Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: G Ramon Foster
Stock Value: Sold (Retired)
After 11 seasons and well over 100 starts, Ramon Foster opted to call it quits at the age of 34. While he never made a Pro Bowl, he was consistently one of the most underrated offensive linemen in the league for a lone stretch of his career.
It was reported that the Steelers may have been shopping Foster before he announced his retirement, which likely indicates they would have released him had they not found a trading partner, though it can’t be confirmed if that report was factual.
Either way, it seemed clear that it was likely the end of the road for Foster one way or the other, opting to go out on his own terms, which is a very rare feat a decade into your career as somebody who did not even get drafted coming out of college.
The Tennessee product was the second-oldest and second-longest-tenured player on the team, behind only Ben Roethlisberger, and one of only three players remaining from the 2010 team, the last Steelers unit to have advanced to the Super Bowl, the other being center Maurkice Pouncey.
Those two formed the heart and soul of the offensive line for many years, and were part of the core nucleus of the entire locker room. Foster was often one of the players others turned to for wisdom both on and off the field, and he was always willing to go out of his way to help younger linemen, including Fred Johnson last year.
Certainly never the fastest nor most athletic lineman, Foster was a bit different from the movement the Steelers had in that direction for its line, but he always held his own and was able to pull and get out in space, though the core of the pulling was left to Pouncey, and especially the other guard, David DeCastro.
My hope is that he remains a presence within the Steelers in some form or fashion. Not necessarily in an official capacity, such as a coaching intern or something like that, but just keeping his voice in the process.