With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.
And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.
Player: LG Ramon Foster
Stock Value: Even
Outside of an injury here and there, veteran guard Ramon Foster has shown no signs of slowing down. Of course, he was never much of a sprinter, more of a tortoise than a hare, but he has been nothing if not steady over the years, and that has him in the discussion of being the Steelers’ best offensive lineman.
I would put him among the most underrated players in the league, simply because he gets virtually no recognition outside of Pro Football Focus from the broader media for his play, and yet he not only plays virtually error-free football, he plays a huge role in terms of setting assignments and audibles at the line of scrimmage.
Now, does he have much of a long-term future? At 31, it’s really hard to say. It would be fair to point out that he has missed at least one start in three of the past four seasons due to injury, which is the duration in which he has been designated a full-time starter. Remember, in 2012, he was set to lose his starting role to rookie David DeCastro before he tore his MCL in the preseason.
But anyway, whenever you have a lineman on the other side of 30 who just had microscopic knee surgery, you might be starting to think about how many more years he has left. At the moment, he has two years left on a three-year contract that he signed last offseason. His salary ranks 16th among guards, by the way.
A former undrafted free agent out of Tennessee in 2009, Foster has over the course of the last eight seasons managed to start 101 games and counting. That in itself is a remarkable accomplishment, but the fact that he continues to play at a high level into his 30s is equally remarkable.
But he has done such a good job for such a long time now that it’s not like there’s still more for him to accomplish. The only thing that he is really missing that he can realistically obtain is more recognition.