The Pittsburgh Steelers well underway with the offseason workouts at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the heart of the offseason, where hope springs eternal following a few months of pretty significant changes, in terms of both departures and arrivals.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Who do you think has a chance to be a surprise cut later this year?
The Steelers still have several weeks to go before they even get to Latrobe, but we already know of course what the vast majority of the offseason roster is going to look like during that time. There will be a few modifications of course, largely due to injury, but we have the bulk of what we know we can work with and a general idea of the quality depth at each position.
Given what we currently know, which players, if released, would you consider a surprise decision, something akin to the team releasing Landry Jones last year and bucking a very long team trend of carrying at least one backup quarterback with experience?
Suffice it to say that Chris Boswell being released would not be a surprise. We already know that the intention the Steelers had going into the offseason was to put their kicker into a training camp battle, so if he loses, that was one of the potential anticipated outcomes. The same can be said for Artie Burns.
Personally, I don’t think there are a lot of strong options in response to this question, but then again, that’s kind of what the question is about. It’s hard to pinpoint what a realistic surprise cut would be. Obviously it would be surprising if Vance McDonald were released, but it would be stunning if that happened.
Perhaps some options like Jerald Hawkins, Daniel McCullers, Tyler Matakevich, or Olasunkanmi Adeniyi might fall into the surprising category, but even some of those would be pushing it. You could put either Ryan Switzer or Eli Rogers there. It would be really surprising if neither made the team. At this point, I would probably add Jordan Berry to the ‘surprise’ list as well.