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2019 South Side Questions: Will Steelers Release Anthony Chickillo?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, in which they entered with big aspirations, in spite of a tumultuous start to the offseason. Significant players were lost via trade and free agency, players who have helped shape the course of the franchise in recent years. We even now sit here without Ben Roethlisberger after just two games.

The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they have new starters. And quarterback was suddenly added to that list.

How will the season progress without Roethlisberger, behind Mason Rudolph? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in games? Who is sitting out due to injury?

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: Will Anthony Chickillo be a part of the Steelers’ roster by the end of the week?

We learned last night that fifth-year veteran outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo was arrested over the weekend on multiple charges, not limited to assault, but at least as of the time of this writing, we know very little in the way of details pertaining to the incident.

Whenever a player is arrested, however, the question necessarily arises: will this be enough to get the team to release him? When it comes to backups, that question almost always is yes if it’s an arrest for anything of consequence.

The Steelers signed Chickillo, a 2015 sixth-round draft pick, to a two-year, $8 million contract this offseason, most of which he is scheduled to collect in 2020. It was always a stretch to envision him on the roster, at least under that salary, next season, but we obviously assumed he would make it through the first year of the deal.

We’ll have to wait until we learn more about what happened, but it goes without saying that a release is not on the table when it comes to Chickillo, even if that leaves the Steelers thin at the outside linebacker position.

Currently, the only other reserve on the roster is second-year Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, who has only really played a handful of snaps, but they would likely re-sign Jayrone Elliott, who was waived last week to open up a roster spot for an injury replacement at another position.

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