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: Up
Yeah. I know this doesn’t really account for much. And I know it’s not like Minkah Fitzpatrick was really going to say something else. But it’s at least a verbal endorsement, and let’s be honest, the options for content right now are pretty slim, so at least this is somewhat topical.
Last week, Minkah Fitzpatrick addressed questions from reporters, and at one point he was asked about how he felt about the team’s depth at safety after the Steelers failed to address the position with the loss of Sean Davis until the sixth round of the draft.
He endorsed his backups, with Jordan Dangerfield being the veteran among them, saying that they have the ability to make plays for the defense if they were called upon. And to Dangerfield’s credit, he does have a couple of spot starts in his history, in games the Steelers have won, without him being a liability. Granted, that was in 2016.
While he has been with the organization in some form or fashion in every season since 2014, Dangerfield is technically a fourth-year player, having earned accrued seasons in 2016, 2018, and 2019. He has played extensively on special teams during that time and become a staple in that phase, which alone should secure his role.
But somebody has to be the third safety in 2020, the guy who comes on the field if there is an injury, and really, we can’t rule out the possibility of it being him. Marcus Allen spent most of last year on the practice squad, so that’s not a good sign for him. Antoine Brooks is a rookie, so you can’t plan for him being ready for a role.
Arguably the next-best candidate is Cameron Sutton, but he hasn’t gotten much work at safety even in practice, and this is going to be a limited offseason. In other words, there is a sincere possibility that Dangerfield is the next man up at safety in 2020.