The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
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: How much is B.J. Finney worth to the Steelers?
While head coach Mike Tomlin likes to refer to all of his backups as starters in waiting, that is more true for some than others. It happened to be the case for Matt Feiler. Could B.J. Finney be the next backup to slide into a full-time starting role for the Steelers? We’ll probably find out within the next month or so.
With the Steelers up against the salary cap and with ambitions to get Bud Dupree under contract, the excision of some high-dollar veteran contracts is an inevitability. Mark Barron and Anthony Chickillo are no-brainers as like backups or rotational players who would save $5 million or more against the salary cap.
Ramon Foster at left guard is another consideration. He is 34 years old and is coming off a bit of a down year. Under the final year of his contract, the Steelers could save a few more millions by releasing him.
At the same time, Finney is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. They tagged him with the second-round restricted free agent tender last year worth around $3 million, showing that they value him. Now the question is how much.
Enough to release an aging long-time starter and core voice in the locker room—the Steelers’ player rep—to take over his job? Finney isn’t incredibly young either, turning 29 on October. He does have 12 starts along the three interior positions under his belt.