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: DB Arrion Springs
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: The first-year defensive back was placed on the reserve/Covid-19 list, though it has not been reported whether or not he has tested positive or if he was exposed to someone who has. Either way, it will sideline him at the start of training camp until he is medically cleared to be activated.
It’s not a great sign for a first-year player to be sidelined at the first opportunity to get into your new team’s facilities, but that is what Arrion Springs, the young defensive back, is dealing with right now. Originally signing with the Steelers after participating in the XFL in the Spring, he was hoping to make a push for a roster spot, the pandemic is making it difficult for him to even have a fair shot.
A defensive back who could possess the versatility to play either at cornerback or safety, Springs would theoretically have an opportunity to make the team if given the chance. There are five cornerbacks on the roster who figure to be locks, and perhaps three safeties at most, if you want to include Jordan Dangerfield. That leaves at least two roster spots open for the secondary, if not more.
The good news for Springs is that there won’t be much for him to miss in the first couple of weeks. Outside of a couple of light walkthroughs that don’t amount to much, teams will not even begin to do any real on-field practice work until August 12. By that point, he could be out of quarantine and ready to resume his place on the 90-man roster.
He had better hope so, because a player in his position doesn’t have any time to lose, and he has already lost a bunch of time, with the pandemic robbing him of the opportunity to work in rookie minicamp, in OTAs, and then in mandatory minicamp as well. He may not even have yet met his coaches faces to face.