The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Ryan Switzer has played his last down for the Steelers.
Explanation: The Steelers had about eight wide receivers that they were considering keeping on the 53-man roster. Ryan Switzer made the cut. But while he retained his role as the primary return man, he became nearly non-existent on offense, and the team even gave looks to others in both return roles.
Given his lack of playing time, it’s pretty clear that Switzer is not in the team’s plans on offense going forward, and they seem to feel as though Diontae Johnson might be able to return as well. Now on the Reserve/Injured List, it’s possible that his tenure with the Steelers ends before the season is over.
It’s not clear how significant his back injury was, but if the team wants to part company and not waste further time, they will work out an injury settlement with him and waive him with an injury designation.
The current injuries at the wide receiver position are irrelevant, since Switzer can’t return for seven game even if they had any mind toward using him again this year. But even Johnny Holton was getting more snaps than him. And frankly, we’ve seen how unfaithful Mike Tomlin is to returners. He even waived Dri Archer, a third-round pick, midseason to replace him with Jacoby Jones.
While Switzer didn’t play a lot this year, he was starting to see more snaps in the weeks leading up to his injury, and he was the top backup in the slot. Just because somebody might not play a lot doesn’t mean the team views him as expendable. Think about somebody like B.J. Finney.
There’s also the consideration that Ben Roethlisberger likes him. His lack of playing time could have as much to do with Mason Rudolph as anything else, and Roethlisberger will be back in 2020. If he wants Switzer, he figures to be here.