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: DL Chris Wormley
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: After sitting out practices since at least Friday, head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters after practice yesterday that the fourth-year defensive lineman did return to practice yesterday in a limited capacity.
Any time you can take a step closer to participating is a good thing, needless to say, and that goes especially for young players or players who are new to the team. Such is the case for Chris Wormley, whom the Steelers acquired via trade earlier this offseason.
Reporting to training camp was the first opportunity that he had all season to be on the field with his teammates, at least in an official, team-sanctioned capacity, which is the same for everybody else in the league for reasons that everybody knows.
Given the massively compressed timeframe for players to get on-field preparation work this year, any time missed is magnified, much more so for players who are new to an organization than for those who have been around. Thus, it’s much more troubling for Wormley to be missing time than David DeCastro.
It’s important to note of course that Wormley isn’t all the way back. Tomlin only said that he worked in a limited capacity. We don’t even know what that means. They could mean that he ran some laps or something to that effect. But either way, it’s an indication that he is on his way back to participation.
Having spent his first three seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens after they drafted him in the third round in 2019, Pittsburgh brought him in his offseason to help add depth to the defensive line behind Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, and at least in part, to help soften the blow of Javon Hargrave’s departure, particularly in their base nickel defense.
The Steelers gave up a fifth-round pick for him, and are also on the hook for paying him more than $3 million this season thanks to Proven Performance Escalators that he reached in his playing time over the past three seasons, so needless to say, they are eager to see him get back out there at full capacity.