With the Pittsburgh Steelers having Anthony Chickillo placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List today, they made the decision to re-sign Jayrone Elliott, and opted not to place a waiver claim on Tuzar Skipper.
Skipper was originally signed by the Steelers after being invited to participate in rookie minicamp. He lasted throughout the entirety of the offseason, and after leading the league with five sacks and two forced fumbles in the preseason, even made the initial 53-man roster.
But he was waived prior to the first game of the regular season, and claimed by the New York Giants. He remained with New York until he was released yesterday, where he was subjected to waivers for a second time.
This time, he cleared waivers, and many Steelers fans who were hoping that they would put a waiver claim on him then had their sights set on re-signing him to the practice squad. Instead, it was the Giants who re-signed him to their practice squad.
— Dan Salomone (@NYGsalomone) October 23, 2019
We don’t know if the Steelers or other teams extended Skipper offers to sign with their squads, or if he chose to re-sign with the Giants rather than return to Pittsburgh. I’m not sure if we will ever find out, even though I would imagine some reporter is going to ask Mike Tomlin about it in the near future.
But for now, Pittsburgh moves forward with four outside linebackers, and potentially only three for Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins, since it’s not clear right now if T.J. Watt, who left their last game late with an injury, will play.
If he is out, second-year Olasunkanmi Adeniyi will start opposite Bud Dupree, and Elliott, who is a veteran but originally joined the team shortly before the preseason ended, would serve as the backup on both sides.
During his pre-game press conference yesterday, Tomlin said that he didn’t feel great about the depth of the outside linebacker position relative to Chickillo’s future. At the moment, it’s not clear if they will be getting him back at any point in the future, either.
That makes it all the more curious that they didn’t appear to make any move to bring Skipper back into the fold, or at least make any move that is public knowledge. For all we know, they did try to re-sign him to the practice squad, but if they were really interested in reacquiring him, they would have likely claimed him off waivers.
It’s worth pointing out that as a practice squad player, Skipper is free to sign to any other team’s 53-man roster if they offer him a contract. So technically speaking, he is available to the Steelers right now.