On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided that rookie undrafted wide receiver Tyler Murphy was worth waiving to make room on the roster for running back Le’Veon Bell now that his two-game suspension is over. Was I surprised that Murphy was the choice? Yes. Was I floored by that decision, however? No.
Personally, even though Murphy currently has little value to the team, I thought running back Dri Archer or undrafted rookie defensive end Caushaud Lyons were two likeliest choices to be waived. Lyons was an easy choice as he’s yet to dress for a game. Archer, on the other hand, has yet to really show that he can contribute consistently on offense in addition to him being a below-average kick returner.
Now that Archer has survived the return of Bell, it will be interesting to see what the Steelers really think about him moving forward.
This coming Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, the Steelers will have a few interesting decisions to make when it comes to their pregame inactive list. With Murphy now no longer on the roster, one could easily speculate that rookie third round draft pick wide receiver Sammie Coates will dress for the first time this season. Should that indeed wind up being the case, Archer would then have to be a favorite to be inactive.
If the Steelers do decide to dress Archer against the Rams, one would think that he’ll be used once again as the kick returner and nothing more. Such a decision, in my opinion, would be foolish, as Jordan Todman is not only a better running back than Archer is, he also has a better kickoff returner resume than Archer currently has. Todman can also cover kickoffs, something Archer doesn’t do.
Earlier in the week, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette speculated in his online chat that Steelers might be trying to trade Archer for a late-round draft pick and if that is indeed the case, I wish them much success in that endeavor.
Being as Archer survived the first return of a suspended offensive skill position player, you have to like his odds of surviving the return of wide receiver Martavis Bryant in a few weeks as well as long as he gets a helmet in the next two games. If he’s inactive for the next two games, however, he and Lyons will both top the list of potential candidates to be waived whenever Bryant is ultimately activated back to the 53 man roster.
I’ve been accused several times of hating Archer. While I didn’t like the selection of him last year in the third round, I assure you that I am not sending him hate mail. With that said, I just can’t see where Archer offers the Steelers any value right now or in the future and thus think it would be in their best interests to go ahead and move on from him.
Even if he continues dressing for games, it’s going to be very hard to find snaps for him on offense now that Bell is back without it looking like he’s wearing a red flashing light on his helmet.
Let me ask you this: Would you dress Archer this week against the Rams? If you answer yes to that question, who are you not giving a helmet to?