Trimming the Steelers fat
With the coaching room now set up, I begin shifting my focus to the current roster (I know an owner isn’t involved here but I want to be thorough). I’ll start with my initial trimming of the roster. All of the players below will not be on the roster for the Steelers in 2024. Ideally, Khan can trade a few players for some resources, but if not they will be cut.
Chukwuma Okorafor has been the primary right tackle for this team over the past few seasons, and while he hasn’t been a liability, he also has never been better than average. He is on a hefty contract and was replaced by Broderick Jones. It is time to move on.
Right behind him will be fellow lineman Mason Cole. While Cole had a fine first season with the team, his play has fallen off this season and he can’t be rostered at his current price. I’m not a fan of not having a starter at the position heading into the offseason, but ideally, the team can plug Nate Herbig or even Spencer Anderson into the starting role ahead of free agency and the draft.
Mitch Trubisky is right behind them. This signing has been a disaster overall. He was brought in to be a bridge player and failed there. He was then inked to a healthy contract to be the backup and proved he wasn’t competent there either. The Steelers quarterback room is a mess, but he isn’t part of the solution.
Larry Ogunjobi gets us started on the defense, and he has been an equally disappointing addition to this team. His strong play from a few seasons ago never translated to the Steelers roster. Despite being a significant starter, his salary could be spent better elsewhere.
Joining him is fellow defensive player Patrick Peterson. While I think you can make the argument to keep Peterson around another season, with this team not being built to compete in 2024, it doesn’t serve a purpose. I would rather see his spot go to someone younger.
The same goes for Allen Robinson. While I like having a veteran receiver in the room, his contract is far too much given his play, and I would rather the spot go to someone younger. Unless he was willing to play for the minimum, I can’t justify keeping him.
I’m also gutting the safety room, as both Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal don’t move the needle for me. I would be willing to bring either player back on a reduced salary, but I am looking elsewhere for a new strong safety in 2024.
While this is a lot of veteran names to cut, I want to find either younger or more talented replacements. I’m fine sacrificing another year of average play in hopes of developing some better solutions to the holes on this roster. This would also net the team nearly 45 million in cap space, a healthy sum to conduct a short-term rebuild.