Mike Tomlin is usually one to be guarded during his press conferences and when he does tip his hand, it usually trends towards the positive outlook.
When asked about the future of Cortez Allen, Tomlin spoke much differently.
“I’m not. We’ll see,” he responded to the question of if he is confident in Allen being an impact player in the future.
When followed up with a question of if Allen was even in the Steelers’ plans, Tomlin said the team was in the beginning of assessing their 2016 roster.
Allen spent his second consecutive season on injured reserve, placed there on October 24th after a knee injury shelfed him following the regular season opener against the New England Patriots. Tomlin did note that Allen and the rest of the players who ha surgery during the year were doing well.
The cornerback finished the season with just 32 snaps, recording three tackles in the opener. His knee injury is potentially a chronic one and despite all the talent he has, has yet to show the reliability the team needs to trust him.
His four year, $24.6 million contract could be the biggest thing working against his place on the 2016 roster. The Steelers could save $1.7 million by cutting him before the start of the regular season.
It seemed to make sense to at least bring him to camp. The Steelers still aren’t that far removed from giving him that contract extension and the same people who decided he was worthy of it – Tomlin and Kevin Colbert – are still here. There’s never been any question to Allen’s physical talent, only everything else.
But with Tomlin’s terse response to the question, it’s fair to wonder if Allen will even make it through the spring. If you’re a fan, circle early March on your calendar. March 2nd was when the Steelers released Lance Moore last season.