The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Will Ladarius Green be on the Steelers’ 53-man roster in 2017?
When Heath Miller chose to retire last year, the Steelers knew that they had big shoes to fill at the tight end position, and they also felt as though they did not have the answer to replace those shoes in-house. That is why they went out and signed free agent Ladarius Green to a four-year, $20 million deal.
In his first season with the team, however, he was limited to action in just six of 19 possible games, over the course of the regular season and the postseason. He missed the first eight games while continuing to recuperate from offseason ankle surgery.
Even when he returned to the field, however, he was still somewhat limited, at first, and even at his peak was a bit of a role player, far from playing every snap, but he did have a big impact in several games, and that certainly can’t be dismissed or taken away from him. He did offer us a glimpse of what sort of impact he can have in this offense.
One of those impactful plays, however, ended with a different sort of impact that left Green concussed in what was the fourth such documented concussive incident during his professional career, and his first with the Steelers.
The fact that he missed five weeks with a concussion is certainly a concern—I can’t help but wonder if he is nearing the end of the concussion protocol by now—and Mike Tomlin seemed to reflect those concerns during his press conference yesterday as well, acknowledging that there is a concussion history that plays into his future.
There have certainly been instances in the past where players were left with really no alternative other than to retire due to the concussions that they have suffered in their career. Obviously, I know that there are many people on here who believe he should retire, or that the team should simply cut him. But my question is, what do you think will be Green’s status with the Steelers in 2017? Not what do you want to happen. Will he be on the 53-man roster come September?