Steelers news: Ahkello Witherspoon released, influx of roster moves, and more

Steelers, Ahkello Witherspoon
Steelers, Ahkello Witherspoon / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Omar Khan hasn't allowed much time for Pittsburgh Steelers media to kick back their feet and relax. We thought things would slow down following a busy NFL Draft and again after rookie minicamp. However, halfway through May, the Steelers are still making a flurry of roster moves.

The latest moves are just further proof that the front office is doing everything in its power to make sure that the roster is as strong as possible leading up to OTAs and training camp. The most recent Steelers news has to do with a notable name being cut and several players being added to the 90-man roster.

Steelers news:

On Wednesday, some were caught off guard to learn that the Steelers had released cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. Many thought that, if this move were to come, it would have been made early in the offseason. Instead, Pittsburgh elected to release Witherspoon on May 17th.

This move could have had something to do with the current roster construction, as the Steelers have a large group of long, physical cornerbacks who can play on the boundary. After double-dipping at the position in the draft on Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice Jr., Witherspoon became expendable.

The veteran cornerback has had trouble staying healthy and consistency has been an issue. He will hope to catch on with a new team soon.

More Steelers news:

Releasing Ahkello Witherspoon was hardly the only move the Steelers made yesterday. In addition to this, the team placed DL Renell Wren on IR. He will miss the 2023 season. Pittsburgh also made three signings official. Quarterback Mason Rudolph, cornerback Luq Barcoo, and wide receiver Hakeem Butler each inked one-year deals with the team.

Of the three, it stands to reason that Rudolph holds the best chance of making the roster. He could reclaim his role as the team's QB2. Butler and Barcoo are both XFL standouts who fell out of favor early in their NFL careers. They will each have an uphill battle at two very crowded positions at the moment, and it may require an outstanding performance in training camp and the preseason for them to stick around on the 2023 roster.

NFL news:

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports recently wrote an article re-grading every team's 2020 NFL Draft class. That year, the Steelers didn't have a first-round pick as they had traded it to acquire Minkah Fitzpatrick early in the 2019 season. Prisco called it 'a heck of a trade' for Pittsburgh.

Prisco really liked the Kevin Dotson pick at the time, but admitted that he's been just okay as a starter. He wasn't a fan of Chase Claypool but liked what Pittsburgh was able to get for him in a trade. Ultimately, Prisco changed his original grade from a 'B-' to a 'B+' for the Steelers 2020 draft.