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: Matthew Thomas
Position: Inside Linebacker
Experience: 1 Year
After several years of underwhelming college free agent classes, the Steelers seemed as though they had found a couple of keepers at linebacker in Matthew Thomas out of Florida State and Olasunkanmi Adeniyi from Toledo.
By the time the year ended, however, neither of them contributed more than a tackle or so, with very limited defensive snaps, and in fact Thomas was not even on the 53-man roster any longer. He was released to make room for Adeniyi, as a matter of fact, and then was moved to the practice squad for the remainder of the regular season.
Prior to that, he had been active for the first 10 games or so before he was deactivated against the Denver Broncos. He had been a regular contributor to a couple of special teams units, though not making an obviously positive or negative impression, up to that point, having only seen two or three defensive snaps in mop-up time during a win in which Vince Williams was injured.
Not only did the Steelers decide that he didn’t need to be on the game day active list; not only did they decide that he didn’t need to be on the 53-man roster; they ultimately decided that it wasn’t necessary for him to be a part of the organization at all, determining that they had seen enough to know who he was or what kind of investment he would need.
It was Bob Labriola who said that the team never offered to retain him as a Reserve/Future signing after the season was over, the only practice squad player who was not brought back. Thomas himself acknowledged that the team had concerns about elements of his game.
He since signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Baltimore Ravens, an organization that has some history of turning college free agent linebackers to meaningful contributors. We’ll see if the Steelers made a mistake in their determination of Thomas’ abilities over the next few years I suppose.