The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will a number of prominent college players choose to forego the 2020 season in spite of their conference/team choosing to play?
The truth of the matter is that the state of all of college athletics hangs in the balance right now. We really can’t say for sure that we will be seeing much of any amateur organized football taking place in the next couple of months.
But we do know that, as of now, many will do everything that they can to try to make it happen. The Ivy League has canceled its Fall sports, others have determined that they will play only intraconference games, while still more continue to weigh their options.
But players have options too, some that they exercise anyway. There are notable players who have chosen to forego a season and enter the draft. Given the circumstances, it seems plausible that we might see perhaps a significant number of players do this.
Or, depending upon what their school or conference allows, they may be permitted to skip the season and retain their eligibility (and potentially their scholarship) to play a year from now instead.
Depending upon the course of events over the course of the next few months, the 2021 NFL Draft could be very interesting. The lack of hands-on work with prospects colored this draft, but they still had the game tape. Next year’s draft, you might be looking at a class full of players with a smaller amount of tape than you would normally be comfortable with.