Over the course of the next few weeks there will be several players cut around the league who will be very easy to link to the Pittsburgh Steelers as potential late free agent additions. On Monday, one such player was cut by the Detroit Lions.
Veteran offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz has now been released by the Lions as the team has reportedly decided to go younger on their offensive line.
Thanks to the @Lions organization for everything. Enjoyed my time… On to the next opportunity.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) August 29, 2016
Schwartz, if you remember, signed a one year, $840,000 contract with the Lions in early April after first reportedly making a free agent visit to Pittsburgh to talk to the Steelers.
Will the Steelers have renewed interest in Schwartz now that he’s a free agent once again? It’s really hard to say and it probably comes down to not only the current health of the 30-year-old offensive lineman, but also how the team currently feels about two of their current backup offensive linemen, Chris Hubbard and B.J. Finney, both of whom are now slated to make this year’s 53-man roster now that rookie tackle Jerald Hawkins has been placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured list with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Assuming he’s fully healthy, and that’s dangerous to do being as he sat out the Lions most recent preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, Schwartz could provide the Steelers an interesting depth option on their offensive line as he can play all five positions. Realistically, however, Schwartz’s best fit at his age and ability would be at either right guard or right tackle with the potential of playing center in case of an emergency.
As things stand right now, starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert is dealing with a hyper-extended elbow that he suffered Friday night while backup center/guard Cody Wallace is battling a hyper-extended knee that he suffered late in the team’s second preseason game. Both players, however, are currently expected to be ready for the 2016 Monday night regular season road opener against the Washington Redskins.
While Hubbard and Finney both currently seem poised to be on this year’s final 53-man roster, neither played particularly well in the team’s first three preseason games. In other words, should the Steelers get an opportunity to upgrade either player in the coming weeks, it certainly shouldn’t come as a surprise if they ultimately sign a veteran such as Schwartz.
Finally, it should be noted that the Steelers very rarely come to terms with a player who they failed to sign earlier during an offseason free agent visit. Additionally, Schwartz is likely to have a few suitors now that he’s currently unemployed and presumably healthy.