The Pittsburgh Steelers find that their 2017 season ended a bit prematurely, and are undergoing the exit meeting process a couple weeks sooner than they would have liked. Nevertheless, what must be done must be done, and we are now at the time of the year where we close the book on one season and look ahead to the next.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2016 season.
Player: Sean Spence
Position: Inside Linebacker
Experience: 6 Years
It didn’t come under the best of circumstances, but former third-round draft pick Sean Spence proved to be just the latest former member of the Steelers that would eventually reunite with his former team after a year or more apart.
Just off the top of my head, the list of players who have had a stint with another team only to return to Pittsburgh in recent years includes David Johnson, William Gay, Matt Spaeth, Plaxico Burress, Antwaan Randle El, Bryant McFadden, James Harrison, and Larry Foote. Byron Leftwich and Will Allen are other names to throw into that group, even though they were not original Steelers signings.
For Spence, it was a welcome homecoming after struggling to find a home with the Colts in 2017. Coincidentally, the Steelers have now effectively replaced him with the player who effectively replaced him last year, that being Jon Bostic.
The former was brought in late least season following a severe injury suffered by Ryan Shazier, which threatens his ability to ever play football again. At that point in the season, Spence had already been on the couch for a couple of months.
He even acknowledged that it took him some time to get back up and running and into football shape, and that was very evident on the field. I thought that he had turned a corner in the regular season finale against the Browns, but then he played his worst game in the playoff loss to the Jaguars.
At this point, it certainly doesn’t appear as though the team has any intention of re-signing him, even though he said that he was hoping to come back. He will likely struggle to land with any team in free agency this year, truth be told.
I still find myself wondering how his career might have gone differently if not for his own career-threatening injury he suffered during his rookie preseason. Could he have really become a starter as they envisioned with his quickness and diagnostic ability? We’ll never know the truth.