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 many of the offseason additions the Steelers have made so far will still be with the team in 2021?
As you may have noticed, the Steelers’ recent track record with free agent signings or general acquisitions has not exactly been the greatest, even when signing or acquiring players with multi-year deals. Few have seemingly been able to survive more than one season, like Steven Nelson, Ryan Switzer, Vance McDonald, and Tyson Alualu.
For every one of those, however, there is at least one or two who are gone after one year, from Jon Bostic and Morgan Burnett to Mark Barron and Donte Moncrief, including trade-for players like J.J. Wilcox. Ladarius Green was a big miss several years ago, playing one year out of four on his free agent contract.
So far, Pittsburgh has added four players. How many of them will be here in 2021? Fullback Derek Watt has the best odds, in my opinion, signing a three-year deal that, while expensive for his position, is still cheap overall. Stefen Wisniewski comes cheap as well, but will be 32 next year. Eric Ebron’s contract is likely backloaded into 2021 at two years, $12 million, and they could be targeting a tight end.
Then there’s Chris Wormley, the defensive lineman they traded for with the Baltimore Ravens. Like Nick Vannett, he comes to the team on the final year of his rookie contract. So far, Vannett remains at large, even though there seemed to be mutual interest in continuing their relationship.