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: S Jordan Dangerfield
Stock Value: Down
In comes one potential special teams star at the safety position. out goes another? While I’m not about to write Jordan Dangerfield off—he’s literally been here longer than everyone on defense shy of Heyward, Williams, and Tuitt—a guy like him is always going to be on the fringe.
And the drafting of Antoine Brooks doesn’t do him any favors, a guy whom the Steelers already strongly believe will be a positive asset on special teams as a sixth-round pick and a heavy hitter who was already around the ball during his college career.
The thing that plays into his favor, of course, is the fact that the Steelers’ depth at safety in general is weak. Behind Brooks and Dangerfield, the most significant name within the depth is Marcus Allen, who would have spent all of last season on the practice squad had Kameron Kelly—an AAF castaway who came out of nowhere—not gotten arrested during the season.
Still, there are some interesting names as potential sleepers who could also threaten Dangerfield’s position with the team, such as John Battle, who was signed to a futures deal after the 2019 season came to an end. Tyree Kinnel is another intriguing prospect who came over from the XFL, and there are some other versatile defensive backs on the roster who could also challenge him.
Special teams is the feather in his cap, though. He is good for 300-plus snaps in all four phases every year, and he does a good enough job at it to keep getting a roster spot year after year, now heading into his fourth season.
But it’s not like they gave him a restricted free agent tender. The Steelers very much know who Dangerfield at this point, and who he isn’t. The player he’s not could be the one who sees him land elsewhere than the 53-man roster this Fall.