bad summer, by any means. However, he certainly underwhelmed last year as both a punt and kick returner and Pittsburgh hasn't gotten the return on their investment from the former Patriots All-Pro special teamer.
With a $2.6 million cap number for 2023, Olszewski could have Pittsburgh going back to keeping just five receivers again. Olszewski offers traits as a backup slot receiver, gadget player, and return man, but he needs to lay it all on the line tonight or he could be out of a job as early as tomorrow. If his performance is strong enough, the Steelers could choose to allocate a sixth spot for a wide receiver on the roster this year.