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: WR Quadree Henderson
Stock Value: Sold
Reasoning: As part of an effort to trim the roster from 90 players down to 80 to avoid the requirement of running split-squad practices, the Steelers waived first-year wide receiver Quadree Henderson, whom they originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He spent a lot of time away from the team in between, but he was signed to their practice squad late last season, and had been on their offseason roster all year until being waived on the 2nd.
I don’t know how many people, if any, were holding out hope that the former Pitt wide receiver would be pushing to earn a spot on the 53-man roster this year, but any flicker of it would appear to have died when the team decided last week to make him the first wide receiver to be trimmed from the roster.
Even without Henderson, the Steelers still have nine players at the position, the majority of them being at least 6’2” for some reason, that group including Chase Claypool, Amara Darboh, Deon Cain, Saeed Blacknail, and Anthony Johnson. JuJu Smith-Schuster is also 6’1”.
Henderson was of a different mold, just 5’8”, and if he was to have a role, it likely would have been as a return man. He did spend time on the New York Giants’ 53-man roster in 2018, during which he recorded five kick returns, averaging 22.4 yards per return, and nine punt returns, with a 7.6-yard average.
The Steelers signed both Henderson and Darboh to their practice squad in mid-November last year following injuries to Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson in the first Browns game. Darboh would later end up being promoted to the 53-man roster, with Henderson finishing the year on the practice squad, and then being signed to a reserve/future contract.