The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the 2019 season much as they did the 2018 season, by allowing their playoff fate slip out of their grasp. Slow starts and slow finishes permeated both campaigns, with strong runs in between. But while the results were the same missing the playoffs, the means were quite different.
Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we. But that they still managed to go 8-8 without Ben Roethlisberger, and with the general quality of play that they faced along the way, I suppose things could have been worse.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2018 season.
Player: Xavier Grimble
Position: Tight End
Experience: 3 Years
Considering the length of time he was in Pittsburgh, it would be downright disrespectful not to acknowledge Xavier Grimble here. Originally signed as a former undrafted free agent to the practice squad in 2015, the USC product made the 53-man roster the following year and stuck for the rest of his time in Pittsburgh.
Even though he made the roster in 2019 and was dressing and playing, his time would not be long. He played in the first three games, catching one pass for three yards, before suffering an injury that the team deemed serious enough to be placed on injured reserve.
The Steelers would a waive him with an injury designation from the practice squad a short time later, so after three full seasons on the 53-man roster (and all of 23 catches), that was all she wrote. Grimble remained unsigned for the rest of the season, but the Indianapolis Colts signed him to a futures contract at the end of the year.
He did develop into a solid blocker, and it wouldn’t be bad if they were able to bring him back and do it as cheaply as possible, but right now that’s not an option, since he’s technically under contract with the Colts. That of course could change. It wouldn’t shock me if they did bring him back just to add depth to the offseason roster should the opportunity present itself.
After Grimble was placed on injured reserve, the Steelers sent a fifth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks in order to trade for Nick Vannett, who would play the final 13 games. Vannett is now set to be an unrestricted free agent, though he sounds as though he is interested in staying put as the number two tight end.