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: Tyler Matakevich
Position: Inside Linebacker
Experience: 3 Years
I’m not sure how numerous or passionate the Tyler Matakevich fan club remains, but I think the 2018 season more or less cemented his place on the team. The 2016 seventh-round draft pick was afforded the opportunity to compete for a starting job alongside Jon Bostic, even getting the first crack at it, but did not win the job.
Not only that, L.J. Fort also passed him on the depth chart as the season went on. But that doesn’t need to be a knock on him or an indictment about his future. Not every depth player needs to be a ‘start in waiting’. The fact of the matter is that he is one of their top special teams players, and was a borderline Pro Bowler in that capacity in 2017.
Presumably, Matakevich will continue to wield that responsibility for the Steelers, but as to his long-term viability, that remains less certain. It will have to be seen what sort of season he has in 2019 and how the inside linebacker position looks at that point before it can be determined if he is likely to earn a second contract.
That will especially be the case this offseason, I think, because of the Steelers’ need, and expression of that need—to strongly address the position this spring. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising at all if they add at least two players to the position via free agency and the draft.
Matakevich is a good role player, and a good locker room character, but has also maxed out his ceiling in the NFL, I believe. Frankly, I’m not saying this should be his future, but he would probably make a great player for the Alliance of American Football, where he would be a starter for somebody.