4 Steelers players who were total disappointments in 2023

We won't be shedding any tears when these four players depart from the Steelers roster this offseason.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

For a team that finished the season with a negative point differential, not everything we have to say is going to be glowingly positive. On paper, the Pittsburgh Steelers were an average unit at best, and the fact that they scored just 17.8 points per game tells you most of what you need to know.

Nobody was surprised when Pittsburgh was bounced in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs. While a subpar coaching staff certainly played a hand in this, the Steelers also had numerous underperforming players that contributed to their mediocrity.

In the second half of the season, Pittsburgh benched some of these players and they rarely saw the field. Others were forced to play out of necessity due to injuries or a lack of competition at their respective position. Because of their cringeworthy performances in 2023, these players proved to be colossal disappointments with the Steelers.

Allen Robinson II, WR

Allen Robinson is still under contract with the Steelers through the 2024 season... but not for long. The 30-year-old receiver has a substantial cap number of over $11.9 million in the final year of his deal, and Pittsburgh could save $10 million instantly by releasing him.

Robinson was a colossal disappointment in his first year with the Steelers. Despite being credited with 17 starts as the team's primary slot receiver, Robinson chipped in just 280 yards and 0 touchdowns all season long, according to ESPN stats. His disgusting 5.7 yards per target was much more efficient than checking the ball down to a running back every play and it was the lowest mark of his NFL career.

Additionally, Robinson graded out as the 114th-best receiver in the NFL in 2023, per Pro Football Focus, and his receiving grade ranked 122nd among 126 qualifying receivers. Call him sure-handed if you will. Robinson didn't record a drop, but his inability to get open or do anything after the catch is a role that the Steelers could fill with a veteran-minimum player in 2024. We didn't expect much, but Robinson was one of the more disappointing trades we have seen from Pittsburgh in years.

Chukwuma Okorafor, OT

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been far too patient when it comes to offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor. After spending a third-round pick on the raw OT prospect back in 2018, we expected gradual improvements. Instead, Okorafor has pretty much been the exact same player in each of the past four seasons.

Chuks looks the part of an NFL offensive tackle with excellent size and length, but he's only an average athlete and his lack of elite foot quickness gets him in trouble at times. More importantly, Okorafor has always struggled with power as he too often fails to anchor in pass protection.

Like Robinson, Okorafor is still under contract. He almost has an identical cap hit of $11.8 million for the 2024 season (the final year of his deal). However, he won't be around to play this out. Okorafor was in the doghouse with the coaching staff last year and was demoted to the bench. If the Steelers don't trade him, he will be released. In my opinion, this experiment lasted way too long, and Pittsburgh should have never given him a second contract.

Levi Wallace, CB

Steelers fans can thank their lucky stars that Levi Wallace's contract has officially expired. He will now become a free agent, and Pittsburgh would be foolish to consider bringing him back on a new deal. Wallace was arguably the most detrimental player to the success of the team early in the 2023 season before ultimately getting benched for Joey Porter Jr.

Wallace was a poor athlete (by NFL standards) to begin his career, and he's only gone downhill from there. His lack of make-up speed and quickness consistently means that he's always a few steps behind the wide receiver he is covering. This made him one of the easiest CBs in the NFL for opposing quarterbacks to exploit during the 2023 season.

At 28, Wallace isn't old but just doesn't have any traits that should make him a starter in today's league. It's also worth noting that he doesn't play special teams, so the Steelers couldn't keep him around in that facet either. Wallace's PFF grade has gone down every single season since entering the league back in 2018, and Pittsburgh can finally wash their hands of him in 2024.

Mitch Trubisky, QB

Of all of Pittsburgh's free-agent signings over the past several seasons, fans might be the most disappointed in what Mitch Trubisky brought to the team (which was absolutely nothing). Despite his plus mobility and status as a former second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Trubisky played exactly one good half of football for the Steelers (which ironically came against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in 2022).

Trubisky is simply a poor decision-maker who doesn't see the field well. As a result, he proved to be the worst of the three quarterbacks on Pittsburgh's roster in 2023. When he did enter the game, his despicable performances in the second half of the season were nearly enough to bury all hope of the Steelers making the playoffs before the team finally turned to Mason Rudolph.

With how bad he was in Pittsburgh, Trubisky really needs to be a third-string quarterback if he wants to stick around the league for a few more years. Unfortunately, Omar Khan handed him a contract extension last offseason, so the Steelers will have to eat dead money just to get out of the final two years of his deal, but they can't justify keeping him around. Trubisky won't be missed.

All contract numbers courtesy of Over the Cap.

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