5 players the Steelers were right to cut ties with after 2023

Buffalo Bills v Pittsburgh Steelers
Buffalo Bills v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers are making major changes to their roster in 2024. Under the direction of former GM Kevin Colbert, the Steelers were too content to 'run it back' with essentially the same unit. That's not happening with Omar Khan leading the front office.

This roster already looks very different than it did when the 2023 season ended, and more changes could be coming. After loading up on free agents, Khan worked his magic during the 2024 NFL Draft.

Khan also made the decision to turn the page and move on from a handful of former starters, and moving on was in the best interest of the team. Here are five players the Pittsburgh Steelers were right to cut ties with after 2023.

CB Levi Wallace

Moving on from Levi Wallace was a decision that any respectable GM would have made. Wallace lost his starting job to Joey Porter Jr. after the Week 6 bye, and to be honest, he should have lost it much sooner.

Wallace was never an athlete and the veteran cornerback was exposed early and often during the 2023 season. He offers zero upside at this point and he doesn't play special teams. Letting him walk away in free agency was the easiest decision the Steelers made this offseason.

OT Chukwuma Okorafor

Kevin Colbert foolishly tied good money into a below-average starting offensive tackle. Chukwuma Okorafor was a project entering the NFL as a third-round pick, but he made very little improvements since his rookie season in 2018.

Though Okorafor was an ideal swing tackle, the Steelers forced him to be a full-time starter, and he struggled far too often. Credit Pittsburgh for cutting their losses and moving on from the underwhelming offensive tackle. Their team will be better for it.

QB Mitch Trubisky

Mitch Trubisky may have had the worst contract among all backup quarterbacks in the NFL last year -- especially considering what you were getting when he was forced to see the field. Despite being among the most expensive backups in the NFL, Trubisky performed as one of the worst in 2023.

Eventually, he was demoted to QB3 in Pittsburgh. Khan made a mistake by handing him a contract extension last offseason, but releasing Trubisky early in the 2024 offseason was the right move -- even if the team had to eat dead money on his deal. He would not have been a capable QB2 option for this team in 2024.

C Mason Cole

The price might be right for Mason Cole, but the performance was not. Though it didn't save them much money, the Steelers parted ways with their starting center in 2023 simply because he wasn't getting the job done.

Cole could serve as a respectable backup, but the front office wanted to revamp the interior offensive line altogether. We know who Cole is, and he wouldn't have offered much even if he was forced off the bench and into the starting lineup because of injuries. It was time to move on.

QB Kenny Pickett

I know that Kenny Pickett forced Omar Khan's hand, but there's no question that trading him was the right move. Pickett regressed in his second season and had shown very little entering Year 3.

It's never easy to give up on a first-round pick, and the quarterback position is the most important in sports, but the Pittsburgh Steelers recognized they needed an upgrade, and they could look very wise going from Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky to Russell Wilson and Justin Fields.