Should the NFL mandate 80-man rosters for training camps this next week, the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to part ways with 10 players currently under contract with them. Obviously, probably all those players will be rookies, first-year players, or players who were not on an NFL 53-man roster most of last season. In short, it’s not hard to come up with a legitimate list of candidates to be released soon by the Steelers. With that. here’s my best guess as to which 10 players might be waived in the next few days should the Steelers be forced to open training camp with an 80-man roster.
QB J.T. Barrett – assuming starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is healthy enough to practice right at the start of training camp, it’s hard to imagine the team needing Barrett at that point. It’s hard enough to get four quarterbacks snaps during a regular training camp and the Steelers currently have five at that position on their 90-man roster. Barrett will be just a phone call away should the Steelers need his services later in the summer.
P Corliss Waitman – Can Waitman, an undrafted free agent rookie punter out of South Alabama, legitimately push fellow punter Jordan Berry for his job without the team going through a normal training camp and preseason? Probably not. The Steelers just don’t need two punters in camp this summer and especially if Waitman would be more of an extra-leg type player. The only real negative about cutting Waitman before he even goes through one practice with the team is that the Steelers gave him a $3,000 bonus to sign. That’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, however, and definitely not enough of a reason to keep him around much longer.
C/G Christian Montano – Montano has a great backstory but that might not be enough to save the rookie undrafted free agent out of Tulane from getting cut. He’s a center/guard type with a few more experienced players ahead of him on the depth chart. Should he manage to stick, it will speak volumes when it comes to what the Steelers think about him.
RB Ralph Webb – Webb has bounced around the last few years after going undrafted in 2018 and that includes him spending some time on the Steelers practice squad. The Steelers probably already have a good idea about what Webb can and can’t do and with so many other running backs currently on the 90-man roster, he seems very expendable at the start of training camp.
WR Quadree Henderson – Much like Webb, Henderson has already been with a few teams since going undrafted in 2018. While he did have a cup of coffee with the New York Giants as a rookie, that was only as a returner. He’s undersized and buried near the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart and really can only play in the slot. Put all of that together and you have enough to make Henderson a strong candidate to be on the list of 10 cut.
ILB Leo Lewis – The Steelers probably could do without one of their inside linebackers currently under contract and if that’s the case, Lewis, an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State, would be a strong candidate to be one of two players cut. He was given just a $7,000 signing bonus, so the Steelers don’t have much invested in him.
T Anthony Coyle – At 6043, Coyle is a bit undersized as a tackle. The Steelers have quite a few other tackles under contract and unless Coyle has some position flexibility, it’s hard to make a case for him sticking around on an 80-man roster. The Steelers will likely cut two offensive linemen as part of their 10 total players and thus the Fordham product could be one of them. He was one of the several former XFL players signed by the Steelers this offseason and thus no signing bonus was given.
DT Cavon Walker – At 278-pounds Walker a Maryland product, is a bit undersized when it comes to defensive tackles that the Steelers use. The Steelers have quite a few players ahead of walker on the defensive tackle depth chart and that likely includes their seventh-round draft pick this year, Carlos Davis. It’s hard to imagine that Walker could get enough snaps in practices this summer. He was signed by the Steelers after the XFL folded so the Steelers don’t have anything but time invested in him to boot.
FB Spencer Nigh – Nigh is a rookie fullback on a Steelers team that doesn’t use one much and on a team that made a free agent fullback one of the highest paid at his position this past offseason. Nigh is not tight end capable and that might also hurt his cause. The Steelers signed Nigh as an undrafted free agent, but only gave him a $2,500 signing bonus as part of his deal.
DB Arrion Springs -The Steelers would likely have at least one defensive back on a 10-man cut list and Springs best fits as a candidate to be on it as he’s mainly a slot defender due to his size and skill set. Springs also came over from the XFL this offseason.