Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is underway, and the roster heading into the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we head toward training camp.
Player: G Ramon Foster
Stock Value: Up
Since we’re pretty much in the heart of the dead time of the offseason now, and there’s nothing happening in football terms with which to make the decision that a player’s stock is going up and down in small and immediate intervals, I’m probably going to be going back to some more longitudinal evaluations until somebody gets arrested or injured or something before training camp.
One of those players who saw their stock rise this offseason was veteran Ramon Foster, the second-oldest and second-most veteran player on the team short of only quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The 33-year-old has been in the league for a decade now, but that didn’t stop the team from giving him a new two-year contract keeping him in the fold through 2021, and with the largest salary he has had to date.
This is not the decision, by any means, that they had to make. They could have easily just decided to move ahead with B.J. Finney, who has made five quality starts at Foster’s left guard spot over the course of the past three years, and being an important contributor to wins in those games.
Finney is a restricted free agent this offseason whom they gave a restricted free agent tender, but for the time being, the plan is for him to remain a reliable backup as old faithful continues to get things done in the starting lineup.
And let’s not forget, Foster is coming off a season in which he played every single snap of the year. After suffering a high ankle sprain early in training camp. I’m not sure if he ever had a season like that before in his career.
And he not only stayed on his feet, he continued to play at the high level he has maintained for at least the past half-decade. He can be argued to be the most consistent lineman on the roster from snaps to snap, and remains, by most, one of the most underrated linemen, especially interior linemen, in the NFL.