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: OL Stefen Wisniewski
Stock Value: Purchased
Could Stefen Wisniewski turn out to be one of the more underrated free agent signings of the Kevin Colbert era? Well…no, probably not, realistically. He is a 31-year-old guard and center who is merely being brought in to compete for a starting job at left tackle that may or may not be vacant.
But he could prove to be valuable if indeed he does win the left guard job, which would have to mean one of multiple things, or perhaps simply multiple things altogether. Either it would have to mean that he prove he was good enough to start, so that Matt Feiler didn’t have to move over, or that Zach Banner and Chukwuma Okorafor weren’t good enough to start at right tackle, meaning that Feiler had to stay there.
Either way, whether or not he ends up starting at left guard, he is currently their backup center as well, because the only other player on the roster last season (prior to the finale) who was capable of playing center behind Maurkice Pouncey was B.J. Finney, who signed a two-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks worth up to $9.5 million.
The Pittsburgh native who grew up a Steelers fan is welcoming the chance to likely finish his career in the black and gold, after having previously come in on a free agent visit back in 2016. He ended up staying in-state, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he lasted three seasons. He didn’t make the roster last year and it took several games into the season before the Kansas City Chiefs signed him.
Once injuries arose late in the year, Wisniewski was thrust back into a starting role. He started the final two games of the regular season and then all three playoff games en route to a championship, which happened to be his second in the past three years, having also won with Philadelphia.
While he would ideally be a backup, Wisniewski is a strong fallback option to enter the starting lineup, and at the price for which he signed, extremely affordable no matter what his role proves to be. And one of the best things about his signing is that his contract did not qualify for the compensatory formula.