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: TE Christian Scotland-Williamson
Stock Value: Sold
Reasoning: The first-year player heading into his third training camp with the Steelers yesterday was waived with a non-football injury designation, and his roster spot has already been filled by another tight end.
It was a fun story while it lasted, but the journey of the giant rugby player is over, at least for now, with the Steelers announcing that tight end Christian Scotland-Williamson was let go. Officially, he was waived with a non-football injury designation, which suggests that they had no intentions of otherwise letting him go.
As an International Pathway player, he had a roster exemption for the past two seasons, allowed to be a 91st player on the offseason roster and an 11th player on the practice squad. During that time, he did appear to display some growth in terms of learning the game of football, and the tight end position in particular.
Without the benefit of an offseason this year, one does have to wonder how much further progress he might have made, so his chances of sticking again might have been diminished. Kevin Rader was another tight end who was on the practice squad, and he remains with the team.
The Steelers did address the position this offseason by signing Eric Ebron in free agency, who along with Vance McDonald will work as a starting tandem. Zach Gentry, a 2019 fifth-round pick who spent all of last season on the roster but mostly inactive, could be in for a somewhat larger role.
In addition to these three, Rader and newcomer Dax Raymond are the only five tight ends on the roster, with two of them having no prior experience in the organization. At least Ebron, however, has spoken with tight ends coach James Daniel.
With this release, this likely means the end of Scotland-Williamson’s football journey, though it’s possible that he eventually finds his way to another team. More likely, he will be looking forward to return to England and be with his family.