The Pittsburgh Steelers have a major set challenges facing them for the offseason of 2019 after they managed to miss the postseason for the first time in five years. The failure has been taken especially grievously because of the fact that the team was in position to control their own fate even for homefield advantage with six games remaining before dropping four games.
And so they find themselves getting the exit meeting process underway at least two weeks earlier than they have had to in years, since they have made it to at least the Divisional Round since 2015. Hopefully they used those extra two weeks with purpose.
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 2018 season.
Player: Xavier Grimble
Position: Tight End
Experience: 3 Years
Xavier Grimble had a nice little fan club for a while there, but I’m not sure how many members are left, and of them, how many are willing to publicly acknowledge it. Unfortunate as it is to say, for the moment, his career is defined by his fumble at the goal line against the Denver Broncos earlier this season that cost a touchdown in a critical loss that helped the Steelers miss the postseason in 2018.
Of course, the Steelers were winning that game late in the third quarter still, and they lost three of their five remaining games after that as well, so Grimble certainly can’t be singularly blamed for everything that happened after that fumble, but nevertheless, like Fitzgerald Toussaint and Rashard Mendenhall, that is what many people are going to think about when his name comes up.
Not that he has done a lot of other visually noteworthy things, because, as a third-string tight end, he doesn’t get many opportunities. In three years on the 53-man roster, playing in 44 games, he has a total of 22 receptions for 236 yards and three touchdowns, so he averages one reception every other game.
And that’s not because the team doesn’t believe he can contribute in that area. Half of his receptions came in his first season in 2016. But playing behind Vance McDonald and Jesse James, both of whom can contribute in the passing game, there are not a lot of targets to go around.
Still, the Steelers have continued to involve him, and have given him packages in the running game when they go to heavy sets, which he is more often than not able to execute successfully. The most powerful and explosive blocker at the tight end position, he can serve that in-line role and has been an asset there.
Is he worth a restricted free agent tender? We’ll see what the Steelers do. My guess is that they don’t tag him and let him become an unrestricted free agent with the hope of re-signing him to a veteran minimum deal, similar to what they did with Stevenson Sylvester several years ago.