3 recently added Steelers who are already cut candidates

These players have yet to take a snap in a Steelers uniform but could already be on their way out of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Signing a player to a team's 90-man summer roster hardly guarantees them a spot on the 53-man roster when the season rolls around. Most cut candidates for the Pittsburgh Steelers will be easy to predict this year, while others will present more of a challenge.

Money talks and there's not a chance Pittsburgh will part ways with one of their big free-agent signings before seeing what they can do in 2024. However, the same logic doesn't hold true for low-level free agents who came with minimal financial investment to the team.

Players who fit into this category must earn the respect of the coaching staff and prove that they belong on the roster. Unfortunately, there are only so many roster spots to go around, and these players didn't do anything to set themselves apart from the group during OTAs or minicamp. Here are three recently added Steelers players who are already looking like cut candidates.

WR Quez Watkins

After watching Quez Watkins in Philadelphia for four years, I wasn't a big fan of his tape. Despite a tremendous situation with a great offensive scheme, an excellent offensive line, and a pair of wide receivers in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith who should have made his job easier, Watkins' efficiency and performance dipped since 2022.

Still just 26 years old and with excellent speed, Watkins is looking to revive his career on a new team. However, his roster spot may not be as secure as fans believe it will be. Though the Steelers aren't overflowing with wide receiver talent, they have a surplus of slot options including Roman Wilson, Calvin Austin III, Van Jefferson, and Scotty Miller.

In addition to being an inefficient pass-catching option for the Eagles the past two seasons, Watkins also adds very little special teams value. The former sixth-round draft pick returned just 6 kicks since the start of the 2022 season and has never logged a punt return in his NFL career. He recorded just 40 special teams snaps in four seasons (1 in 2023). This isn't going to help his case for a roster spot.

TE MyCole Pruitt

MyCole Pruitt has a history with Arthur Smith. Pruitt spent the past two seasons with Smith in Atlanta before following his offensive play-caller to Pittsburgh. Despite his long NFL career, Pruitt has never logged more than 150 receiving yards in a single season. To put this into perspective, Steelers sixth-round TE Connor Heyward recorded 151 yards on just 17 targets as a rookie in 2022.

Now 32 years old, Pruitt joins a team that already has three players ahead of him at the tight end position: Pat Freiermuth, Darnell Washington, and Connor Heyward. Pruitt has a niche role as an H-back who can block on the move, so keeping a fourth tight end is something the Steelers could do in 2024.

However, there will only be so much opportunity to go around, and Pruitt may be the last of these four tight ends in the pecking order. Pruitt has also played significantly fewer special teams snaps per season than Heyward.

Meanwhile, Pruitt signed a one-year contract for the veteran minimum, and the Steelers can get out of his deal without spending a penny in dead money. The decision to cut him would be easy.

WR Scotty Miller

For the same reasons that Quez Watkins' job on the Steelers isn't secure, neither is Scotty Miller's. Though the Steelers clearly need a playmaker on the boundary to pair with George Pickens, they have a surplus of slot receiver options, and not all of them will make the team.

Calvin Austin III appears to be in the driver's seat for this role. During offseason workouts, QB Russell Wilson gushed over Austin, who has been leading the charge in team drills.

If Austin and rookie Roman Wilson combine for slot duties, that doesn't leave ample room for a player like Miller. Miller's downfall could be the same as that of Quez Watkins, as he has combined to return just 3 punts and kicks in his NFL career and has only logged 271 special teams snaps since joining the league in 2019. Miller was just added to the roster in May, but he could already be a cut candidate for the Pittsburgh Steelers.